Zee French Appartement

Even though we moved into this apartment back in May, we are still not finished acquiring all the furniture we want/need. The last piece of the puzzle is a clic-clac for the living room. We do have a small couch, but it’s too uncomfortable and impossible to sleep on.  We were supposed to receive the clic-clac today but when we called Conforama asking why it still hadn’t been delivered hours after they said it would be, they told us it was not in stock yet and to call back on Monday. ::sigh:: Well thanks for making us waste the day waiting around for an imaginary delivery truck.

Our apartment is 51 square meters (about 550 square feet), with two balconies and storage space in the basement. I really wanted a two-bedroom apartment but we were pressed for time and we didn’t even know how much money David would be making, so we decided to budget the same as for our last apartment. So we are paying the same amount for rent, but overall it should be slightly cheaper since the heating here is collectif instead of electric. Plus we are much closer to downtown – only about 5 blocks from the train station – and there is parking in the underground garage, except we have yet to get our garage since the owner is a tad senile and constantly forgets to bring the right keys to the agency. We’ve been waiting 4 months so I am starting to lose a little hope for the garage…

I had planned on posting pictures of the “finished” apartment, complete with clic-clac, but thanks to Conforama you’ll just have to imagine this clic-clac in place of the green couch.

Salon: That’s my bookshelf full of language books. David’s bookshelf is on the opposite wall. (There are, of course, more bookshelves in the hallway and bedroom.) We’ve also got a little armchair that you can just see the edge of.

On the opposite side of the room, my desk is next to the radiator and windows. I didn’t take a picture of David’s desk (to the left, next to the filing cabinet) because it is way too messy. And yes, that is Château Frontenac in Quebec City on my desktop.

Cuisine: Kitchens in Europe are mostly “bring your own” deals, so usually the only thing that is included is the sink. You must bring your own stove, fridge, and even cupboards. There will most likely only be one or two electrical outlets as well.

If you’re starting to wonder why the walls are all bare, and why I have a painting sitting on the table instead of hanging up – we are not allowed to make any holes in any walls because the apartment was just repainted a month before we moved in. For some reason they also painted over the wallpaper, and put wallpaper on all the ceilings, which are also painted over. Yeah, I don’t understand why either…

Salle de bains: Our bathroom is unlike most French bathrooms because the toilet is in the actual bathroom and not in a little room by itself. Luckily our last apartment was like this too, because the thought of a “toilet room” with no sink to wash your hands disgusts me. The shower (which already had the showerhead attached to the wall!) is to the left. The washing machine is a bit big, and barely fits in the bathroom, so the toilet is a bit cramped in the corner. We don’t have a drying machine, but just a drying rack that I put on the balcony.

Balcons: The front balcony runs the length of the living room and bedroom. Luckily Canaille cannot fit through the bars, unlike the back balcony. He used to walk along the little ledge over to the neighbor’s balcony, but their balcony is closed off with glass doors, so he had to back up in order to return to our balcony which nearly gave me a heart attack every time. We are 3 stories up above a concrete parking lot, so that’s why there is now a green grillage on the kitchen balcony in the photo above.

I love love love having balconies. Being able to sit outside and have this view is probably the main reason why:

Chambre: Our bedroom also has the same big doors that open onto the front balcony. The closet is really deep, but it’s all shelves so I have to hang clothes in the hallway closet. I was pleasantly surprised that there actually was a closet in the bedroom since most of bedrooms I’ve seen here have nothing. (Bring your own closet is also common.)

I don’t care if my map of France totally clashes with the awesome purple walls and yellow trim and black dresser. I also have maps of the US and the UK on other doors. Tape on doors, unlike holes in walls, was not expressly forbidden on the lease, so take that propriétaire!

So there’s our French apartment in Chambéry for those of you (hi mom) who were interested. Once we get the stupid clic-clac we can finally have guests stay with us, as long as they don’t mind this furball sleeping on their legs:

We are already looking for a house to rent out in the countryside, but even if we found one in our price range (not likely), we wouldn’t be moving until I’m finished working at the university in the spring. That also means David would have to drive to work everyday and I don’t know if my car is all that reliable. In any case, his office is moving in a few months so he won’t be able to walk to work any longer anyway which was the main reason why we wanted this apartment in the first place.

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  • http://boeingbleudemer.blogspot.com/ Cynthia

    Wow! You really have a nice appartement, I really wish I could find something like this in Paris, you know … an appartment where I can have a real stove !
    .-= Cynthia´s last blog ..Bonus =-.

  • http://boeingbleudemer.blogspot.com/ Cynthia

    Wow! You really have a nice appartement, I really wish I could find something like this in Paris, you know … an appartment where I can have a real stove !
    .-= Cynthia´s last blog ..Bonus =-.

