Furnishing And Decor For Your Expat European Home – Get Style And Save Money

Furnishing And Decor For Your Expat European Home – Get Style And Save Money

Moving from the UK to a new home overseas is an exciting prospect but with many practical challenges and often some barriers. Purchasing or building a new home is one of the biggest challenges and as a result the question of furnishing and decor is often left as an after thought. But if you think about furniture, curtains, blinds, rugs, bedding and so on as part of your overall plan you can transform your new property into your new home.

It is true that you can wait till you are in residence before you start searching local stores for the necessary furnishings. This undoubtedly will allow you to furnish in a similar manner to other local homes, but you will be less familiar with local sources and it may take time and some style errors before you manage to complete the interior decor of your home to your satisfaction.

We’d always suggest that you should immerse yourself in the local environment and community, but when it comes to furnishing and décor you can get the style you want and save money if you source items in the UK and then export it you your new home.

Saving Money

You’ll find that shopping in the UK is now often much cheaper than on the Continent. Particularly with the parlous state of the £ versus the Euro and significant VAT differentials you can find designer fabrics and home accessories considerably cheaper in the UK. If you buy in the UK and export to the EU you will pay UK VAT of 17.5% instead of local VAT which could be as much as 25.5%!

It’s often worth making a dedicated trip back to the UK in order to make big savings. Some expats will fill a hired van in the UK with everything needed in their holiday rental property or their own “home from home”. Since the UK is part of the EU (unlike the Channel Islands or Gibraltar) you won’t have problems with import duty to another EU country. Goods can also be shipped safely with international couriers like FedEx, UPS & DHL.

If your home is outside the UK you’ll benefit from VAT free exports – though you need to take care of local import taxes. But the retail price differentials between the UK and, for example, Dubai, the Algarve, the Côte d’Azur, easily outweigh the cost of transportation & importation.

Buying British

Many brands that are available in the UK are just not easily available overseas. So if you are seeking familiarity or exclusivity and an affordable solution then it makes sense to source in the UK. For example many designer curtain fabrics are 50% cheaper in the UK than in Europe.

Choice

Depending on the location of your new home, you find that you may have very limited choice when it comes to furnishings for your new home. In major cosmopolitan cities you should be spoiled for choice but otherwise you’ll find that Britain offers some of the widest choice at all levels of budget. So if your new overseas home is in rural Brittany, for example, if you want the best possible choice you could go to Paris or you could source from Britain; which would be easier?

English Spoken Here

Have you tried explaining the subtleties of your favourite fabric or paint colour in the local language? Unlike ordering a meal in a restaurant, it’s not a subject covered in many phrase books. Unless you are a linguist, you can avoid misunderstandings by using a British interior designer and supplier.

Peace Of Mind

You can deal with many suppliers in the UK who have experience of supplying goods and services to expats. Look for companies who have experience of making up goods to your specification (e.g. curtains) at a distance. Make sure they can project manage a whole house if you are refurbishing your home or furnishing your home for the first time. And of course check that they can arrange safe delivery. The right company will help you transform your overseas property into a stylish and desirable home whilst saving you time and money.

Bronia Suszczenia is co-founder and Creative Director of Fabric Gallery and Interiors in York, England, which regularly helps British expats with their homes overseas. Find out how Bronia can help you with expat home furnishings.

Article Source:
http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Bronia_Suszczenia/96468

Decorate Your Home With European Tapestries

Decorate Your Home With European Tapestries

If you are fed up with seeing bland, pale walls around your home try decorating with beautiful wall art such as European tapestries. The extensive range of tapestries and other cloth designs bring variety and individuality to your home; whereas many people have paintings and photographs to fill their walls, nobody will have the elegance and beauty that comes with a quality wall hanging such as a tapestry.

They don’t have to be expensive

You are probably thinking that European tapestries and wall hangings are not for you because you don’t have thousands of pounds to spend. However you will find yourself pleasantly surprised with the very reasonable prices of tapestries, especially if you are purchasing them online. Whereas a good quality painting can cost you a few hundred pounds, tapestries can be purchased off of the internet for under £100.

There is always going to be a difference in price depending on the quality of the wall hanging that you purchase. If you are buying one of the hand-woven authentic pieces from a well developed country, you will expect to pay more – if you are purchasing a mass produced design from a factory, then the rate will be cheaper. Belgian tapestries in particular are renowned for their fineness and quality.

Will they fit my style?

If you are concerned that tapestries will look old and ancient, think again – there are so many modern varieties, producing using modern techniques from all over the world, which will fit perfectly in any surroundings. Certainly there are old-looking copies of Renaissance paintings, but contrastingly there are modern city scenes and modern art depicted in cloth.

They will be hard to hang correctly, surely?

No! You will find that many modern tapestries cater for those of us that are unable to hang things straight without falling off step ladders. The backing linings and tunnels allow you to easily hang the tapestries on any flat and clean surface; you can also easily move the tapestry from wall to wall if you wish.

How dirty will they get?

The level of dirt and dust that accumulates really depends on where you hand the tapestry and also the amount of people in the room. If you find that your children are leaving sticky handprints all over your walls, make sure that the wall hanging is high enough that they will not be able to damage it. A quick vacuum will remove any dust and most dirt, but dry cleaning may be necessary for hard dirt.

I dislike mass-produced artefacts

Many of the European tapestries sold are hand woven in countries such as France and Spain, with the finest possibly being Belgian tapestries. If you are concerned about where the tapestry has come from, check with the retailer to ensure that it was hand woven and not created in a mass scale in an Asian factory.

For a look at the extensive range of European tapestries available, please visit tapestrycatalogue.com/european-tapestries

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