In April, we moved from our 3rd floor walk up in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood to a house in the center of Antigua, Guatemala (talk about change…). Now, instead of living next to Lake Michigan, we live next to a Volcano! Our neighbors include two popular bars, a Tortilleria, a Panaderia, a couple of (great) restaurants, and some hostels. I feel really lucky to be able to experience our first year in Antigua living in the center of a such a unique town.
We are renting a 3 bed/2 bath house, which is definitely more space than we need but it’s difficult to find a one bedroom here! Houses in Antigua are typically designed for outdoor living. For example, we have two outdoor spaces at our house, and you have to walk outside to get to any of the bedrooms.
The house is split into 3 main areas: guest area, living area, and master bedroom.
The entrance doubles as our garage. The house came into the current owner’s family in 1879 (named Casa Teresa, after the owner’s grandmother). Most of the original house was destroyed in the 1976 earthquake, so a large majority of the house is pretty new. We have a little courtyard past the garage, with a fountain that looks pretty magical with candles at night.
This is the first guest bedroom, with windows facing the street. The round bookcase is my favorite piece of furniture that we shipped from Chicago (from World Market).
The second guest bedroom has twin beds, with 2 big (unpictured) windows that overlook the front courtyard. It also has a huge window near the ceiling that showcases the first cupola in the house
This hallway brings you to the main living area (our laundry room is at the end of this hallway on the left). Sometimes we set up our yoga mats here in the morning and practice or workout (while Maya fights for our attention and brings us all of her toys).
This is our laundry room. We have a “Pila”, which is used for washing clothes by hand. The majority of Guatemalans don’t own modern appliances, so this is how they would “do laundry”. There are also public pilas in parks, where people can go if they don’t have one if their house (think about this the next time you complain about your own laundry situation). We ended up buying a washer/dryer when we got here, which I am very thankful to have.
We eat breakfast/dinner here every day, and it comes in handy to have such a big dining room when we have a lot of guests. The flowers were $4 from the local market!
Here’s a view from the other side
There are window/doors leading to the patio
We have 3 cupolas in the house, and the biggest one is over the indoor living room. I love how they designed the windows to show them off!
Sometimes we climb up on the roof to enjoy a beer and the stars (!) We have to climb up the bars on the kitchen window, but the view is more than worth it! One of the volcanoes in the distance is super active…it’s not uncommon to see lava and smoke.
The kitchen is small but I’m used to smaller! The finishes are really nice, and it looks kind of like a cave, which is fun. Sometimes if you’re really lucky and leave the window above the sink open, a gecko will hop in and wait for you in the sink.
There’s a sitting room off the kitchen that houses our wine collection and is a good place to hangout if it’s too cold to be outside (it happens)! This is also where the big cupula is (the edge lights up at night, and illuminates the design you can see at the top of the photo below.
That room leads out to the back patio, which is the place we hangout the most (pillows from our honeymoon in Lake Atitlan).
We bought a lot of plants when we got here, since we left a lot behind in Chicago and they always make a house feel like home (my favorites are always the succulents).
*Did you know that a fallen succulent petal will grow if you just lay it on dirt? This blew my mind! The pot below just had the pepper plant when we bought it, and now look!
We picked these air plants up on a hike, and you can usually find them covering the forest floor or in just about every tree at a certain elevation.
I have lanterns from Anthropologie that I like to put candles in at night for a little ambiance 🙂
There’s also a grill (which we’ve used once), and a hot tub (which we’ve never used).
The master suite is at the back of the house, which is great because it’s so quiet!
There aren’t really any closets in the house, so I had to improvise with this clothing rack (which is fine because I really don’t have a lot of clothes at all). The closet area leads into our master bathroom, which is a whole lot nicer than we’re used to!
My mom bought me this sign many years ago, and it’s stayed with me through countless moves.
Hope you enjoyed the tour!