Beginnings in Belleville

Well, we’ve been here just over a week and it’s still safe to say we love it here! I feel like I have a refreshed attitude since we moved in… Belleville has a completely different feel and this apartment truly feels like “our space.” We still have a ways to go in terms of getting moved in, but I did take a few photos just to give you an idea of the place. Sorry the rooms are still so cluttered. I’ll take more photos as we finalize each room, but that will probably happen slowly over the next few months.


Here’s a photo I took at the old place… it was pretty unreal seeing all of our things get condensed from six rooms to two in preparation for loading up the truck. There’s nothing quite like moving to make you realize how much crap you actually own, haha. We ended up putting several pieces of furniture we didn’t want anymore in the alley, and all of them got picked up by various people in the neighborhood. Love it! We were really hoping that would happen because we didn’t want to put anything in the trash, but didn’t really want to load up the cars and find a Goodwill.

Kirsi did surprisingly well with the whole moving process! For the first time ever, she was actually very interested in everything being moved around and didn’t freak out until Gaven showed up to help us move (she is very scared of new men, for some reason!). She even found a new, fun perch to watch Kurt and I slaving away. Ever the princess of the house…


I left this little tidbit out of my last post because I didn’t want to talk about anything negative, but I realized it might be helpful for someone else – we had a major problem when we went to pick up our U-Haul. We made the reservation online with no problem, but when we went to get it, they would not give us the truck because we don’t have Michigan driver’s licenses. (Yeah, we are still technically Illinois residents. Oops.) Apparently you cannot drive a U-Haul truck in-state if you don’t carry that state’s license. It would have been fine had we been driving the truck to Illinois, though. So bizarre! Luckily Gaven agreed to put the truck in his name instead for us. He saved the day for sure. The guys did a great job loading up the truck, too. They didn’t have the truck we originally reserved so we ended up with a 17-footer that was WAY more space than needed, but they managed to secure everything with some jute.


So anyway, yes, now we’re officially in Belleville! Kurt returned the keys to the Hamtramck place yesterday (YES!) so we are officially done with that terrible place aside from having our deposit returned! I feel positively great. It’s so fun deciding where to put things in a new home! I ordered some cabinet liners last week and they arrived on Friday, so I got the kitchen (mostly) set up this last weekend. We’d been eating like peasants up to that point so the extra space is awesome to have. I even drove to the grocery store all by myself yesterday and we ate fresh food for the first time in awhile! Now, maybe driving to the store doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but it’s a huge deal for me. I absolutely HATED driving in Hamtramck/Detroit and I can’t parallel park (the only option in our neighborhood) so I think I took my car out all of three times in the last year. Yay for being inadvertently green, but boo for Kurt having to be my gracious chauffeur. Driving my car from Hamtramck to here was the first time I’d driven my car in six months. But driving in Belleville is basically stress-free. I feel like I can function more like a normal human being for the first time in over a year!

I didn’t take photos of the whole apartment (the set up of the bathrooms makes it hard to photograph anything but the toilet, haha) but hopefully this will provide something of an idea of the place.



Living room. This set-up is EXTREMELY temporary. We are planning to get a proper entertainment center – the filing cabinet and chair really don’t do it for me, haha. We used bookshelves at the old apartment but they’re going to go in other rooms this time so we’re stuck with this ugly mess until we decide what we want instead. Oh well. Kurt’s best friends from Illinois are coming to visit in two weeks and they’re big gamers, so Kurt promised he would have this taken care of before then. I can live with that! I love the giant sliding doors in this room – despite only getting direct sun in the morning, the apartment stays bright almost all day, yet the blinds are really effective at closing out the light if we need them. And I know Kirsi is loving having windows that go all the way down to her level.

That couch actually has a corner piece that’s in my mom’s basement at the moment, and while it wouldn’t have worked at all at the old place, I think it would work really well here. We’re planning to orient the couch so one of the sides extends out to where I’m standing to take the photos and close off the living room a bit, since right now it runs into the area with the dining table.


