living in England ...

Let me start this post by saying - I am not complaining. I love love love mine and Ash's flat. It's super cute and cozy, in a great location, with rent that we are able to afford (well almost afford, but when I'm working full time again it'll be all good). When I walk into this apartment I feel at home, and that makes me happy. I am writing this to point out some differences between apartments in America and apartments in England. The point of this blog is for me to write about being an American living in England, even though I get really distracted sometimes (mostly about food).

I realize that some of the things that I say may make me sound like a spoiled bitch but keep in mind that I did spend the majority of my years in Cary, North Carolina. Carytopia as Ash calls it, where my closet was the size of the average Londoners bedroom. Man I miss that closet! So although it may sound like complaining, I am just writing about the things that it's taken me a while to get used to.

Gone is my big closet in Cary and my 2 decent sized closets in my bedroom in Wilmington. My closet here is tiny non-existant. Places here are just not built with them. Wardrobes are all the rage, and don't get me wrong, I love a wardrobe, they are a great way to organize clothes. Much better than a dresser because you can hang things so they are almost like a little mini closet. But the problem is that 1 is not enough for me. I want like 10, in addition to my closet. Or at least 2 - spring/summer and fall/winter. And I would also like a coat closet instead of these hooks on the wall.
shoes in the hallway nook and under the bed because of the no closet situation

organization is the key to the success

our bed is one of those fold down ones, but we never put it up 
because I've got so much crap stored underneath it! 

this is the rest of our place, isn't it cute? 
Those boxes next to the bed are more of my attempts at storage.

Storage in general seems to be the biggest thing that I struggle with here. In the kitchen there aren't any food pantries so the cupboards get filled up with canned goods, pasta, bread, and whatever else doesn't go in the fridge. It's not like I can afford a million cool appliances and different sets of dishes for the holidays. But if I could afford to trick out my kitchen it would be really hard to do so cause I don't know where I'd put everything!

Even the fridges in England have limited space. The majority of the houses that I've been to in England have a fridge somewhere in between the size of a normal American fridge and the fridge that you'd keep in your college dorm room. I guess Americans need bigger fridges cause there is so much more variety of food to fill the fridge with.

In addition to a big fridge, one thing that I miss is having a dishwaher, a rare thing to find in the average English flat. In replace of a dishwasher you get a lovely washing machine in the kitchen. Yes the kitchen. I know, I thought it was really weird too when I moved here but apparently it's the norm. I don't understand this at all but I've gotten used to it. But I will never ever ever get used to not having a dryer. It's just weird how uncommon they are. So how do we dry our clothes? With these handy guys -

If we had a dryer I would still like to hang things, obviously not everything can go in the dryer. But not having the option to throw something in the dryer is so frustrating. Washing sheets = an-entire-weekend-long-nightmare-of-a-project.

One thing I do love about English homes is radiators. Instead of having the heat come through vents like we do, they have radiators in every room. When I first got here I thought that sleeping against the radiator would make my butt catch on fire in the middle of the night, but Ash informed me that it's just hot water running through the pipes so I run no risk of turning into a big ball of flames. Radiators in the bathrooms means warm towels and radiators in the living area means the closest thing that I have to quickly drying clothes.

The only real complaint difference in the bathrooms here are the faucets. There is a hot and cold so when washing your face and hands you have the option of freeeezing cold or reallly super hot, there is no way to make it in between. Annoying? Yes. Unbearable? No. Just takes getting used to. Also there are no plugs in the bathroom at all. Not just our bathroom, all bathrooms. I guess English people are afraid of getting electrocuted which makes sense but it means that my blowdrying and straightening activities take place in the living room. 

How cute is our bathroom? And relatively huge. I love reading in the bath. 

Another strange thing about the plugs here besides the fact that there aren't any in the bathroom, is that they have little on/off switches. That took a while to get used to and a few times of wondering why the blender or toaster wasn't working - the plug wasn't on, duh. 

That ends my rant discussion of differences between American apartments and English ones. Hope you found this somewhat interesting. Now go sit in your closet for a while and be thankful. 


  1. This was a great post! Interesting that you are still showing your undies . . . xoxo

  2. hahaha i feel your pain kait.. i HATE doing laundry! it takes THREE days! and the closets.. well mine isnt even in my room.. its down the hall! i'll just say that organization in this place isnt so hot. i went to buy plastic bins and such but they are too freaking expensive here.. i refuse to pay 40 euros for a 3 drawer plastic POS! oh the luxaries of the USofA. Sometimes I think (well i know) Ruben just hates listening to me rant about what is "differnt" (cough*wrong*cough) here!

  3. yeh, nice photo of your undies here