I might have mentioned the fact that when I move to The Netherlands, it will be into a brand new apartment. This is both really exciting and nerve racking. It will be the first time, for both Loek and I, that we will live in a brand new place and the first time we will live together. Renting an apartment in The Netherlands is not like renting one in Georgia. Here, when I want to move I have a few choices: I can drive around, go to a standard apartment complex either in or out of the city with beige walls and appliances included. Or, I can go to an old house turned into an apartment and maybe get to paint the walls.
In The Netherlands, if you are renting in the public sector, you put yourself on lists. When an apartment becomes available, you basically get a shell of an apartment. It is not uncommon to have to put in new floors and light fixtures in your rented apartment. As well as, bring all the appliances you might need with you. When Loek picks up the keys to our new place, hopefully in a few weeks, we(he) will have to put in new flooring, put up wall paper, install light fixtures, paint, move all his stuff and appliances. Keep in mind, we don't have a car. I'm kind of glad I might get to miss all the fun!
I am a huge fan of decor, so naturally, I have been trying to be involved every step of picking out materials for our new home. What I have learned through this process is- 1. It is difficult to combine households anyway, when doing so via webcam is almost impossible. Things that I love, Loek seems to hate. So there is a lot of compromising 2. Colors look totally different if you don't have the sample in your hands.
So far, what we have agreed upon is a grayish laminate wood floor, and damask white wallpaper for the living room. Our apartment is mainly two rooms, a small bedroom and a catch all room that will have to be, our living room, dining room, kitchen and home office. When you translate it from meters, it comes to about 650 sq feet. The smallest apartment I will have lived in and perhaps the largest Loek will have lived in.
If anyone else is in the same boat, whether you are in the same country as your new live-in fiancee or across the ocean-I would recommend a ton of patience and compromise. For those of you trying to plan abroad- If you need to pick out materials, have your spouse go and pick up the ones they like and mail them to you. Look at lots of design blogs to identify both of your styles.
I chose the white damask to make the room appear larger, while the pattern will add some texture. We still haven't agreed on what to do about the bedroom. In addition to all the materials we have to buy for our home, Loek and I are planning on purchasing a new closet from Ikea, right away. Eventually, I would love to get a new bed. But for the time being, we will share a futon. Aww, to be young and in love.