Leanbean in Germany

Military wife trying to figure out this military life

Back in Gerrrmany June 30, 2009

Filed under: Germany — leanbean @ 8:06 pm

Jet-lagged and shocked at how big Lucy is.


Room and Board Outlet June 24, 2009

Filed under: Decorating — leanbean @ 8:13 am

Before the big move, impulse buys were made.  Expensive impulse buys from Room and Board Outlet.  I chalk it up to nerves and the fear of living with Joe’s maroon and forest green plaid couch.  Joe was at survival training and could not be reached and without someone telling me “No we can’t buy furniture!  What do we need with that stuff?!?” I went ahead and made the biggest single purchase of my life.  Today I can say I am incredibly happy with the impulse buy and do not regret my rash decision.  

If you have ever been into a Room and Board store but find the prices too steep, I would definitely recommend making a trip to Minneapolis if possible.  At the outlet you can find, couches, kitchen tables, chairs, ottomans, beds, dressers, lighting, etc.  Most of the things in the outlet can still be found at their main stores.  I was curious why the pieces were at the outlet and I was informed they were either floor models or things people returned they could no longer sell at full price.   The only catch is, purchases made at the outlet are final sale. 

This past Saturday I visited the Room and Board Outlet while my bestie Sarah attended a birthing class.  I stood in line fifteen minutes before open, along with thirty to forty other people.  From the looks of it people go in pairs, so one person can hover over a piece they want while the other runs around the store looking for other great deals.  Having a strategy is good idea.  I would suggest going to the regular store and finding pieces you like and praying they are at the outlet for 1/3 or even 1/2 of the price.  The way it works is, you find a piece you like and hover, staring at an employee to give them the impression they need to tag the item as purchased.  The tags hold the furniture for an hour.  If the piece is still on the floor once the one hour is up (once something is purchased, it is immediately taken off the floor), it becomes fair game again.  The place can become a mad house and certain things (such as beds) go very fast.  I would suggest getting there early, before opening to ensure you have the best selection possible.  

The rows and rows of couches:


The Reese Sectional:


The thousand dollar price drop for the Reese:


Cheat Sheet:

When walking in the front door:

-Immediate left: Kitchen Tables and Chairs

-Immediate right: Bedroom furniture – this is often the smallest section

– Middle left: Rows and rows of couches

– Back middle: More couches

– Back left: Cabinetry (sideboards, bookshelves, media centers) and Rugs

-Back right: Love seats, chairs, ottomans

– Lighting and mirrors have been in different spots every trip I’ve made but they do have a small selection somewhere in the store.


The goose June 23, 2009

Filed under: Family — leanbean @ 5:02 am

The biggest change besides moving to Germany for us, has been the addition to our family.  Her name is Lucy but she is also referred to as “baby goose”.  We picked her up from a breeder in Texas about a month and a half before we were due to leave for Germany.  People thought we were crazy for getting a dog before such a big move but it was honestly the best thing we did.  

Here is our beloved great dane, Lucy at two and a half months old:


And Lucy now (The rug is ugly but it was super cheap):



81 pounds and 28 inches to the shoulder and still growing…


White box June 22, 2009

Filed under: Decorating,Germany — leanbean @ 9:16 am

Once I sat down in our new house, on the couch I hadn’t seen in over 6 months, I realized something – the ENTIRE house is white.  White walls, white tile in the bathroom, white kitchen, WHITE WHITE WHITE.  Some people love this look – Stylefiles, ThisYoungHouse – to name a few but when sitting in a house full of white my eyes start to hurt.  So Joe and I did something every interior design book tells you not to do.  We painted the walls without knowing what furniture/color scheme we would have.  Joe loves the color green, so we narrowed the paint down to two colors.


I do not know the names of the paint colors but they were purchased at Point of Color in Kaiserslautern.  The funny thing about painting in Germany is the walls are made of concrete and there are a lot of tiny craters that are hard to fill with paint.  After realizing how much harder it is to paint the concrete, we went with the lighter color since we will be returning the walls to white per our lease agreement.  

