House Tour | Before & After: Kabul


Kabul-Apartment-After-1.jpgKabul-Apartment-After-1.jpg

foreign service apartment, foreign service housing, embassy housing, kabul, afghanistanOur living room.Better late than never, right? So I had intended to post a “before and after” tour of our Kabul home — like I did for our apartment in San Salvador — much earlier. Like, before we reached the halfway point of our tour.foreign service apartment, foreign service housing, embassy housing, kabul, afghanistanBut time got away from me and, honestly, for a few months our apartment didn’t look much different than when we first arrived. Sure, the delivery of our UAB and HHE allowed us to personalize things a bit more, but we didn’t pack many pictures or decorations (other than magnets, of course!).foreign service apartment, foreign service housing, embassy housing, kabul, afghanistanWe packed a few photos and seasonal kitchen towels, but our apartment remained pretty plain-looking for a while. And even though we bought two beautiful Afghan carpets about a month after arriving, they remained rolled up in a corner for several weeks afterwards. (We finally put one on our living room floor but the other one is still tucked away — not much room here.)foreign service apartment, foreign service housing, embassy housing, kabul, afghanistanWe’ve purchased a few other decorative items here in Afghanistan: two cushioned ottomans with drawers that we keep in our “foyer” area to put on shoes and place our bags, an embroidered tapestry that we finally (a month ago) hung up on our bedroom wall, and a beautiful hand-painted bowl we use as a fruit bowl.foreign service apartment, foreign service housing, embassy housing, kabul, afghanistanWe’ve also picked up some nice things on our travels. My favorite is the Egyptian quilt/tapestry hanging up on our living room wall, which I bought from a holiday bazaar during my trip to Egypt.foreign service apartment, foreign service housing, embassy housing, kabul, afghanistanEgyptian quilt.We aren’t allowed to nail/tack things into the walls here so I finally ordered adhesive hangers online, and so far they have worked pretty well. They supposedly can hold up to several pounds, but I’ve only tried them with lightweight fabric. Having wall decorations really makes a place feel more homey.foreign service apartment, foreign service housing, embassy housing, kabul, afghanistanI really love decorative trays, so when I saw this one featuring the hamsa protective palm symbol at a few boutiques in Cairo, I had to buy it. (I came close to the weight limit for my luggage allowance on my return flight.)foreign service apartment, foreign service housing, embassy housing, kabul, afghanistanSeasonal themes.One other thing Kail and I have been doing here in Kabul (thanks in large part to seasonal care packages from my in-laws) is decorating one of our living room end tables with different themes. We had an autumn theme for a while, a mini Christmas tree and now, some heart-shaped doilies and glittery hearts for Valentine’s Day. Between holidays, though, we’re displaying some pretty seashells and coral we collected from the Maldives.foreign service apartment, foreign service housing, embassy housing, kabul, afghanistanDining room/puzzling area/home office.We still have a lot of bare walls and plain spaces in our small apartment that we call home in Kabul, but things are much improved from the beginning. I’ve lately become obsessed with puzzles — 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzles to be exact — and I’m thinking for our next one I might buy some puzzle glue and hang it up on the wall.It will be nice to have all our stuff again when we move to Jordan and we can make our apartment (or house) a four-year home.What’s your decorating style? Classic? Eclectic? Something else?

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

7 thoughts on “House Tour | Before & After: Kabul

  1. Wow! I really love that ottoman! How difficult would it be for you to purchase/send one for me (if pay for it obvs)? It’s SO pretty!

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