Move Country and Keep Your Interior Style

Paddo to Palmy condo blog 1.jpg

Can you move to a foreign country and bring your interior style with you? What happens when you go from, let’s say, a family sized traditional home in Sydney to a sleek modern condo in Singapore? How do you make that work? Do you leave all your beautiful things in a storage unit in your home country and buy new when you arrive? The answer (should be) a resounding no! And yet I know so many expats who feel that because they’ve moved from one type of home in one country to another in their new place of residence they need a whole new look. Today’s home tour shows you why you can always make it work and why bringing your beautiful belongings with you is exactly what you should do.


If you are a long time follower of this blog, then this home will seem familiar. It is the home of Heidi and I originally shot her home for the blog a number of years ago. At the time Heidi was living in Sydney in a lovely home with high ceilings and an abundance of character - the quintessential family home. Since then she moved to Singapore (for the second time - and has since moved back to Sydney again). Heidi knows a thing or two about moving country, renovating and moving home. When she arrived in Singapore she leased a modern sleek condo - a complete departure from the home she had just come from. It is a familiar story for expats.

The difference is, Heidi brought all of her lovely furniture and homewares with her and made it work in her new space. Because it is her style - and if you want your new home to feel like home, then having your lovely things around you is a good start. No matter where you live, it’s so important to decorate to your style - not the style of your current residence or country you happen to be living in. There’s no need to embrace tropical leaf motifs and dark Asian style furniture in your home just because you move from Suffolk to Singapore - if that’s not your style, it’s not your style. Stick with what you love and what resonates with you.

Heidi’s interior style is eclectic, relaxed and relies on a bold use of colour and pattern. And it combines a mixture of styles - from the traditional vintage Thonet chairs paired with the mid century Tulip table - through to the entrance area which is moody and dark and has an ethnic feel with a traditional moroccan rug paired with an Asian style screen sitting atop a retro tiled bench seat.

In Heidi’s previous Sydney home, her wonderful selection of artwork was spread across a separate living room, TV room, eat in kitchen and bedrooms. In an open plan condo, Heidi used the opportunity of one large white wall to create a salon hang of all the art in one space. It is a great example of rethinking where things go in your home. Just because something lived in the bedroom previously, it doesn’t mean it needs to stay there in a new home. Think outside the box.

  1. Let go of the idea that the style of your interiors should match the architecture of the building. Sometimes a juxtaposition between architecture and interiors is the loveliest of combinations.

  2. Reconsider the scale and proportion of your furniture - a tiny sofa that was cosy and cute in a narrow London terrace will look lost on its own in an open plan condo. Keep the sofa, but add to it with some extra armchairs and anchor it with a good sized rug to help it fill your new space. Or consider using it in a different area such an entrance where the space may be smaller and suit the scale of your furniture piece.

  3. Consider changing smaller ways of styling as opposed to the fundamental interior style. In a country with cooler climes you might have styled your living and bedroom areas with layers for cosy warmth - there is no doubt that these items won’t be needed in hot tropical Singapore, but you could perhaps keep these items displayed in a different way - folded in a stack on top of a stool to add texture to a corner of a room or entrance rather than draped over the sofa. Think about your favourite items and how you might incorporate them in a different way.

  4. Stick with your interior style. Don’t fall into the trap of buying a whole heap of new furniture and homeware items to fit in with your new country. If you only love dark Asian furniture and palm frond motifs because you are living in the tropics, then when you get back to your home country you’ll be wondering what to do with everything you bought while in Asia. Save the planet - and your wallet and stay true to your style.

Wishing you all a lovely week ahead.


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