Saturday, October 17, 2015

Our Home Away from Home

Our apartment is starting to feel like home.  We have learned that different companies have different systems for their expats.  Many people I know here arrived with only what they could fit into suitcases and bought everything they needed once they got here.  Some people moved all of their home furniture to Japan.  Obviously, probably only what they needed, since homes are smaller here than in the US.  A couple of friends got rid of pretty much everything they owned, brought the essentials and bought the rest here.  Some people get an allowance and what they don't spend, they get in the end when they return home.  We get an allowance for rental furniture and shipping.  We chose to ship our own furniture here to Japan.  Some of the larger items we are renting.  
We are renting a washer/dryer, refrigerator, sofa, recliner, table and chairs, bed and living room drapes.  
This chair is very comfortable.

We also received a set of linens when we arrived.  That included a bottom sheet and a duvet with a heavy down comforter inside.  No top sheet. No towels.  We had to hurry and buy those.
Our sea shipment made its way from Los Angeles to Nagoya, Japan, ever so slowly.

First our air shipment arrived with the rest of our clothes which were very welcome.
Not enough closet space at first.
 Finally our sea shipment arrives!

 The second bedroom will be the craft/office/exercise room.  
A few things didn't work very well.  Our soft mattress pad is too small for the Japanese "queen" size bed.  Our coffee table is too tall for the low Japanese sofa.  My Calaphon pans don't work on the induction stove top and my dinner plates don't fit into the tiny dishwasher.  

 I decided to take the legs off of our ugly ottoman and use it for the coffee table. I had plans to cover it already.

 The bedside tables are a little tall for the low Japanese bed.  I also cannot hang anything on these walls.  I knew this before we left California.  I wanted some pictures anyway and planned on leaning them on the bookshelves, etc.
 We closed one of the slider doors and are using it as a wall for our dressers.
This looks sort of lonely here, but it works very well.  I based the colors of the apartment off of the front door (bright green) the bathroom door (bright yellow) and this distressed TV cabinet that has aqua shades in it.
I didn't plan on bringing this glass greenhouse, but realized that it had gotten packed and shipped.  I'm amazed that it arrived unbroken.  So, now it sits on our coffee table, turned sofa table.  I'm going to buy a plant to put inside one of these days.
My Target rug works really well and the linen I already purchased probably a couple of years ago to cover this ottoman has a gold tone to it.  I'm going to sew a slipcover for it and plan on getting that done next week.  

I planned on using these IKEA bookshelves along this wall, for storage of books, etc.  One main reason was to put pictures here.  There are hooks along the ceiling on this wall that I can hang pictures from.  We finally found and bought the wire systems they use to hang pictures.  I'm going to try it out soon.  I will still have some leaning.  The two center pictures are new from Hobby Lobby with their 50% off sale.
 This is my little craft area in the second bedroom.  I was regretting bringing it all while I was unpacking, but amazingly have found a place for everything.  My husband has a table with his computer and printer.  This room also has a stationary bike and rolling cart for more closet space.

 He was happy that his binoculars arrived.  It wouldn't be our house without a telescope or binoculars in the window.
 We also finally found light bulbs which we were so thankful to finally get.  It made a huge difference in how the apartment feels.  More like a home and less like an office building in our opinion.
Well, I hope you have a better feel for our apartment now.  I'm sure things will continue to evolve, but we are happy with how it's coming together.  It feels like our home.


  1. Your apartment looks great! Wow, that must've been quite a chore unpacking everything. I think leaning the pictures looks really good also, I've stopped hanging things as much as I used to just because they're easier to move around on a whim that way:) I look forward to seeing the ottoman once you've covered it!

  2. It all looks lovely. So glad you can make it feel "homey" - and I'm enjoying your photos and updates! Quite the adventure!

  3. It is good when home looks and feels like home.
    Glad you are getting settled.
    How did your driving test go?

    M : )

  4. Your place looks amazing. I am in love with that butterfly pillow.

  5. Amazing final result. Love it!

  6. A very daunting project, but a very happy way to spend your first weeks in a new country. I'm sure you feel more and more at home, Karen. Look forward to the next reveal if this is an indication of what's to come.

  7. I've been watching your adventure via Instagram and Facebook and finally made it over here to read more. Looks and sounds like things are going better and better. It's even looking like fun! It seems to go along with a saying that I love about how life begins at the edge of our comfort zone. How scary it seemed before you left and when you first arrived but it's been amazing to see how beautifully it's all unfolding! You mentioned new pics from Hobby Lobby. Do they have Hobby Lobby in Japan?


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