Living Standards or Standard Living?
We moved into our apartment in the San-Francisco Bay Area a few days ago. Before renting the one we live in now, we saw a couple of others. Actually we could not see them all because housing in the Bay Area is pretty standard and you always know what expect. In the Bay Area you will find apartments communities (apartments homes) consisting of a few units. One room apartment is called a studio (in French it is also "studio"). Most apartments consist of 1-2 bedrooms with 1-2 bathrooms, living room ( with a dining area), a patio or balcony. The living area will be carpeting and the kitchen and bathrooms will have vynil flooring. In our apartment there is a washer and drying inside. But in some buildings the laundry facilities are shared. Most apartment complexes will have a pool, a fitness center, a clubhouse, a children playground ( it is the case in our apartments complexe). Typically, an apartment is rented unfurnished and will have window coverings ( usually blind).
There are two things I really love in this standard housing system:
1) you can have as many bathrooms as bedrooms - so, no more lines for going to the bathroom!;
2) you have in-unit furniture for clothing, sometimes for food, sports and other equipment ( on the balcony, for instance) - we arrived in the Bay Area without any furniture and will leave it ( and we will leave it one day for sure) with no furniture. So for us that is a good thing to have a dressing room and a couple of integrated cupboards.
There are two things I do not appreciate and do not really understand in a standard Bay Area apartment:
1) grey carpeting everywhere - with American wearing shoes indoor it gets quickly disgusting! Besides it is always the same - grey, grey or... grey. 2) NOT handheld shower head - the first days in our new apartment we had no shower curtain. So I took a shower under a bath tap not to put water everywhere. I do not know if you can imagine how you can clean yourself under that small bath tap.
It will be a weird comparison but I could compare this living standard with our Russian one: стенка, ковер, телевизор. Russians will understand. Of cause the Bay Area living standard is much more comfortable one but the idea is the same: be like others, live like everybody. So if you do not want to live in a standard place, rent a house ( if you have money)! Even thought you can find the same awful grey carpeting.