Beijing Apartment Tour!


In October of last year, we relocated to a new Beijing apartment complex from another Beijing apartment complex.

While it doesn’t sound thrilling, it meant going from an utterly furnished service apartment that felt like we were living in a hotel (with its cold stone floors, gold console tables, and weird pattern carpeting) to an unfurnished space we could make our own. We had a couch, a few dressers, tables, and some artwork from our first apartment as temporary decor. However, it essentially meant starting over from the beginning.

Her reaction to this was one of fear and dread, as she’s always had a hard time deciding how to design the interior of our home, so this was a big deal for her. Sometimes, “I simply want to get rid of everything and start over!” she exclaims. Of course, nothing like this has ever occurred before. We go to HomeGoods and garage sales and buy even more strange stuff that doesn’t match together.

The freeloading post-college graduate that I am, living at home while working to build some nest egg for the near future, I was promptly recruited by my mother to assist in the selection of light fixtures and art for our new home.

My wife and I started working on our house after purchasing supplies from Home Depot in Hawaii (which may seem extravagant given the exorbitant cost of higher-quality building materials in Hawaii), including paint, caulk, and power equipment. It took several months to settle into our new home away from home. Several Skype conferences have been held to get Kaitlin’s stamp of approval, the family’s undisputed expert on design and decor. This is the final product.

We’re ready to go!

First up, we’re at the doorway, which is diminutive. People are forced to leave their shoes outside because the place is so tiny. This could have been a disaster, but we were able to salvage the situation thanks to the ingenious use of mirrors. Alongside the mirror are an IKEA shoe organizer and an old snapshot of New York City from decades ago.

Where are we going? White, beige, and a soft gray color palette inspired this project’s organic design aesthetic. After moving out, the previous occupants left behind some drapes, a bird-free birdcage from Zara Home, and a custom-made coffee table from an online Chinese furniture manufacturer. It was a little scuffed when it arrived, but considering the price, we weren’t too upset. For the walls, the pillows, and the bookcase, we opted for shades of turquoise and orange.

We also have a constant pile on the coffee table, which grows and decreases as new movies arrive at our backroom DVD store (I know it’s weird, but it’s our sole communication with the outside pop culture world!).

My favorite place to be on our couch is in the middle of it. It’s possibly because of it that it’s looking a little bumpy.

Martin Yan’s Chinatown Cooking and The Complete Passover Cookbook are just two of the treasures in our small but diverse cookbook collection here in China. From Martin’s perspective, the Passover Cookbook teaches us everything we need to know about latkes and noodle kugel. It’s critical to have a wide range of options.

Everybody, save my mother, knows about the Chinese cookbooks, and the LSAT practice books have long since been lost in obscurity. Ahem. Is anybody looking for an LSAT study guide? This item has never been used before.

Expat book sales throughout Shanghai are where we got most of our books while living in China.

The shelf lighting in the apartment is one of my personal favorites. Tall bookshelves and beautiful shelf lighting can transform any area into a home away from home.

The shelf lighting is one of my favorite features in the apartment. With a few simple additions, you can transform any room into a cozy and elegant space.

We have a pair of IKEA chairs in front of the large living room window, just to the right of the bookcase. In terms of practical solutions for saving space, IKEA reigns supreme. For a tiny living area, these seats are ideal.

This wooden box is used as an end table and is decorated with these lovely orange flower patterns. It’s an old Chinese food container. Coffee and Citrus Cake with Candied Oranges go well together, wisely using this space.

Of course, there is a television in the room as well. A Pottery Barn-inspired entertainment storage box would have been too much for our modest living room. As a result, we went with a bright red chest and some open wall shelves to keep the space looking spacious. There’s also our true air purifier, which supports working nonstop.

My piano is only across the street, which was the best price I’ve ever had. For less than $300 a year, I was able to rent, deliver, and tune it whenever I wanted. Even yet, that isn’t an awful sound at all.

The dining table is situated to the right of that. It’s compact.

Thyme and rosemary, the only herbs that can survive the winter, are on the menu.

Then there’s the kitchen. The magic happens here!

Finally, the center of our tiny apartment universe–the focal point–is here.

My father’s favorite piece of furniture is our enormous elephant-sized massage chair, which is also the torment of my existence.

A lovely day with a sunset makes for a good view from the nearby windows.

That’s where I’m going! It’s a hit with us, and I hope it is for you.

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