Monday, 15 September 2008

We don't have a washing machine, but they do

When we first bought the apartment, the idea was to have all mod cons; washing machine, dishwasher, swimming pool, heliport, etc. Then we realised that there was barely enough space for a cutlery drawer, never mind a washing machine.

Happily, if you are someone who sweats a lot or likes to roll around drunk in the street, help is at hand. Just a couple of doors down from the apartment is a launderette open every day of the week from 7am - 9pm. As with all of these places, the neon lighting will sear your retinas, but the prices are reasonable - a wash and dry with powder comes to just over 5 euros.

So, sorry we don't have a washing machine in the flat, but we reckon you can polish up your French whilst chatting at the launderette. See how nice we are to you?

Gosh, it looks like... an apartment

Stopped by the apartment on Sunday and was a little disappointed to see that the wallpaper hadn't been remedied. However, the main lamp in the living room is up, and the new parquet below it has been stained.

It's weird when you've seen a place completely empty (and ugly) and how all of a sudden it can really look like a place you'd like to live...

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Two more new things

The doors for the front room cupboards have been lacquered...

And in the kitchen, there's going to be a concrete work surface, so everything's been installed ready for it to be poured into place on Monday. That's our induction thingy on the right. Rather smart...

Wallpaper - the £200 mistake

Who would have thought that a simple thing like wallpaper could cause so many problems?

Firstly, we had major doubts about the pattern, which is pretty strong. Some doubting Thomases said that our guests' eyes would go screwy with the TV on the same wall. I disagree.

Secondly, the whole lot of paper had to go back because the edges were cut roughly and wouldn't match up.

Thirdly, our guys spent two hours trying to get just one strip up because a) every single tiny little fold in the paper shows up really strongly and, b) there are loads of ripples left in it (hopefully they will go when it dries out).

But the worst was yet to come... It was only after staring at it for half an hour, admiring it and thinking how good the whole wall was going to look, that it finally struck me. Notice anything wrong?

That's a hot air balloon there. They've hung the paper upside down.

So now we have to go and buy another roll. Ker-ching! £200.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Terms and conditions

We're getting into the not-so-fun stuff now, like the legal conditions for staying in the flat.

Fancy checking them out? Click here for the English version or here for the French version. You can also download PDF versions here to read at your leisure. Not very exciting, to be sure, but definitely necessary.

For instance, we don't accept pets and we don't allow smoking in the apartment, at the window of the apartment or ANYWHERE in the Paris region (or something like that...). We are truly horrible people. Sorry.

Back to Black

All of a sudden, just a coat of paint can change the whole look of a place. Our kitchen is coming together quickly. One day the microwave is set in its white surroundings, the next it's out, the whole thing's gone black and you can see the floor tiles. Makes a huge difference...

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Major makeover madness!

Just a quick look at what the electrics looked like before (yuck!)...

...and after (phew!)

Friday, 5 September 2008

Our revolutionary radiator

We were looking for a mirror for the apartment, and a good way to heat the place. As there's not a lot of space, we had the inspired idea of going for a mirror radiator.
This one is made by French company Verelec, and it uses patented technology that they have developed together with the National Centre for Scientific Research, winning an innovation prize in 2004. It heats using infrared, meaning that it's more eco-friendly (up to 30% less electricity) and less likely to annoy allergies by circulating dust as traditional heaters do. The manufacturing process is also ecological, and the radiator itself is composed of just glass, aluminium and steel (no extraneous nasty substances). Also, it gets up to full power in less than 10 minutes, much quicker than traditional heaters. We've decided to hook it up to a thermostat to make the sure room temperature is properly controlled.

Of course, it's also rather handy as a mirror and will look great in the little niche near the door of the front room.

Paint makes a helluva difference

The cupboards in the main room are starting to look spiffy, and will probably look even better when the doors come back form being painted. Certainly makes a difference to the look of the place. Check out this before and after shot...

And the niche is now ready to receive the mirror radiator. The painting isn't too tidy around the edge as the wallpaper will be covering it. Remember what it looked like before? Crusty...