“They don’t save on toilets here”: how did an American house surprise a family from Russia
How the internal layout and decoration of our houses differs from the American ones, and what most surprised the Russian family who moved to live in an American house, the author of the blog said "Made in America" on Yandex.Zen.
Next - from the first person.
Our family is renting a townhouse in Virginia. This is not a separate house, but a house standing in a row of others, tightly to each other, 3-storey, with a small backyard and a garage. The size is about 1420 square feet, in translation to our measurements - about 130 square. m
On this square there are 3 bedrooms, a living room / kitchen, 3 toilets, an office, a basement, a laundry room. Rental price $ 2400 per month. The amount seems rather big, but, believe me, this is the price for an average, far from new townhouse. Renting a new one can reach $ 3500 per month. Again, do not compare American salaries with Russian ones. The cost of utilities is $ 500 in winter, $ 300 in summer. In winter it is more expensive, because the house is heated by air conditioning, central heating batteries in US homes are not provided.
The largest bedroom in the house is always the parents room, it is called the masterbedroom. Here is the largest closet in the house (closet) and its own separate bathroom with toilet and bathtub + shower.
In general, it is customary for Americans to place toilet rooms directly in each bedroom. They don’t save on toilets. Family members run a marathon before work / school and do not interfere with each other. It's comfortable. So always in private homes. In our townhouse, children's rooms have one in the bathroom in the hallway, as the townhouse is small.
Sometimes there is a special configuration in the houses when two doors lead to the shared bathroom of the children: both from the boy’s room and from the girl’s room. This is called Jack and Jill Bathroom. The bathroom in this case is between the bedrooms. He went from his room, closed the door to the toilet, the washbasin is available to another child at this time. Also very comfortable. I have not encountered this in Russia.
So, it turned out that the Americans in their homes have absolutely no wardrobes. Their function is performed by built-in wardrobes, which are in every bedroom, including children's rooms. These are whole windows without windows where things are stored. Small storage rooms are also built in throughout the house and in the kitchen. Great idea, saves space, there is where to put things for the whole family. The largest dressing room is in the parent bedroom: if you are lucky, in size it can be like a separate room.
Living room / kitchen - the public zone, as a rule, is not divided into separate rooms, instead, the whole space is open, or conditionally divided by arches, a kitchen island, a bar. At the same time, a place for a large dining table will be provided in the living room. Such a conditional dining room.
In addition, in the public zone, in the living room, we have “half the bathroom”. What is it? This toilet and hand basin (no bath), so that guests do not go to the toilet in the bedrooms. Thus, in a house of 130 sq.m. posted xnumx toilet rooms.
Inside American homes, you will almost never see wallpaper on the walls. The interior walls are painted in plain colors. Although the townhouse we are filming has wallpaper in two children's bedrooms. Why? The answer is simple: our masters are Russians.
Every American house has a basement (basement) - do not imagine it in the form of a dark basement in any case. This is a huge room the size of a living room on the ground floor. It is also called family room. It can have a separate exit to the street, windows, and also a bedroom for guests. We have a third bathroom in full.
Basement is probably the most interesting thing in an American house. What is it that only Americans are not satisfied! For example, I saw gyms - cinemas, bars, billiards, workshops. As a rule, if there are children in the house, this is their zone: they play there, rage, cut video games and watch cartoons at full power with popcorn. If the children in the basement are yelling, on the second floor they are heard less, on the third, in the bedroom area - generally silence and peace. If there is a separate exit to the street, then you can rent this room separately as a residential or office. In the US, so many do.
The balcony is my favorite place in the house. This is not just a balcony, but rather a terrace with access from the living room or kitchen to the backyard. It is of such a size that a barbecue grill and a table for six are quietly placed there. When it's warm, you can have breakfast there, children do homework, burn candles in the evening, burn life and drink wine.
The house has a separate room with a washing machine and clothes dryer. You will not see a washing machine in “decent houses” either in the bathroom or in the kitchen. For comparison: there are apartments in disadvantaged areas where there are no washing facilities at all. Need to go to the public laundry room. As in the movies, everyone is sitting on a chair, each in front of his washing machine, and they guard their good while it is being erased.
In our townhouse there is also a small garden. It’s like the back yard of a house. There you can plant flowers, build a small garden (I planted tomatoes and herbs), a swing for the child, in the summer put an inflatable pool. This fenced area is safe for children and convenient for pets, if any.
I like that you can get straight into the house from the garage without going outside, through the inner door. This is especially appreciated in rainy weather or cold. A garage is often a room on the ground floor, i.e. part of the house, not a separate building.
And finally I will say: living in such a house, you feel that its layout is well thought out, although the townhouse is not at all large in size. All zones are provided for a comfortable stay of the whole family, even for overnight guests there is always enough space.
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