Our new address = MUCH happiness!

After looking at 11 different properties, discussing which best suits our wants and needs, exploring what the location has to offer and selecting our top 3, there was one that clearly stood out for the both of us. If you recall, 3 weeks ago (on January 8th), we went house hunting. You can read all about it here.  Before I spill the beans on which location we went with, let me show you a few pros and cons for each one…

Property 1:
– Shikumen style (3rd of 3 floors), 3BR, 2BA, no outdoor living space.

Pros: Outstanding location on a quiet (one way) street, 5 minute walk to the Metro, a TON of natural light.

Cons: Tiny bathrooms, construction incomplete, Paul is taller than the fridge.


Property 2:
– Colonial apartment (4th of 5 floors), built in 1933, 3BR, 2BA, no outdoor living space, but a shared rooftop for all residents.

Pros: HUGE kitchen, “American” sized refrigerator, gorgeous hardwood floors, king sized bed.

Cons: Bedroom has a hotel feel to it, hard to layout furniture cohesively in living room, location was meh.


Property 3:
– High rise (5th of 12 floors), 3BR, 2BA, no outdoor living space per se, but has a tiny step out balcony with a bonus!

Pros: Nice flow to the apartment, high end furniture, serviced apartment (meaning maid service).

Cons: Tiny kitchen, washer/ dryer outside, next to elevator


Property 4:
– High rise (1st of 15 floors), 3BR, 2BA, outdoor patio, separate laundry room with SEPARATE washer and dryer (they’re usually a 2 in 1 unit) and heated floors throughout!

Pros: Separate utility room with separate washer AND dryer, amazing outdoor space, about a year old.

Cons: Bowling alley feeling, no storage in kitchen, queen sized bed.


Property 5:
– Colonial Apartment (3rd of 3 floors), 3BR, 3BA, no outdoor living space

Pros: Awesome location, that bathtub, quiet street.

Cons: Flow of apartment wasn’t that great, tiny master bedroom with queen bed, kitchen had a horrible layout.


Here are the final voting results of which property you think we picked (wish I had set up a count of votes versus a percentage of votes). *shrug*

Are you ready? Here’s part of the front door…


On the Chinese knot is the Hanzi symbol “Fu” meaning good fortune or happiness. It’s something that can be left up all year, not just Chinese New Year.

And the winner is…

Sorry if you’re not able to view the video on your iStuff…

There are a few things outstanding (chair for living room, air filter on backorder, bookcase for the office, plants and some fun decorating), but we’re ok with that. Here’s a little tour of the new Casa Kowalguez (or as I want to call it, “Michelle and Paul’s House of Monkeys!”).


The dining and living room. Sorry it’s a bit wonky with the iPhone pano shot.


I’ve always thought it was odd to have a washing machine in the kitchen, but so far, it’s not bad! Gas stove AND a dishwasher!


Here’s a bit of exposed brick in the dining room with the masonry person’s signature stamp.


It’s Chinese New Year all up in here!


A bit of foreshadowing purchase. I bought this Chinese Zodiac years ago at Pier 1…perfect!


Just to the left of the zodiac is a step out balcony…literally 19.5″ x 83″ and there’s a magnolia tree, too. Thank you IKEA for making the LILLÖN charcoal barbecue. It fits perfectly!


With new renovation came all new windows, except for this beauty. I’m so glad they didn’t replace it! Now how am I going to study with this near my desk?


EVERYTHING is white in here, so we wanted something bright and colorful


A pooping privacy curtain is in the works…don’t you fret!


We purchased this bottle last week and opened it the night we got the keys. HAD to buy it…for obvious reasons!

We are both sooo very thrilled to be able to jump on this place and make it our home! The timing couldn’t have been any better of when we arrived and its availability (not to mention they finished construction a about a week before we moved in). As much as we wanted an outdoor living space, we love this place too much to give it up for a deck or patio. There used to be one, but now it’s enclosed and I’m going to be a plant growing FOOL! Also, the air quality isn’t all that spectacular. Also, Shanghai being on the same parallel as Jacksonville, FL, the summer is going to be a hot, humid and sticky mess. Who wants to be outside for that?

So far, the only odd thing we’ve come across this head scratching outlet tucked away behind the radiator…

If you care to send us a letter, postcard, home made cookies, my shampoo, turkey jerky, a home made monkey or what ever else strikes your fancy, you can send it to our Lakewood address (our mail is forwarded every 2 weeks). Or if you’d like, send me a message and I’ll get you our mailing address here. And if you’re an educator and want to do a FaceTime or Skype session with your class, let me know! If by some crazy chance you’re feeling adventurous or find yourself in this corner of the world, we’ll have a room for ya. Oh, and we’ll leave the light on, too…

8 thoughts on “Our new address = MUCH happiness!

  1. Edna and I have been enjoying your doings, shopping, house hunting and all of the pictures you have posted. We love your new home, enjoy.

    Paul’s mother and brother and Diane will be visiting with us mid Feb.

  2. The apartment looks fab! Funny how they didn’t use some frosted glass in the bathroom setup. I’ve been told by others that Chinese people aren’t as hung up about bathroom stuff as we are. So, I missed the “school” memo. What school are you attending, and what classes are you taking?

    • Thanks…we love it! Yeah, that whole bathroom stuff is true…they don’t care as much as we do. I’ll be going to school to learn how to speak Mandarin!

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