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Tour the Hungarian Apartment

We are all settled into our Hungarian apartment!  Want a tour of what will be my home for the next four months (I’m doing research, more on that here)?

We were really lucky because we were able to acquire a lovely apartment in Budapest (on the Pest side).  The woman renting us the apartment, Ildi, is amazingly sweet.  We arrived late last Sunday, exhausted after 24 hours of travel.  Ildi was waiting outside for us and, although she is a woman is her 60s, helped us carry our luggage up two flights of stairs!  Right away she showed us the fridge, which she had stocked with bread, butter, meat, milk, tomatoes and peppers!  She’d also bought us tea, sugar and coffee, knowing we’d likely be hungry and thirsty, but too exhausted to track down a grocery store late at night.  There was even a bar of soap and a pack of toilet paper!  Her kindness made us feel more comfortable in our new surroundings.

The apartment is a one bedroom, but the main living area is huge so we got a little creative with the layout, moving furniture around and “decorating”.  I wish I had thought to take photos right away, but I didn’t think the small changes we made would have such an impact. 


The building is, we think, about 100 years old with great original features like a courtyard, herringbone hardwood floors and massively high ceilings.  From the front door there is a small little entryway and immediately to the left a toilet closet.  A walk through the galley kitchen leads to the main room.  The small bedroom opens off the main room and the bathroom – with tub, sink and washing machine – opens off the bedroom.

In the kitchen, all we did was accessorize a bit.  Where an iron and old radio sat, we created a little vignette.  We tidied, we reorganized, I found a cute trinket dish for soap plus we bought new dish towels. 

Budapest apartment tour

Small European Kitchen

Small Budapest Kitchen

Between the kitchen and the main room is a scary heating system we have yet to figure out, but it sure is gorgeous, with what looks to be hand-fired pottery tiles.

Cserep kályha

The main room had a blue chair, many throw rugs and the rest of the furniture you see.  We moved the kitchen table into the corner, swapped the blue patterned chair (too many colours!) for the more subtle black patterned chair in the bedroom (which opens into my Mom’s bed) and kept the red sofa (my bed) where it was.  All the rugs were stored except one – mainly because we kept tripping on them (there were about six).  The wall units, formerly empty, were accessorized with bits and bobs we found in cupboards and under the sink.  This apartment belonged to Ildi’s mother before she passed, so some of her belongings remained.  We’re no strangers to this – remember our Duluth vacation rental? – and we’re happy to provide a home for things like Hungarian embroidery and vintage dishware.

Herringbone wood floors

Herringbone wood floors in old Hungarian apartment

Mom’s little corner:

Small Budapest apartment

Because we had uneven numbers of various sizes of wine glasses, found in a liquor cabinet, I arranged them like I’ve seen Iittala Festivo candle holders displayed: a bit randomly, playing up the different heights.  We found the blue dishware under the sink.

My little corner:

I accessorized my space too, (of course!) with a small table decked out with Hungarian embroidery, plus this Hungarian pottery piece we found.

The bedroom, which was originally Mom’s but left her kind of squooshed once her bed was opened, became our dressing/storage room and we also use it to dry clothes.  The blue chair lives there now and it suits the pale turquoise walls better.  The room is a handy place, right off the bathroom, to get dressed or fold laundry.  The main room is huge, so my Mom and I don’t mind being roomies.

Of course, we unearthed some more accessories and created another little vignette.

The room in use:

Is anyone else as obsessed with the retro orange light fixture as me?

Vintage orange light fixture

The bathroom is quite large with awesome vintage tile I kind of want to take home.  And we have a washing machine!  It is tiny and does the shimmy but we love it!  It’s embarrassing how many loads of laundry we’ve already done (it’s been hot here – no second day for any dresses). 

Retro yellow tiled bathroom

Yellow spirograph tile

I have many more little details to share, including some photos of the building and neighborhood, but I thought you might be curious to see where I’m blogging from for the next four months!  



  1. wellfedfred
    September 11, 2012 / 10:51 am

    I love those floors! in France they're called point d'Hongrie, after the Hungarian craftsmen that Louis Xi–well, something brought in to give the perfect touch of luxury to one of his royal residences!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      September 11, 2012 / 8:02 pm

      That is so neat! I didn't know that, so thanks for the fun history lesson. I wish I had floors like these at home . . .

  2. sweetandsavoring
    September 11, 2012 / 12:05 pm

    I love it. Shades of orange and blue are my favorite color combo, so I think that bedroom is great! Especially the light fixture.

  3. Jeanette @ This Dusty House
    September 11, 2012 / 1:06 pm

    Ooh, I love that tile in the bathroom! Looks so cozy! Did your mom go with you?

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      September 11, 2012 / 8:03 pm

      She's here for some of the trip – not my whole four months. I'm so happy she's here! We've gone sightseeing and sampled all of the local bakeries together, lol. I'm so appreciative she took the time to be here with me!

  4. Carrie Waller
    September 11, 2012 / 1:26 pm

    The tile in the bathroom is to die for!!! And that storage cabinet in the living room…WOWWWWWWWWWW

  5. a Girl Called Kim
    September 11, 2012 / 2:21 pm

    cuuute! i love those bathroom tiles and the flooring!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      September 11, 2012 / 8:02 pm

      Oh, wait until I post a few close ups. The tile is so adorable! Especially in the toilet closet (not pictured) because the walls are pale aqua!