  • http://nouvellevieenfrance.blogspot.com/ Katie

    Very nice apartment. You and I have the same clic clack from comforama! lol
    You have a great view as well!
    .-= Katie´s last blog ..New Job! =-.

  • http://nouvellevieenfrance.blogspot.com/ Katie

    Very nice apartment. You and I have the same clic clack from comforama! lol
    You have a great view as well!
    .-= Katie´s last blog ..New Job! =-.

  • http://chaunoise.blogspot.com/ Shannon

    Your place looks great, Jenny!
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..french meetup group and hart’s wisdom on assistantship =-.

  • http://chaunoise.blogspot.com Shannon

    Your place looks great, Jenny!
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..french meetup group and hart’s wisdom on assistantship =-.

  • http://happilyeverafter-md.blogspot.com/ Brandi

    wow, a washer in the bathroom. How convenient to put the clothes in the washer as you are taking them off. In our place in Le Beausset, the washer was in the kitchen under the stove and the bathroom was upstairs. Very unpractical.
    .-= Brandi´s last blog ..Challenges =-.

  • http://happilyeverafter-md.blogspot.com/ Brandi

    wow, a washer in the bathroom. How convenient to put the clothes in the washer as you are taking them off. In our place in Le Beausset, the washer was in the kitchen under the stove and the bathroom was upstairs. Very unpractical.
    .-= Brandi´s last blog ..Challenges =-.

  • Mom

    I love the apartment and the view is fantastic. Your fur ball sleeps in the same position as Brandy. Silly pets.

  • Mom

    I love the apartment and the view is fantastic. Your fur ball sleeps in the same position as Brandy. Silly pets.

  • Dad

    Very nice apartment Jennifer

    If you want to hang pictures, just use a pin and drive it in at an angle, the hole is so small no one will ever see it, they are probably worried about tenants who use screws or large nails to hang up stuff and make a mess of the walls
    You will be surprised how much a pin will hold up

  • Dad

    Very nice apartment Jennifer

    If you want to hang pictures, just use a pin and drive it in at an angle, the hole is so small no one will ever see it, they are probably worried about tenants who use screws or large nails to hang up stuff and make a mess of the walls
    You will be surprised how much a pin will hold up

  • http://www.laniortaise.blogspot.com/ Laniortaise

    We have the same clic clac too but in chocolate brown! It is VERY comfortable to sit and sleep on.

    Our real estate agent told us that more and more people are putting up wallpaper then painting over it, so that they can then just paint over it again….I’m assuming that this is easier than just painting………no idea….but that’s their idea of it!

    We were allowed those tiny pin-like hooks for the wall and yes you can’t see the holes they leave.
    .-= Laniortaise´s last blog ..Venise Verte with an Aussie friend =-.

  • http://www.laniortaise.blogspot.com Laniortaise

    We have the same clic clac too but in chocolate brown! It is VERY comfortable to sit and sleep on.

    Our real estate agent told us that more and more people are putting up wallpaper then painting over it, so that they can then just paint over it again….I’m assuming that this is easier than just painting………no idea….but that’s their idea of it!

    We were allowed those tiny pin-like hooks for the wall and yes you can’t see the holes they leave.
    .-= Laniortaise´s last blog ..Venise Verte with an Aussie friend =-.

  • http://www.correresmidestino.com/ Zhu

    50 sqm looks about right for two. I like the fact that there is a lot of light!

    All in all, looks comfy ;-)

    French drive me crazy with their wallpaper obsession: I like the way North Americans just paint!
    .-= Zhu´s last blog ..Modern Montréal =-.

  • http://www.correresmidestino.com Zhu

    50 sqm looks about right for two. I like the fact that there is a lot of light!

    All in all, looks comfy ;-)

    French drive me crazy with their wallpaper obsession: I like the way North Americans just paint!
    .-= Zhu´s last blog ..Modern Montréal =-.

  • http://www.gwannelsandigo.blogspot.com/ Gwan

    Wow, looks amazing! *Goes into reverie about finding lovely French man and amazing apartment and living there forever*

  • http://www.gwannelsandigo.blogspot.com Gwan

    Wow, looks amazing! *Goes into reverie about finding lovely French man and amazing apartment and living there forever*

  • eleana

    So, do you consider the attached shower head good? I find them very unpractical, although they are common in US. How can You wash yourself properly.

    In US I miss portable bidet showers and bidet toilets. I find US not-knowing bidet disguisting.

  • eleana

    So, do you consider the attached shower head good? I find them very unpractical, although they are common in US. How can You wash yourself properly.

    In US I miss portable bidet showers and bidet toilets. I find US not-knowing bidet disguisting.

Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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