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 dÃ©cor 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.
You’ll find that shopping in the UK is now often much cheaper than on the Continent. Particularly with the parlous state of the Â£ 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 CÃ´te d’Azur, easily outweigh the cost of transportation & importation.
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.
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.
European Style Kitchen Remodeling
If you are planning on a home improvement project, kitchen remodeling is a great option that will not only boost resale value but also enhance the quality of living for your family. When it comes to trends, a classic design choice for many homeowners is European Style. This article discusses important points you need to know to implement European style kitchen remodeling and enjoy the perks of project success.
European style kitchen remodeling still comes in a wide range of variations from Greek, English Beaux, Classic Revival, Romantic French, Danish Modern, Italian, Scandinavian, and Tuscan Provencal. Your design choice should not only satisfy your personal taste and preference but also complement with the overall look of the house. To achieve the Euro look and feel and important character to focus on is the welcoming touch and architecture that showcase stylistic integrity.
When renovating the heart of homes, the easiest way to infuse European style is through choosing cabinets that matches the design. Being one of the most visually dominant features of kitchens, your cabinetry collection can create the ambiance you want out of the room. Below are some of the Euro-inspired design favorites and key features to achieve the look:
Tuscan Kitchens are rustic and often depict the colors of beaches and lush countryside vistas. Common colors include deep rusty reds, oranges, terra cotta, yellow umber, various shades of pink and peach and of course, green. Spruce up the walls with Tuscan art which may be authentic or tasteful photographic prints, colorful tiles for backsplash, and/or wall mural. Furniture and cabinets are often finished unpainted with ideal wood glaze ranging from deep browns to rich honey hues. But if you choose to have your cabinets painted, beautiful color choices include: vanilla, white, cream, dark green or dark blue.
Another popular European style kitchen remodeling is the modern Euro design that is heavily inspired with Italian fashion. Cabinets commonly sport horizontal graining and frameless construction. Finish range from rich honey to cherry satin with glass door options and metal hardware. The character to achieve in this set up is refined versatility which can effectively be implemented by choosing Shaker style cabinets. Plain colors like black, grey and other neutrals are dominant with white as the most popular. Another trend in Modern Euro is sustainability not only in renovation materials but also in lighting and plumbing fixtures.
To introduce a French Country feel to your European style kitchen remodeling, a touch of comfort and practicality is essential. This character in the design makes this a popular option for many homeowners. Colors play an important role in achieving the French Country feeling, with schemes commonly in naturals. Cabinets with natural, distressed or weathered, dark stain, and white finishes are perfect for the set-up. And ornate moldings and glass doors complete the look. Other materials to consider that will add texture into the design include bricks, natural stone, terra cotta tiles, and thick wooden furniture.
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The Georgian House Plans Style
The Georgian style home is best described as being orderly and symmetrical, with a rectangular shape and formally symmetrical exteriors and interiors. Based upon the classical symmetry of the Renaissance, Georgian house plans became quite the rage in the New England and Southern colonies during the 18th century. The style has roots in both the classical architectural styles of ancient Greece and Rome and also the Italian renaissance style. English settlers in America were inspired by the elaborate Georgian style homes which were being built in the mother country, and tried to reproduce the lifestyle of the wealthy nobility back home. It became the dominant architectural style throughout the American colonies in the 18th century. While colonial homes in the Georgian style can be found in practically every old community on the U.S. East Coast, still Colonial Williamsburg is the most notable example (particularly the College of William and Mary’s President’s house, a stately brick mansion with perfect balance, symmetry and formality, which was finished in 1733 and has been home to all of the presidents of that university for three centuries).
In the southern colonies Georgian homes were constructed of brick; but as you move northward toward New England (where brick was not as common) wood frame construction dominates. These European home plans look quite formal: they are square and symmetrical in shape, with both exteriors and interiors arranged according to a strict proportion and symmetry. From the centrally-located front entrance, a hallway and staircase form an axis around which interior rooms are positioned. Often these homes have two chimneys above a medium pitch, side-gabled roof with pedimented dormers and dentil (tooth-like blocks) decorating the roof line along the eaves and a centered front door with pilasters – the flat, shallow columns found in Greek architecture – on each side. The central door is flanked by evenly-spaced double-hung windows; and they are invariably of two stories (one story homes in this style are referred to as Cape Cod style). There are traditionally five rectangular, evenly spaced windows across the facade of these homes. The windows are multi-paned, with nine or twelve panes in each sash and they have louvered shutters (particularly in the South) which welcome the breeze but provide shade from the sun. In the North paneled shutters are more common, to close tightly to protect the home from the harsh winds, snow, and sleet.
In considering building with Georgian country style house plans, it should be remembered that both brick and wood construction require maintenance. Wood clapboard which is not encased in vinyl siding always requires periodic painting or staining. Exteriors of masonry need much less maintenance, only requiring occasional tuck pointing. The multi-paned windows characteristic of this style are not particularly energy efficient. They must fit tightly and need to be reglazed now and then to keep the putty soft so that it seals well. The wood shake and slate roofs used in original Georgian style buildings were actually sounder than the asphalt shingles available today but all roofs require inspection and maintenance – even shake and slate.
Of all the European home plans brought by settlers to America, Georgian house plans are most typically “colonial American”. These formal, symmetrical country style house plans have always bespoken wealth for the leisure class.
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