Friday, 15 August 2014

The expat way to furnish your new home

Image source: creativecommons/Christopher L

When furnishing your new home, as an expat, it’s important to create an environment where you can relax and release the stress of the outside world. Including those small things which give you a sense of home can make a big difference – whether that’s a British flag on the wall or German beer glasses in the cabinet. But you may also want to reflect your new expat life and sense of adventure! So here are some things you may want to keep in mind when furnishing your new expat home.

Ambition - The first thing you should do is to decide the ambition of your project. Will you be tearing down walls or just painting a few? It’s important to set the right ambition level from the start so that this project won’t consume all of your time – especially since you’ll have so many new things to discover!

Dining spaces – Dining rooms and eating spaces are the heart of your home, where you can sit down with your family, or invite new friends over. Wherever you are in the world, the need to eat will always be there, so take time to make this a place of comfort. A steady table with several seats gives you the opportunity to host guest dinners with new acquaintances.

Culture – As an expat you travel the world and discover new cultures and ways of living. Let yourself be influenced by the flavours and colours around you and use them in your new home. Put bamboo on a wall or use the sunset over the Sahara as an inspiration for the eye-catching wall in your bedroom. By doing this, the expat experience of being an explorer in a new culture will now extend into your home. 

Novelty – You’ve arrived at a new place so remember not to fall into the same patterns as before, and enjoy new influences. Change it up from your previous home - it might feel risky at first, but the sense of something new is a big part of being an expat. Take a daring leap and it will be worth it in the end.

Furnishing a home in a new country will always be hard. You have to deal with new stores, new currency and sometimes even a new language. However, by incorporating the new, with a nod to the old, your home will soon start to reflect your new expat identity!

Do you have any suggestions on how to furnish a home in a new country? Comment below or tweet us your ideas at @expatexplorer

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