An apartment tour and our first 2017 hike

We’ve lived in our apartment on Avenue Juste-Olivier in Lausanne for over 1.5 years and I have yet to do a post on the place. It’s about time! We are in the process of trying to find a tenant to replace us on our lease, and we needed to take pictures of the apartment to advertise the apartment. This created the perfect opportunity to share some photos of our Swiss home. We have tried to keep the place simple and did not go overboard with furnishings or decorations since we will be getting rid of nearly everything when we move back to the U.S. So – it may look a little empty in spots but it’s homey enough for us. Enjoy the tour!


Welcome! We live on the second floor (okay, Euro second floor. Technically the third level of the building off the ground) of a 6 floor building. The building has a tiny little elevator (on the right) if you’re feeling lazy.  We are provided a storage unit (French: caveau) in the basement, which is great to store luggage, boxes, skis out of season and wine 🙂

This is the entryway. There is one other apartment on our floor and that’s their door on the left. Come on in!

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As you enter, you arrive in our “L” shaped apartment. The apartment continues to the right from here. The first room on the left is our bedroom. The second room over is the living room. The rest of the house is headed off to the right.

First stop of the tour is our bedroom. The room is a great size for the two of us, with a big window that lets in tons of light …. and the sounds of the busy street below when opened. All windows in our house come with automated blinds that close at the click of a button. They’re fantastic for helping with the noise and keeping out the light if you’d like to sleep in.  We have a closet (mine), a wardrobe (Andrew’s) and a dresser. Everything pictured we got at IKEA, Conforama or Micasa. The latter two are approximately at the same level of quality and price as IKEA. Except for the rugs, those came from Interio, which is a bit more expensive but we got the rugs at a great discount.

After the bedroom you walk into the living room immediately next door. I love the high ceilings in our apartment, the crown moulding and the french doors opening onto our balcony with the wrought iron. It feels so classic European even though our apartment has been renovated and has modern features inside.

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A fun fact: We hung a print above the couch of a Monet painting created during some time he spent in Antibes, France. It’s a gorgeous painting, and also special to us since we went to Antibes and saw this exact view during our trip in August 2015 (see post).

From the living room, we have a balcony with just enough room for a table, some plants …. and a view of the French Alps across Lac Léman! We just recently planted some flowers and I have managed to keep a rosemary plant alive for a year out here. It’s a great spot to have dinner on a warm night or to step out to check out the weather.

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From the living room you go back into the hallway and enter the corner of the “L” with the dining area and the bathroom.

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This space between the rooms is rather useless. When we first moved in we thought we’d put a short dresser in on the left and put photos on top. Obviously that never happened. Anyways, this is the first of the two bathrooms and contains our main bathroom sink and the shower.

If you look below, you can see that the shower nozzle is at a very strange location. Perfect for me since I am 5’2″ but it is very low for taller folks and at such a weird angle on the side instead of facing the bathtub from one end. This is not an unusual shower setup in Switzerland. Not certain why we are so different between our countries in this aspect. We have gotten used to it but I will never miss this shower.

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At the center of the apartment we have this cute little dining nook. Just enough to fit a small table. The light fixtures came with the apartment, which is very lucky considering most apartments in Switzerland come with no fixtures and you have to install them yourself. On the right is a vintage print of Lausanne that Andrew and I bought on a trip to Zurich (see post).

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As you continue to the back of the apartment, you arrive at our “powder” room on the left which houses the toilet.

On the back left of the apartment, we have our guest room/office room/map room. Unfortunately our wifi is not very good in the back of the apartment, so we don’t use the desk much except for storage of files. The room has been fantastic to host guests and to serve as a place to dry our laundry since proper clothes dryers are not a thing in Switzerland. Lastly, we have a couple maps that we love. The big Europe map tracks where we have been using a color coded push pin system. Red = only Jessica has visited. Blue = Only Andrew has visited and White = both of us have been. The map has been getting more and more pins since we moved to Switzerland! On the right we have our map of the vineyards in Bourgogne. Andrew and I share a love of maps and even had our first date at a vintage map store in SF 🙂

Last but not least: the kitchen. As you have noticed, the apartment is rather modern for the old building we’re located in. The owner of the building lived here before us and had renovated 2 years before we moved in. The Electrolux appliances in the kitchen are quite nice and it’s well equipped. There is a dishwasher (where the towel is hanging), an oven, an electric stove, and {it is not pictured} we have a full refrigerator and a freezer. Freezers are NOT common so this was very lucky. There is not as much counter space as I prefer, but the bar we bought on the left helps with that. The sink is very small and I get water evvvverrrrywhere when I wash big dishes. There’s tons of storage space, a not-pictured closet for cleaning supplies and also a balcony off the back. We don’t hang out on the balcony since it’s small, but it’s nice to be able to open the doors to let in the fresh air on a warm day – or to let out smoke when I burn something on the stove (unfortunately not so uncommon).

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That’s the end of the tour! I hope you enjoyed our home 🙂 It has been such a great spot for us during our time in Switzerland. Overall, with an 8 minute walk to the train station, 5 minutes to the KPMG Lausanne office, and just a kilometer run from the lake front it is convenient and has nearly everything we need. It’s been nice to have all the space of a two bedroom and an updated apartment. Seeing as we’re moving back to one of the most expensive cities in U.S., not very likely we’ll get to have this in the near future so we might as well enjoy it while we can!


I figured I’d also toss in a some photos from this past weekend. We stayed in Lausanne and did errands, running and relaxing. On Saturday evening I cooked up some Braised Beef Ragù over pasta as a test run for a dinner party next month. It was so darn good!

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Sunday morning we did a 4 mile hike with our neighbor in the Vaud mountains. It was a bit chilly and there were low hanging clouds, but it was nice to get outside and on the trail for the first time in 2017!

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The crocuses are coming up!
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We hiked up to this saddle in the pre-Alps of Vaud. That’s Sheida and I taking in the view on the right

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