Hey all so Friday, August 5th, was our official move in date to our new home in Italy!!!! We are living off base which we are so grateful for. We originally thought we were going to live on base because you have to live on base for at least a year usually but there were NO available units when we arrived so they said we should probably live off base. We were kind of nervous at first because we were mentally prepared to live on base. But I am so excited that we are living off base! We just ended up looking at 7 places total all in one day and Clark and I both LOVED #2. There was no question that, that was the one for us. It is fairly big. It is 3 stories and a basement. (Which I know sounds huge) but really its not that bad. On the first floor there is the living room, kitchen, and bathroom. On the second floor is the 2 bedrooms and a bathroom, and the 3rd floor is a big open loft area with a bathroom and then the basement is just one big open space with a fireplace and a pizza oven! eeeeeek
Another thing that we absolutely loved about this place was our landlords. They are Italian and live about 20 minutes away. The don't speak the best English but with the English they know and the Italian I know we can make do. And they are so nice. I asked if I could paint and hang stuff on the walls and basically do whatever and they don't care at all. This is going to be our home for the next 3 years so I am super excited to make it my own and be able to really settle into this place. Another huge deal maker (is that a thing) for us was the yard and outside area. We love that Knox finally gets to have this own yard and space to play. There is also 2 olive trees, a lime tree, and a lemon tree in the yard!
Italians don't really believe in storage, I don't think. Other than the cabinets in the kitchen there isn't any storage. No closets or shelves in the laundry room or bathrooms. Not even cupboards under the bathroom sinks so that is a major to-do for us! Storage and closets! Here are some other things I would like to see done:
1. Plant grass seed where there are empty patches in the yard (in progress, hopefully it sprouts soon)
2. Pull up weeds in the floor beds and around the trees (in progress)
3. Paint all the light switch covered white (they are a gross yellow brown right now)
4. Cover the wardrobes in pretty contact paper (we got 2 wardrobes from the base housing office to keep for our entire tour but they are an ugly fake wood color, not pictured)
5. Put cabinets above our washer and dryer (priority #1 for me right now)
6. Paint the tile in the bathrooms on the first and second floor
7. Put up shelves in the 2nd floor bathroom
8. House plants!
9. Paint walls and murals (nothing specific yet but I know I want this)
10. Hammock and fire pit (just a portable one) in the outdoor space for the summertime.
11. Downstairs bathroom needs a new shower head and hook for shower
And plenty more, your probably thinking holy cow why move in if you want to make so many changes. Honestly, the house is 100% completely adorable and lovely (although the storage is still an issue for me!) as it is right now these are just things I know I would like to see. Things that I know would make it even more beautiful and a place that I am excited to come home too. I am excited to take my time making decisions and really making it our own. I like the decorating process and we have 2 years and 11 months so we really have lots of time to make this place feel like our own. But I am already having fun starting!
Also, we live in a gated little complex with 4 other villas just like ours. The other 3 families are all Italian and we communicate every night about who needs to lock the gate up. We feel safe and security and we get to practice our Italian in the process. So fun!