Our Apartment…Nuestro Piso

Written by Elle

The piso search began in late august as I perused the Spanish search sites I had found on various blogs and Facebook groups. Though I wouldn’t call the online selection abundant, I did find several apartments that looked promising! Our main criteria were: Budget: under $500/month, Location: within walking distance to my schools and the old town (Casco Antiguo), bars and cafes, and Style: relatively renovated, simple furnishings, and nothing too overly-decorated (you wouldn’t believe how many apartments were furnished in a style I can only describe as “gaudy grandma”). I began emailing any and all contacts I found with apartments that came close to fitting our criteria. I received a few responses back stating something along the line of “contact me when you arrive and I will let you know if it’s still available”, but most went unanswered. “Oh well,” I thought, “I’m sure it will be easy to just find one when we arrive!”

Well, when you arrive the day before the biggest festival of the year (and when half of the city’s residents are away on holiday), the search gets a bit trickier!

The streets of Logroño all day and night during the San Mateo festival

Nevertheless, I continued by email rampage and added “whatsapping” landlords and agents to my repertoire of “how to bug the crap out of people who are trying to enjoy the festival”. I checked every listing site daily, set up email alerts, and averaged sending about 10-20 emails and messages a day. I really was giving it my best shot!



My persistence ended up working out! B and I toured a piso on Sunday, loved it, had to have it, and were told that we could talk about a lease the following Monday when the 77-year-old landlord’s son was back from vacay. Well damn. We really needed this place soon! We didn’t want to keep packing up and moving all of our crap, and we definitely didn’t want to pay for several more days of an Airbnb (we had to be out of ours by Wednesday).

Soooo, I decided to get annoying. On Monday I sent several messages (using google translate, so wo knows what they actually came out looking like on her end!) to the landlord telling her our circumstance of having to be out of our current place by Wednesday, offering to pay extra to move in early, asking if there was any way to do it over the phone or email, etc. etc. When I translated her messages back into English, they made very little sense (“I ran out of finger” was a favorite translation), and I had no idea what to do and was feeling a bit defeated. Thankfully, I think my poor Spanish messaging must have frustrated her enough that she sent me her son’s phone number and I began texting him. After a short whatsapp conversation, he informed me that he would write up the contract and email it to us to look over. If we thought it looked agreeable, we could meet up with his mother to sign on Tuesday! Yesssssssss!

Well, the contract looked great (it was only three pages long…gotta love Spain!), and we met up and got our keys Tuesday evening! Success!

Now, there was just the small issue of the place being completely unfurnished…

Blank canvas!

After one night sleeping on a pile of our clothes on the floor and using two bath towels as blankets, it was time to rent a van (from someone we never thought we’d meet…another blog post on this cosmic craziness coming soon), and drove 90 minutes north to Bilbao where the holy grail lay: IKEA.

Yes, all four carts belong to us

1000€, one crammed van, and several trips up four flights of stairs, and many hours of allen-wrenching later, our apartment was officially furnished!

I’m still working on finding a few more items to transform if from just a space to our space, but we truly love our little slice of Logroño and it already feels like home 🙂


Our living room
Dining area/really just the best spot to play cards
Minimalist bedroom


Second bedroom=shoe storage and laundry drying area
The view from one of our three balconies
Our compact kitchen!


The old tile is still taking some getting used to!



**More pics to come as I give it a bit more of a designer’s touch.

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