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Home Away From Home: My Little Florentine Apartment


One of the most stressful aspects of planning a long period of time abroad (besides the packing) is finding the perfect place to live. I am lucky enough that I was very familiar with Florence, so I knew exactly which area of town I wanted to live. Despite my numerous summers spent in Florence, this was the first time I was finding and securing a place on my own (the university always provided excellent apartments). Like many travel destinations, rent in Florence can be steep, so I had no idea what I could get for my budget. Florence is also full of student apartments, but these are typically large and shared by 4-6 students. I wanted a place of my own, so I had no one else to blame when the dissertation work doesn't get done.

I started looking through local housing agencies, but these apartments were unfurnished, and I didn't want to deal with buying/finding/moving furniture. I then turned to a couple student housing agencies, hoping they might have singles or "monolocali" for non-traditional students. They did, but as I expected, their prices were very high. At this point I started to stress, until my advisor mentioned Airbnb. So I began looking there. At first I was discouraged, because while there were great little apartments, the pricing was designed for people vacationing for a week or two. But I decided to email about a couple of places I liked to see if the renter would be willing to negotiate the price, since I would be there for so long. And as it turns out, they were! Several of the places I liked were willing to make a deal for an extended stay (it's a win, win).

I landed on this apartment because it was in the area I wanted and the reviews said it had excellent wifi, was on a quite street, and I loved the light in the photos. The best part about going through Airbnb is that I pay (in dollars) online through their system and all utilities are included. Of course I was nervous about renting a place sight-unseen, but I had a great feeling about this apartment... and I was right, I absolutely love it and it is perfect for me.








I love the little loft, it is just a mattress, but it's just enough for a visitor!





When it came to decorating my new place (I am a nester, I have to decorate some), I was very strategic with what I packed. Yes, I brought my duvet and my Kate Spade table cloth and placemats from home. In addition, I brought some of my favorite Preppy Printshop pillows (just the covers, I bought the inserts here). I selected these items because they folded flat and were relatively light weight. I knew that these pieces wouldn't take up much space or weight, yet would make a big different in the look and feel of the apartment. I also packed lots of command hooks and hangers, and it turns out that was one of my best ideas. With limited closet and storage space, I have hung these hooks everywhere! I also brought picture hanging strips and some prints from home -- again, lightweight and small but makes a big impact. I new I could easily pick up frames from Ikea or have a little fun with some washi tape. I didn't do much, but I think what I brought really transformed the place and made it feel like home!


What do you think of my Florentine apartment?

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Ashley B
30 Comments
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30 comments:

  1. It is lovely, Ashley. I am the same way. Even if I spend a few nights in a hotel, I almost immediately rearrange something to make the space feel more comfortable to me. You can even have an overnight guest. Did you bring your household items with you or send them ahead? Rebecca

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    1. Thanks Reba! I actually packed all the household items and ended up shipping some of my spring clothing. FedEx has incredible two-day shipping to Europe.

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  2. Oh my gosh, your apartment is so cute! I love all of the preppy touches :)

    Hunter
    Prep on a Budget

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  3. How adorable is your little apartment?! The little personal touches really make a huge difference. When I lived in Spain, I didn't bring anything to decorate my place, and it really inhibited me from feeling at home.

    And of course, I even envy your little Florence closet! ;) I've got to get mine cleaned out and organized like (both of) yours!

    xoxo

    Jessie
    jessieholmesspringer.com

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    Replies
    1. It is the little things that make such a huge difference and can make anything feel like home! Definitely go for it with the closet, there is something about an organized closet that makes me feel like I've got it together.

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  4. It looks so good! You've done a really great job making it your own!
    That would make me feel so much better about living in someone else's apartment for so long!

    Moira

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    1. It really does make a difference, and thanks!

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  5. Your apartment is darling! It must be relaxing to have a place that feels so much like home. Do you mind if I ask where the pink afghan, or blanket, on the bed can be found?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Meagan, I actually "designed" the pink blanket and had it made through Zazzle. If you to email me, I can send you a jpg of the design and you can order one through Zazzle.

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  6. So adorable!! I love all your prints on your walls!

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    1. Thanks Rose, I love that it feels like home!

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  7. It's so beautiful! I love that you were able to give it some homey touches...I'm a total nester too so I understand!

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    Replies
    1. I am such a nester, I am not happy unless my nest is clean, organized, and homey.

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  8. your place looks so great!! i am now embarassed because your temporary living space is more furnished and looks more like home than my apartment that i have lived in for nearly two years haha!

    bringing prints and pillow cases was brilliant. lightweight, little space but they bring out your personality and a little bit of home!

    xo mary-katherine
    gold-hatted lover

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    Replies
    1. Haha thanks Mary-Katherine! I was lucky that the apartment come with clean white walls, great light, and simple furniture. That really helped what little I did go a long way. I am so happy I brought the prints and pillows, it turned out to be one of my better ideas!

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  9. Wow!! Your apartment is so adorable and cozy!!
    -Kristen
    www.pugsandpearls.com

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  10. I never thought about how you had to pack bedding, frames and furniture too! So much to consider and remember! You did an awesome job personalizing your apartment.
    -Alex
    www.monstermisa.blogspot.com

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    1. Bedding yes, the frames are from Ikea, and the furniture came with the apartment (thank God!). I don't know how I could have possibly managed any more lol. Thanks Alex!

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  11. Your apartment looks fantastic.

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  12. I think you bring up a good point about being a "nester" - I'm definitely the same way but when it comes to travel (even an extended stay) I always try to travel as light as possible (which is not really that light haha) so bringing cozy pillowcases never even crossed my mind. But from these pictures it looks like even small homey touches would definitely make a big difference! Love how you decorated this space :)

    Julia
    this sojourner

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    Replies
    1. I was really surprised by what a difference the prints and pillow cases made. And it was so easy and cheap to get the inserts from Ikea. It really transformed the place and made it feel like it was my own. Thanks Julia!

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  13. This is SO cute, Ashley! AirBnB is such a great idea, and I would have never thought of it. It makes the idea of moving to Europe seem actually possible. And bringing your duvet, pillow case, prints, etc. makes such a big difference in making the place look “you”.

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  14. What an cool place to stay! It definitely has the European/Italian charm, but I love how you've added some of you personal style to the space. <3

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  15. Using AirBnB is such a great idea. I would love to hear more about how this worked for you because I will soon be on the hunt for a flat in Edinburgh. Also I can only hope that my flat is 1/10th as adorable and amazing looking as yours!

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  16. It looks so cute! I have always been obsessed with your decor. Where did you buy your comforter from?

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  17. the looking way of your bedroom is really very blushing , the best part of your apartment is your kitchen.
    glad to see your blog , i'll wait for your more future blogs.

    Thanks




    Best student accommodation in Sheffield | Modern student accommodation in Sheffield

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