When your current landlord tells you that he's not going to renew your lease at the beginning of May, because he wants to sell the place (his liquid is little low in Dubai) and you have two weeks to find a new place and have 3 years of life moved - you begin cursing the Real Estate Gods. You continue you cursing them as you look for an apartment on the local sites and find a few great matches. You make a list of 10 places, put in your calls to the agents and hope for the best. One by one they return your call and by call 3 you realize they are all talking about the same one apartment. There is no exclusivity required and landlords will list their property with as many agents as they want. So, list of 10 options is cut to 1 and an entire afternoon is wasted. Curses!
Then when you finally find a few places you actually might want to see after a long day at work, the agent is 45 minutes late (naturally) and neglects to mention that there is no electricity hooked up in the apartment - that we are seeing at 8:00pm, so Matt and I attempt to view what could be our new home by the dim greenish glowing light of our Blackberry and iPhone. We still can't see anything, and at the end she goes "so are you ready to sign a lease, this one is going to go quick." Yeah. Maybe for people who can SEE it! Curses again!
Counting down the days to our homelessness we became more bold. We approached the door man of the building we wanted to move into and asked if he knew of anyone who was moving out. He hesitated and then Matt bribed him with a portable DVD player for the name of the landlord. I so wish I was joking about this! One DVD player lighter, but with number in hand we called the current tenet/landlord out of the blue and he agreed to rent his apartment to us. Such is life in Dubai!
Finally, we have moved and gotten settled in our new home. After moving in to a new floor plan and realizing that none of our furniture fit, we spent the next few weeks selling our world possessions online and buying and building new furniture. If I never see another Allen wrench or roll of bubble wrap I will be happy! Of course, we made sure we still have a second bedroom available - so come on over!
The new living room, we get a lot of great afternoon sun. Pin spotting was already installed, our Vietnam painting is very happy here (she told me).
The piece I'm most proud of. When life gives you a blank wall (with seemingly no purpose) and a 9 inch recess - you build custom cabinetry! Ikea rocked this space. Only 9 inches deep this cabinet solution is one of my favorite items in the house. The small bookcase on the end didn't fit - we were ONE inch off. After screaming about how I knew the metric system was some how to blame for this, Matt quietly went out to our balcony sawed off the one inch side of the book case (thereby ruining it for any other purpose but this one), shimmed it in there and bracketed it to the larger piece. I was left wondering - we own a saw?
The kitchen. I love the hanging installment in the front. I've always struggled where where to put my Kochin carved drum and cast iron tea pot - seriously.
The view from the balcony - Jumeirah and the Arabian Gulf.
The view zoomed. We get this sunset pretty much every day. Put enough sand *cough, cough* in your air and you can have one too!
You already know we can't live without the fountain! With ten shows every night, we are addicted to the music and the display. So now we put it in our living room (as close as we can get)!
We now have a foyer! (I'd prefer a walk-in closet, but hey). My new favorite company in Dubai, Wallcravings.com, create these beautiful wall decals so you can spice up your blank spaces. I love the result! Think it's cheesy? Maybe. But I feel better every time I walk in my front door.
The piece de resistance. We have a breakfast nook. This is unfamiliar territory for me. What does one do with a "nook". With no game plan in mind we went to Ikea to search for solutions. An office desk? A storage closet? A bistro table? After a defeating two hours in Ikea, we were about to leave empty handed, when Matt wandered over to the "As Is" section and procured a solid oak cutting board-esque piece of wood (and what was it doing there, isn't Ikea only particle board?). The measurements were perfect to fit against the wall, but what to do with a piece of wood? Matt suggests a wine bar. When others think breakfast nook we think wine nook. I liked it! Inspiration had struck and another hour later our cart is full of 12 wine racks to form a base, a few oak frames, and a chalk board I found in the Kids section!
Then Matt found a table top wine opener at the new Pottery Barn and the "nook's" fate was sealed.
As digital pack rat, Matt was able to procure some great photos he took years ago when he was working for a Virgina winery.
The only thing missing is you! Come on over!