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The O’Donnells’ New Flat

Last weekend the O’Donnells had a housewarming party. We all came to congratulate them and, of course, to have a good time.

The O’Donnells moved into a new flat a few weeks ago. They live on the third floor of a new house in a rapidly developing neighbourhood. The flat has a southern and western exposure which means lots of sunshine. One look at it is enough to convince you that architects combined a maximum of comfort and beauty with a highly efficient use of floor space. I arrived at the O’Donnells at least two hours too early and Sean O’Donnell had time enough to show me around the flat.

Sean began our tour of inspection with the hall, showing me the built-in pantry. Large wardrobes no longer occupied badly needed floor space.

The kitchen was planned in such a way as to make good housekeeping easy. Everything was so spick and span that I lingered to take in the details. All the household conveniences were easy to get at. There was an enamel refrigerator, a gas-stove and a microwave oven. Sean opened a cupboard to show me where his wife keeps her cooking utensils, and a pantry where the washing machine, the vacuum-cleaner and other appliances were placed.

The bathroom also provided a maximum of convenience. It had a bath-tub and a shower. There was also a glass shelf for toiletries and a shaving mirror above it.

The toilet with its snow-white tiled walls was an excellent match to its neighbour, the bathroom.

I was then shown over the rest of the flat.

In the parlour they had a comfortable suite of furniture with a thick rug to match. It was evident that the O’Donnells had a good eye for colour. In the centre of the room there was a big pull-out table that is used when guests come. Near the window there were two armchairs and a sofa facing the TV-set with a remote control.

The next stop was the bedroom. This was not yet fully furnished and the O’Donnells were saving up to buy the missing furniture. A double king-size bed, a chest of drawers and a dressing table would complete the furniture, Sean explained. Sean’s writing desk and an easy armchair were placed here so that he can work when the TV-set was on in the parlour. I thought that the desk in the bedroom was not the best choice, but Sean disagreed.

The best thing about the nursery was that there was plenty of room for the kids to run about. Furniture was limited to a small desk, a bookcase and a bed for the eldest boy, a cot, a small table and a chair for the junior member of the family.

“Well, the architects and the builders put in a lot of thought for your comfort,” I observed when the tour was over.


I. Transcribe and translate:

Southern; exposure; architect; maximum; efficient; occupy; enamel; microwave; oven; utensils; vacuum; appliances; suite; towel; toiletries.

II. Spell the words according to transcription:
















III. Find in the text the English equivalents for and use them in the sentences of your own:

Быть ограниченным чем-либо; кухонные принадлежности; экономное использование пространства; быстро растущий район; хорошо подбирать цвета; занимать полезную площадь; сочетать максимум комфорта и красоты; раздвижной стол; стены, облицованные плиткой; хорошенько продумать все удобства; безупречно чистый; отлично подходить к чему-л.; показать кому-л. квартиру; рассмотреть детали; копить деньги на недостающую мебель; окна выходят на юг и восток.

IV. Fill in prepositions and adverbs.

1. Last year we were saving … to buy the missing furniture for the parlour.

2. The kitchen equipment was limited … an electric cooker and a fridge.

3. The flat has less than all conveniences; unfortunately the architects didn’t put … much thought … your comfort.

4. I can’t work when the TV is … .

5. There was a large shaving mirror … the wash-basin.

6. The guests lingered in the lounge because they wanted to take in the details.

7. We arrived at the station … least 2 hours too early.

8. Come! I’d very much like to show you … the flat.

9. A new oak wood dining-table was an excellent match … the wall-unit.

10. Jenny will never be a good designer; she has absolutely no eye … colour.

V. Restore the missing word.

1. You should move that large wardrobe – it _____ badly needed floor space.

2. We’d like to have a one-room flat with a western _____ .

3. This architect knows how to combine a maximum of comfort with a highly _____ use of floor space.

4. The bath and the wash-basin were large and expensive and all the _____ were of the highest quality.

5. The room was small and Alice decided to buy a _____ table.

6. The Thatchers bought a large flat in a rapidly developing _____ .

7. I’m not going to buy a car, I’m going to save up to buy the _____ furniture.

8. The snow-white _____ walls look very nice.

9. There was a new refrigerator and a microwave _____ in the kitchen.

10. You’ve got carpets in every room, you should buy a _____ to keep them tidy.

VI. Translate into English using the expressions from the text for the underlined parts.

1. Мебель в гостиной была ограничена стенкой, диваном и двумя креслами.

2. Будет лучше, если вы купите раздвижной стол, он будет занимать меньше полезной площади.

3. В квартире молодоженов все было безупречно чистым.

4. В комнате обычно холодно, потому что окна выходят на север.

5. Сэнди (Sandy) не поедет на юг в этом году – он копит деньги на недостающую мебель.

6. Брэд (Brad) – дизайнер интерьеров (interior designer), к тому же он хорошо подбирает цвета, и его проекты всегда сочетают максимум комфорта и красоты.

7. Поставь лампу напротив окна, ее цвет отлично подходит к шторам.

8. Наша новая квартира находится на окраине города, но этот район растет очень быстро.

9. Нелли (Nellie) и Тим решили подарить матери дорогой набор (set) кухонных принадлежностей.

10. Сочетание стен, облицованных черной плиткой, и розовой раковины очень необычно.

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