Saturday, May 12, 2007

New House

Our house is semi-detached (as it is called here, also known as a twin in Philly, and in some places a duplex [although I thought a duplex was when each floor was its own apartment, whereas ours is a side-by-side]). When you first walk in, you see the hallway to the rest of the downstairs and the stairway upstairs. We were first struck by all the Maltese tile, which is original (1920s, we are told) and throughout the house. The hallway goes the entire length of the house and it to the left, with all the rooms to the right. Immediately to your right is the den/causal living room. It is where our TV lives, as well as the phone and internet for now. There is a small fireplace in the corner and beautiful stained glass windows. All the furniture is leather although it is not quite as comfortable as one might wish.

Next down the hall is the formal dining/living room. On one side of a huge room are two couches and a large coffee table, on the other side is an antique dining room table, glass cabinet for dishes, and marble and solid wood sideboard. This is a room we expect to use rarely, and it is only of two rooms where we compromised with our landlord to not get A/C (we had first requested he install A/C in every room, he had been expecting something more like only 2 rooms. We are NOT Maltese!)

The next room, our kitchen, is roomy enough for a casual kitchen table. This is where we eat when it is too dark or cold to eat outside. Although it looks like we have spacious cabinet space, it is surprisingly inefficiently designed. However, given that we expect our stuff is floating in the Med, we won’t have trouble fitting our kitchen items in the space we have. At the end of the hall, just past the kitchen, is a set of glass doors that lead to another small hallway. About 1-2 steps beyond the glass doors are the heavy security doors to the outside. The hallway goes the entire width of the house, so if you step into the hallway and turn right you see glass doors to the kitchen and at the end of the hall is a small bathroom with shower head, although we don’t really plan to shower there. The bathroom will be very useful when we are in the pool all the time, as you don’t have to go into the main part of the house to get there, and it is also the only bathroom on the first floor.

Beyond the small hallway is the outdoors. You step out to a veranda where the grill will live if it ever gets off the floor of the Med and finds its way to us. We also have a couple of outdoors tables and chairs, and our landlord has promised us an awning once it is fixed. It isn’t too necessary, though, as it does not get sun in the early morning (breakfast) or by mid-afternoon (dinner). From the veranda you look out over the rest of the yard, and the pool. The stairs to the yard are at the end of the veranda and we had the landlord put a fence so when baby starts walking and crawling we can keep it from tumbling down the stairs if we turn away for a minute.

The pool butts right up against the neighbor’s property. Just to its right is a grassy area and a garden, including a Maltese lemon tree. We made lemonade with the fruit and it is a little sweeter and not as tart, as juice, or quite as flavorful as the traditional lemon. However, it is super cool to have the tree and we will likely find good uses for its fruit. In fact, our landlord told us when the fruit gets a bit more ripe and turns yellow it gets a little sweeter and is good for marmalade. We also have an orange tree back there but I am not really sure what it is doing or what its best season is.

There is also a little shed where the grassy area meets the tiled area, and it is where the lawn mower and gardening tools live. It is very pretty, ivy covered, and will be tons of fun to keep in shape! The side yard includes a swingset! In the front is enough room to park several cars – our landlord has fit 4 in there.

The upstairs has 3 bedrooms, the laundry room, and study. There is the same kind of layout as the downstairs, where the rooms are along the right and the hallway to the left. Also, there is the same strange small hallway at the back end. In the upstairs, however, instead of a bathroom the end of the hallway has the laundry room. Also, directly to the right of the laundry room is a tiny room we will use as the study, assuming we can fit the study furniture in it, assuming the study furniture arrives from its current watery home at the bottom of the Med. Working your way back up the hall you’ll see the big, fancy bathroom with the bathtub. Next is the smaller guest room, which is the other casualty of our compromises with the landlord. Let’s just say we hope not too many folks visit at the same time during the deep summer, because there is no A/C. The next room back up the hall is the main guest room, with ensuite bathroom. Lastly, at the front of the house, is the master bedroom. It is ridiculously large but that means enough room for baby stuff like bassinet, glider chair and changing table. It also has an ensuite bathroom, and stained glass windows. There is also a balcony.

Finally, there is the third floor. It is really just a hallway that wraps around the house. There is plenty of space up here (we think/hope) to store all the extra stuff we either don’t need because we had no way of knowing which things we would or wouldn’t need here. Also we have roof access , which has a lovely view.

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