Unlike Münster and Weiden, our little abode in Kiel, a temporary rental, has come fully furnished. Obviously, for six months, this is absolutely fine. Better than fine, it’s ideal. We just truck in our clothes, linen, books, computers and foodstuffs and the apartment does the rest.
The flipside is, of course, not having much of a say in the furnishings of your home surrounds. Also fine, it isn’t forever. There are, however, often some small changes that need to made in order to stamp comfort and individuality on one’s new home, temporary or not.
Consequently I spent my first day in Kiel making some small changes which mostly entailed hiding things. This is because, and, yes, I am about to make a nice, sweeping generalisation, many Germans appear to have this thing for dinky little ornaments they decorate their front doors and window sills with – wooden people, fake flowers in ghastly pots, twig wreaths with sweet little phrases of welcome tacked on. In our microscopic apartment alone, I banished to invisibility two fake pot plants – actually 4, because there were two sets of bizarrely conjoined pots – and an enormous fake lily.
After that, I was unstoppable, tweaking, nipping and tucking wherever possible. I didn’t have a lot of room to move, but I tried. So, herewith … how to make a furnished apartment a home:
* Hide awful faux flowers in bizarre connected pots.
* Hide gigantic fake lily.
* Remove awful maybe-slate candle holder from coffee table.
* Find excellent vintage tins. Use them somehow.
* Find vases.
* Fill vases with real flowers.
* Use faux flower pot holders for candles and vase on coffee table.
* Remove off-putting film poster and replace with calendar of Australia.
* Pop selection of own books and magazines on coffee table.
* Find excellent old (50s?) jar in kitchen cupboard. Put in sight. Fill with Spanish onions.
* Find glass jars and fill with tea and coffee.
* Establish a favourite tea/coffee mug.
* Arrange entrance table to own liking.
* Buy herbs.
* Buy a bottle of olive oil. Put it in sight.
* Arrange shoes.
* Buy nice hand soap for the kitchen and bathroom.
* Do a load of washing so as to permeate apartment with aroma of clean clothes.
* Put own quilt on bed.
* Light candles.
* Place Vegemite in highly visible spot.
* Arrange Australiana paraphernalia, given to you by relatives, in appropriate positions.