Here is the before:



And the after:



I had a little mishap:



Once the green was up, I will admit I didn’t love it.  We have a lot of light coming into the house and it made the paint appear much lighter than I was anticipating.  We had painted the testers near a dark area of a room, which didn’t give us the right impression.  After time, I have grown to like it and am happy to not be constantly staring at white.  The biggest challenge of this project was finding a place to buy paint.  We had not been in the country long and asked a furniture store where we could buy paint and they sent us to Point of Color.  Our friends bought paint from a place sort of like a Home Depot and their walls look tye-dyed after several coats.  I would highly recommend Point of Color for paint in the Kaiserslautern area, even if it is a little pricey.

P.S. The pole on the left in the last picture has since been painted green.


Dining Room June 18, 2009

Filed under: Decorating,Germany — leanbean @ 8:53 am

After the red chair fiasco, there was another piece of furniture that didn’t quite work – the dining room table.  The Bradshaw table from Room and Board is modeled after Carrie’s coffee table from Sex and the City.  I had seen it in the store and loved it, so when I saw it at the Outlet, I immediately snatched it up despite the light colored wood.  I prefer walnut and dark woods but I love the table so much that I didn’t care.  The table has a 45 inch diameter and comfortably seats 4 maybe 5 people.  Our dining room could comfortably fit a 20 person table.  Again, whoops!  The table is not nearly the right scale for the room.  




Due to a little interesting quirk of German housing (no closets!), we will not be replacing my beloved Bradshaw.  I figure, if I love something but it doesn’t work, who cares?  I’m the one living with it.


The red chair situation June 17, 2009

Filed under: Decorating,Germany — leanbean @ 8:35 am

One weekend almost a year ago, a trip to Room and Board Outlet ensued.  Joe was off at survival training and I had found many pieces of furniture I “just have to have”.  So without any approval from future hubby I spent way too much money on furniture I wasn’t even sure would fit into wherever we were going to live in Germany.  The other catch?  I wasn’t going to see the furniture for another 8 months since it would be going into storage by military.  Once Joe heard of my shopping spree, he was none too pleased but the stuff was non-refundable and he was going to have to deal with it.  

The day I arrived in Germany our new furniture had been delivered to the house and set up by my husband that morning.  The thrill of walking into a new house with new furniture is a great feeling, that is, until you realize it’s not enough furniture and some of the pieces don’t really go as you hoped.  

Take the couch and chair I bought:



Red and greige together?  Yikes!  Once I saw the red chair I thought “Whoops!  Bad idea!”  Not to mention that a couch and chair was not nearly enough furniture in the living room.  The thought of re-upholstering the chair crossed my mind but to do that would cost about as much as the chair did itself.  We thought about putting it in our bedroom, but again it didn’t go.  My biggest advice – don’t buy furniture without thinking it through.


Inside the House June 16, 2009

Filed under: Decorating,Germany — leanbean @ 8:58 am

When I first arrived to our house I was shocked by the size of it.  The house is an 1800 square feet three bedroom, 1 1/2 bath with a large fenced in backyard we share with our landlords.  The main floor has a very large open living/dining/kitchen area with more than enough room for Lucy the Great Dane to have room to sprawl out.  When I walked in the door I believe my first words were “Holy Shit!”  I quickly realized we didn’t have near enough furniture.  Others have not had this problem, as they have moved into smaller house or townhouses with smaller rooms, so please do not think this is the norm.  One couple I know barely fit all of their furniture into their house.  

Here is a quick tour of the first floor around the time we moved in.

Kitchen looking a hot mess:


One side of the living/dining room with Military Temporary Furniture:


The other side of the living room:


The couch and chair combo leave much to be desired in the living room.  We are using a coffee table as a tv stand and have no lamps, rugs, or tables.  Joe and I immediately began throwing out ideas about how we would like our house to look, starting with the first floor.  In the next couple of weeks, I will be sharing our plans to make our house a home.