September 9, 2014

Our Adorable Attic Apartment in Leuven

I thought I would share some pictures of our last apartment in Leuven. It was so charming and cute. It was a two story attic space in a building that had been constructed in the 1720's. What I will remember most about that apartment is the way it would rattle when a big delivery truck would drive through the narrow cobble stone street it faced. Our apartment was in the middle of Leuven, literally in het hart van de stad, in the heart of the city. We lived next door to a grocery store which was very convenient. Convenient and expensive, I might add. The ground floor of our building was a private medical practice, another convenience - especially during my pregnancy. My doctors were my neighbours and they were so kind and thoughtful.
Here are some photos of this really unique space. Most of these photos are panoramas taken by Jon.
This was our main living space, the space that we walked into when we entered the apartment. The beams are original to the building and were held together with wooden pegs. It frames the original roof of the building, but has now been extended. Everything else to the right side of the beams was added to the building at a later date. Our apartment came furnished except for a few pieces, which we sold before moving to Sweden. This is the view from behind the futon.
One would think that an attic space wouldn't get so much light during the day, but it was never too dark - even in the winter.
This is a more realistic shot of the space. The kitchen is directly behind the futon. The stairs lead up to the guest loft and deck. The door to the immediate left of the futon is the door to the toilet and shower. (During my time in Europe, I've learned not to say bathroom especially when there is no bath involved.) And, the door that is behind the beam to the left is a tiny little entry way (that did not get photographed), where we kept our umbrellas, jackets and cycling stuff.
This is a view of our kitchen. Because Leuven is a student town, most apartments don't come with an oven or a full-size refrigerator. We purchased the combi-oven (microwave and convection oven) when we moved in and it literally changed my life. We made our first Thanksgiving dinner in that oven and I baked numerous cupcakes and quiches. It was awesome and we have it here with us in Sweden. The full-size fridge with a freezer was a bonus too, though it's pretty small compared to US standards.
This is the view from the bar/prep area in the kitchen. We had just had a party the weekend before and the orange and yellow pom-poms were part of our festive decor. The stairs were pretty steep and there was only the thin railing that led up to the guest loft/office upstairs.
I loved hosting guests and it was so nice to provide a private space for them. Jon would often work up here taking advantage of the huge window and sunlight that streamed in. In front of the desk is a door which leads to the pièce de résistance - la terrasse. 
What a view! We didn't enjoy it as much as we should have, but we did manage to have drinks out there a few times and even dinners outside. The best was when the church bells would chime and the almost weekly carillon concerts. We were able to see fireworks, but one of the best experiences was listening to the wave of voices and cheers the first night that Belgian won a World Cup game. I've never heard anything like it. It was intense!
This is our 'bathroom' which is so spacious, especially in comparison to our bathroom now. It only had a shower, another feature typical of most apartments in Leuven. I loved the black and white décor and also those glass shelves next to the toilet. 
Finally, the last room, my favourite room - my bedroom. It was so light and airy, and my bed was so comfy. I absolutely loved it and spent many lazy mornings there. Our bed was huge for European standards, and the built in wardrobes were awesome. We had three, a total luxury that we took full advantage of. The shelf system on the right provided tons of storage - which is a blessing and a curse, especially if one is a paper hoarder like me. 

That was apartment living in Leuven for 2013 - 2014! 

No comments: