We are all settled into our Hungarian apartment! Want a tour of what will be my home for the next four months (I’m doing research, more on that here)?
We were really lucky because we were able to acquire a lovely apartment in Budapest (on the Pest side). The woman renting us the apartment, Ildi, is amazingly sweet. We arrived late last Sunday, exhausted after 24 hours of travel. Ildi was waiting outside for us and, although she is a woman is her 60s, helped us carry our luggage up two flights of stairs! Right away she showed us the fridge, which she had stocked with bread, butter, meat, milk, tomatoes and peppers! She’d also bought us tea, sugar and coffee, knowing we’d likely be hungry and thirsty, but too exhausted to track down a grocery store late at night. There was even a bar of soap and a pack of toilet paper! Her kindness made us feel more comfortable in our new surroundings.
The apartment is a one bedroom, but the main living area is huge so we got a little creative with the layout, moving furniture around and “decorating”. I wish I had thought to take photos right away, but I didn’t think the small changes we made would have such an impact.
The building is, we think, about 100 years old with great original features like a courtyard, herringbone hardwood floors and massively high ceilings. From the front door there is a small little entryway and immediately to the left a toilet closet. A walk through the galley kitchen leads to the main room. The small bedroom opens off the main room and the bathroom – with tub, sink and washing machine – opens off the bedroom.
In the kitchen, all we did was accessorize a bit. Where an iron and old radio sat, we created a little vignette. We tidied, we reorganized, I found a cute trinket dish for soap plus we bought new dish towels.
Between the kitchen and the main room is a scary heating system we have yet to figure out, but it sure is gorgeous, with what looks to be hand-fired pottery tiles.
The main room had a blue chair, many throw rugs and the rest of the furniture you see. We moved the kitchen table into the corner, swapped the blue patterned chair (too many colours!) for the more subtle black patterned chair in the bedroom (which opens into my Mom’s bed) and kept the red sofa (my bed) where it was. All the rugs were stored except one – mainly because we kept tripping on them (there were about six). The wall units, formerly empty, were accessorized with bits and bobs we found in cupboards and under the sink. This apartment belonged to Ildi’s mother before she passed, so some of her belongings remained. We’re no strangers to this – remember our Duluth vacation rental? – and we’re happy to provide a home for things like Hungarian embroidery and vintage dishware.
Mom’s little corner:
Because we had uneven numbers of various sizes of wine glasses, found in a liquor cabinet, I arranged them like I’ve seen Iittala Festivo candle holders displayed: a bit randomly, playing up the different heights. We found the blue dishware under the sink.
My little corner:
I accessorized my space too, (of course!) with a small table decked out with Hungarian embroidery, plus this Hungarian pottery piece we found.
The bedroom, which was originally Mom’s but left her kind of squooshed once her bed was opened, became our dressing/storage room and we also use it to dry clothes. The blue chair lives there now and it suits the pale turquoise walls better. The room is a handy place, right off the bathroom, to get dressed or fold laundry. The main room is huge, so my Mom and I don’t mind being roomies.
Of course, we unearthed some more accessories and created another little vignette.
The room in use:
Is anyone else as obsessed with the retro orange light fixture as me?
The bathroom is quite large with awesome vintage tile I kind of want to take home. And we have a washing machine! It is tiny and does the shimmy but we love it! It’s embarrassing how many loads of laundry we’ve already done (it’s been hot here – no second day for any dresses).
I have many more little details to share, including some photos of the building and neighborhood, but I thought you might be curious to see where I’m blogging from for the next four months!