So, you’ve been through all the trials and tribulations of making the decision to leave the UK and head for a country in Europe that offers a more laid back style of life and (best of all), has a much warmer climate.
You’ve also been through the all the stress of selling or, indeed, renting your home in the UK and moving all your belongings with you. Now is the time to really settle in and make your new house your own.
I have been through everything you have and, I’ve also been through the next stage which is to personalise my home so it reflects me and my personality. Of course, the first thing you will want to do is get your own little “knick-knacks” out so you feel like everything around you isn’t so strange and, that’s fine. In fact it’s a great idea!
Dealing With the Walls in a Home Abroad
One of the first problems I came across was the difference in the way that internal walls are built in Europe, especially those that are situated in places where summers are incredibly hot. For obvious reasons, they’re far thicker than you would find in houses in the UK (well, modern ones anyway).
It’s not impossible to put up pictures and other items you want to adorn your walls with BUT, you will need something a little more powerful than a standard nail and hammer. The same goes for items like curtain rails. If you intend to put your own up, it’s not a case of just making a hole, putting a rawlplug in and screwing your rails to the wall. You will need to make sure you have something a little more heavy duty.
Carpets and Curtains
You can have carpets in a home in Europe but, I wouldn’t recommend it. It can be hard to let go of that soft pile beneath your feet when you wake-up in the mornings but, believe me, when the sun starts to really show you how powerful it is, you’ll be glad of the tiles. Instead, think about using rugs that can be lifted when the warmer months return.
The same goes for curtains. This is a bit of a strange one but, you will probably find that during summer you will need something a little lighter than the heavy double-lined curtains you’re used to in the UK. However, don’t let these go – you will need them in winter. Just be prepared for changing various curtains around to suit the season.
For the most part, you shouldn’t have a problem with the furniture you take with you. After all, everyone loves a soft sofa to fall into at the end of the day no matter what nationality they are. The only piece of advice I would give here is that you may need to do more to protect furniture. Various insects are more prevalent on the Continent than they are in the UK and, some of them LOVE to eat your fabrics! Add to that, the kids rushing in soaking wet from the swimming pool and you soon get the idea about extra protection.
This is just a brief summary about decorating a home abroad. In the coming weeks expect more because there is a lot more to discuss!
Author: Julie Coburn