…FSO Furniture

One of the things I always loved to read about when we were in the pre-FSI and before we arrived here was what other people’s FS apartments were like, and what kind of furniture they had. So, here’s my post on that subject… I apologize for some of these shots as they got a little glary.

The TV room

In the TV room, we have some damask-ish couches, a couple of traditional pseudo-18th century tables, and a buffet we moved in to the room to be our TV cabinet. There’s an A/C, dehumidifier, ceiling fan and air purifier too, as there are in most rooms. There’s ample lighting in this house. This room has 4 high sconces and three task lamps, which is overkill for a TV room, so they might move elsewhere.

Dining Set

In this room, the dining set originally stood, but…. it was the biggest room in the house, and the one you walked into from the front door. So we’ve moved the dining set up onto that adjoining elevated dais (in the back of the photo, leading to an open balcony) and turned this part into our large Sitting Room/Entertaining Spot. There’s a big sliding door which leads out onto a screened in balcony. We’ll put our patio set there when it comes. We took the leaf out of the dining set, because we’re not typically formal eaters, so 6 spots is fine. We have enough leaves and chairs to seat 10 though, should you want to partake of our hospitality.

On the right, you’ll see the buffet and china cabinet that have also moved (TV room and new dining room respectively). You’ll also see the fridge, which is in the living room, not the kitchen. Great for getting a soda, I guess? The furniture which now sits in here is similar to the TV room stuff, greenish. Also very formal.

The curtains and area rugs are beige, the walls are white and the furniture is cherry-stained. We have two bedrooms (master, guest/sewing/ironing/storage) and one bedroom that we turned into an office/freezer room. Yes, that’s right, we’re in a place where food access is inconsistent, and so they give us a full size freezer to put those awesome grocery finds. If there are pork chops in the market in an otherwise pork-abstaining country, you can buy all of them, and keep them in the freezer. (thus contributing to the inconsistency of product availability?)

Bedroom furniture

In the bedrooms we have the same pseudo-18th century furniture, direct from the furniture factories of North Carolina. We also have mosquito nets and WAY too many dressers. I’m trading in one of the dressers for a closet armoire, since this house mysteriously has nothing to hang dresses in. Our closet rods are all set for shirts. They are also hung VERY high, with shelves underneath. I am not sure if the builder thought that Americans are all so tall they can reach these lofty heights, or whether all Bangladeshi houses have really high closet rods.

The Kitchen

The kitchen apparently had the height problem originally too. You can see that the cupboards are still pretty high up there, especially considering my cook/bearer (i.e. maid) is only about 4’8″. However, there is a second line of covered drill holes that show the cupboards originally hung about 6″ higher, which would make it impossible for me to reach the handles, and I think she could only have done so with a ladder. In that pic you can see our tippy microwave and not yet useful water dispenser, both of which are in the fix-it queue at housing office.

All together, our house is something like 1500 sq ft. We’re several flights up stairs and have a view of the two neighboring houses as well as the local mosque and shopping street. The place is pretty quiet at night, but noisy with construction in the neighborhood during the day. There’s a pizza place and a weird clothing store a short walk away (weird for it’s inflated prices, not it’s stuff), and two avenues packed with small shops and restaurants, including a fish and bird pet shop, a place for snack foods, tailors, decorators, beauty parlors, doctors…..  It’s not largely considered a walking place, mostly because of the lack of sidewalks, but if you’re paying attention, it’s not impossible to walk around.

And that’s where we live.

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14 thoughts on “…FSO Furniture

  1. nice to see! I have been so curious on the housing. Is the bed comfortable? The one I have in the Ballston apt is NOT. I am bringing a mattress memory foam topper anyhow. Seems very comfortable.

    1. Corinna,
      The bed is ok, our bedroom is awkwardly arranged to accommodate a strangely hung mosquito net, and so getting in and out of bed is tricky. The mattress itself is new, and very firm. The “Welcome Kit” pillows are pretty awful, pack your own if you are pillow picky. Ours are in UAB… The memory foam topper will make it really nice, ours is also in UAB.

  2. You have my sofas 😉 ! (Mine were old though so I got covers for them) I also try to post photos because I know that I love to see examples of housing at a new post before arriving. It helps! Of course, selection varies widely. I think the house we have is quite ugly and run-down compared to many I’ve seen, but to make up for it, I think it is infinitely more livable and comfy. There are always trade-offs. Welcome to your new home!

  3. Hi Lauren — What fun to see pictures of your new home. I was looking at Matt’s photos and hoping for some pictures of your apartment, but no luck! Then I switche on to your blog and got just what I was looking for! Thanks so much for sharing. Pam

  4. @Diplomatic Mom: It’s mostly apartments, though I know people in houses and duplexes as well. The duplexes would probably be the best for you if you want a house feel, as they’re still considered an apartment, but have an embassy-provided day-guard and a bit of a yard (paved and decorated with plants, usually). Our building has a great rooftop deck which doubles as a yard, though it’s so new that there isn’t anything up there yet. We’ve not hired a gardener until we get everyone moved in and agree on a salary. The houses are a little darker than the apartments, if only because they are dwarfed by surrounding apartment buildings. I’d say its about 50/50 on house/apartment ratio. I added you to my blogroll!

  5. I’m impressed – it all looks clean and bright and newish. Most people who have little or no experience with un- or under-developed countries imagine mud houses with an open fire for cooking. Is all that furniture yours, or does it cycle through the people posted there?

    1. It just cycles through. They try to refinish the tops of the tables and such if they need it between ‘owners,’ but it belongs to the government. Our stuff won’t be arriving for a while, but we don’t really have any furniture to speak of anyway. Both of us have been living in furnished places for years.

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