This is SUCH a mess and I’m almost embarrassed to post this photo, but we simply haven’t gotten around to moving our boxes into the storage unit yet. I’m not crazy about having the table on carpet, but there’s not much I can do about it! I do like that the area feels like a fluid part of the house, though. In our old apartment, the table went nicely in the kitchen but felt so isolated from the rest of the living space so it was usually only used for food prep, not actual dining. Kurt and I have actually had some meals at the table here! We also have a coat closet on the right side there, which is SO great. The amount of closet space here is phenomenal compared to Hamtramck – between the coat closet, pantry, linen closet, and two walk-ins, we’re finally able to put things in places where they feel like they belong.



Here’s the kitchen! It’s small, but it will do the job. I’ll get my dream kitchen with miles of counter space someday, I swear… :) The kitchen is pretty dated, but oh well. We do have new countertops, which is nice. And a dishwasher! AH! I still plan to do a bunch by hand, but being able to throw things in there instead of having them take up counter space is awesome. And now that I’ve got most of the dishes put away, I can get back to my normal routine – I made beans, broth, and hummus yesterday! We’re still trying to decide where to put the microwave, since I’m pretty protective of my counter space! Personally, I’ve loved not using it and told Kurt if he wants to use it, he can keep it in his office… but he wasn’t too sold on that idea. Shocker!


Here is the second bedroom, which Kurt has claimed as his office. It’s nowhere close to being organized yet, but I will say that I’m thrilled to have a large closet in there where he can keep all of his boxes and electronics out of sight. You can see that he also has a sliding door onto the balcony!


I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to have this balcony. Sure, the view of the parking lot isn’t exactly luxury, but I really don’t care. It’s been wonderful sitting out here with my morning coffee in the sunshine! It’s much bigger than it looks in this photo – it stretches from the living room to Kurt’s office and even has a storage closet. I think we might actually have to get a grill!


And finally, the master bedroom. Also a total mess still. I’m not quite sure where my cello’s new home will be yet! I love the bedroom though. The floor to ceiling window is awesome – I have no problem getting up in the morning with all the light that comes in. There’s a walk-in closet behind me in the photo which leads to our bathroom (the other bathroom is in the hall across from Kurt’s office).

This place almost feels like more space than we know what to do with – not a bad problem to have. We’ll probably be playing with furniture configuration for awhile before we figure out what works best for us. We also have a great deal more wall space here so we will probably get some art soon. The rooms feel pretty boring right now with so much white space above everything. Both Kurt and I are pretty excited at the possibilities for making this apartment feel more and more like ours than our last two places! And the fact that we’re going to be hosting friends for the first time since we moved to southeastern Michigan makes it even sweeter.


6 thoughts on “Beginnings in Belleville

  1. Your new apartment looks very nice and has lots of space! Apartments in America are so much bigger than in Europe. I’m looking for a new flat with a bit more space so I might have all this moving hassle waiting for me soon. Good luck with unpacking and making your new home look like your place. I love the balcony and floor to ceiling windows!

    • Thank you! It’s true, there’s so much space here! I will say though that there are also many flats similar to Helsinki space/prices as you move into the big cities or places with better economies than Michigan… I probably would not even be able to get a small studio back where I’m from for what we pay in rent here! And then of course there are places like New York City – I had some friends that rented a place in Brooklyn that is probably not much larger than your current place and paid almost 3000 a month for it. Crazy!

  2. It looks like you have a great new apartment, Cecily! So happy for you! Maybe you mentioned this, but it looks like a corner unit which is great for more light. You think it looks sloppy and I think it looks like you have so much put away already! Good work! LAS

    • Thanks! We’re very happy with it :) And you’re right, we do have a corner unit so we get a bit more light than everyone else. I appreciate your perspective on the state of the place too – I don’t feel quite so bad about not having everything in order :)

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