  6. Amy
    September 11, 2012 / 2:46 pm

    Looks great! Funny how such small changes can make the world of difference 🙂

  7. Carol@TheDesignPages
    September 11, 2012 / 4:36 pm

    What a great place and yes, I'm definitely obsessed with the orange light fixture!!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      September 11, 2012 / 8:01 pm

      I'm even more in love now, after seeing how expensive similar fixtures are in antique shops here. Although our Canadian dollar is strong, some things sure are pricey here (lamps included!)

  8. Sheila @sZinteriors
    September 11, 2012 / 4:38 pm

    Awe, this is just lovely! I so believe in the art of using what you have, and what you and your mom have accomplished here is a perfect illustration of how it works! Looking forward to seeing more of the little details 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      September 11, 2012 / 8:00 pm

      I also believe in trying to make use of what's on hand and that was really tested here, where none of the accessories, furniture or textiles are ours. I am definitely going to feel like I can tackle any decorating problem when I get home!

  9. Sudha
    September 11, 2012 / 4:48 pm

    beautiful place and so thgtful of the landlady to have done so much :)..the apt has a nice layout and beautiful vintage furniture 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      September 11, 2012 / 7:59 pm

      The mid-century furniture was a real treat! I was so happy to see it when we walked it – very much my style, with a healthy heap of Hungarian style mixed in.

  10. cred
    September 11, 2012 / 5:22 pm

    what a lovely place! Yes, I love that orange vintage light and those cabinets- beautiful!

  11. gemma@thesweetestdigs
    September 11, 2012 / 5:31 pm

    What a great looking place! Looks as though you have made it your own already. So nice that you have your Mum there with you.Have a WONDERFUL time. Looking forward to hearing all about it when you're back! 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      September 11, 2012 / 7:58 pm

      It IS so nice to have her here. We've had a lot of fun already! I really must get some work done, though, lol.You won't need to wait four months, I'll be posting little updates here and there, along with townhouse DIY's and other goodies.

  12. Anonymous
    September 11, 2012 / 6:10 pm

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane! My fondest memory is of my Aunt leaning out that bedroom window, watching for our arrival. Least favorite memory was using the communal washroom outside the apt, prior to the 80's when she was able to upgrade. Happy to hear you're loving the place as much as we did!Have an awesome time in Budapest.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      September 11, 2012 / 7:57 pm

      Oh, I can only imagine how sweet your aunt must have been! I am very happy we have our own toilet and bathroom. I can't even imagine where the communal ones would have been . . . Thanks so much for connecting us with Ildi. We're really quite happy to call this apartment home for the next few months.

  13. How2home
    September 11, 2012 / 8:24 pm

    Wow Tanya! Your place in Hungary looks really nice! It does have a vintage vibe which we really adore. Can't wait to see more photos of Hungary and hear more about your projects in Hungary! Good luck doll!

  14. Dana@Mid2Mod
    September 11, 2012 / 8:31 pm

    What a wonderful home away from home. You should be really comfortable there for your four months stay! Glad you and your mom are having fun exploring.

  15. emilie
    September 12, 2012 / 1:35 am

    Wow, what a great space full of character! My favourite is all that gorgeous natural light. Well that and I'm also obsessed with the retro orange light fixture!

  16. Miranda
    September 12, 2012 / 12:08 pm

    Love the soaring ceilings and natural light!(Had to cringe a bit at the thought of bread, butter, and tomatoes in the fridge, though… I prefer all those items at room temp. 🙂 But your landlady sounds awesome.)Have a wonderful time. I visited Budapest many years ago and found it to be a very gracious city.

  17. erica | wicked bride
    September 12, 2012 / 4:59 pm

    WOW – those windows are huge! Love all the light they let in. And the floors are gorgeous, I'd love to do that in our house. The landlady sounds adorable – what a nice welcome for the two of you!

  18. Martina
    September 12, 2012 / 5:31 pm

    Glad to hear you made the trek safe and sound and are beginning to settle in. Looking forward to seeing more of Budapest 🙂

  19. Amelia @ House Pretty
    September 13, 2012 / 12:57 pm

    So many great details! Love the orange light fixture and I want both of those rugs – roll them up and carry them on the plane home for me? 😉

  20. barbara@hodge:podge
    September 14, 2012 / 2:52 am

    Glad you arrived safe and sound. Oh, that apartment reminds me of my grandma's {babi's} apartment in Prague! Enjoy!

  21. Grace @ Sense and Simplicity
    September 19, 2012 / 2:38 am

    Thanks for the tour. I love the retro tiles in the bathroom. Do let us know how that intriguing heater works?

  22. Anonymous
    November 2, 2012 / 10:53 pm

    Yeah, did you ever figure out how to turn on that heater?

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      November 3, 2012 / 7:32 am

      Haha, we did! Well, a professional had to turn it on but we're toasty warm now. I'm going to do a post on it next week because it's just so cool (or hot, I guess).

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