Friday 26 May 2017
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Expat style: bring a slice of home to your New York apartment

Relocating abroad is an exciting challenge and a great opportunity to embrace a new culture, but it will probably be more enjoyable if you can take some reminders of your roots with you.

At the moment ‘British style’ is often shorthand for ‘English country house’ and there is a wealth of features that you can incorporate. Start with your entrance and hallway and consider how you could make a bigger statement with ceiling height and a solid feel that communicates reliability and elegance. Paneling may be one way to achieve this and calm colors, especially greens, greys and blues can add a distinctly sophisticated tone.New York apartment

Art deco furnishings and decorating styles add both a sense of calm, thanks to their symmetry, patterns and color schemes and also bring a distinctive historical beauty into your home. A different way to achieve this impact could also be with ‘Arts and Crafts’ style furnishings, dating from the late 1880’s – early 1990’s, which place a great emphasis on functional beauty. William Morris wallpapers and fabrics typify this era and blend perfectly with this look. If you can afford older antiques, why not step further back in time, as they set the scene for grander and more aristocratic living.

An English country kitchen is a defining room in the home, the heart of everything where family and friends can relax while cooking is happening around you. Extend the space if possible, maybe by knocking through partition walls, so that the kitchen has room for relaxed seating, plus a table and chairs, not to mention high class kitchen units and appliances.

Don’t forget the terrace either, as it is so British to incorporate outside space into your living area. Try adding a little more structure to this space, with pillars or a pergola and you’ll soon have a feeling of relaxed entertaining where the kitchen leads naturally into open air living space.

There are loads of easy ways to remind yourself of home with your pictures, decorations and accessories, whether they scream patriotism with the Union Jack or rely on wall art that features stately homes and English landscapes.

British pop music has sufficient standing around the world to communicate modern British culture straight away. Use your favorite band or fashions from previous eras to create a theme around your home and search for memorabilia to complement your chosen period.

Grand, heavy drapes are one approach to bringing a slice of England into your home, but wooden shutters also fit very naturally into this look. In the British climate, shutters have been perfect for adding insulation both summer and winter and they are an easy way to evoke a Victorian country residence.

Inspiration is all around you and it’s exciting to have the opportunity to incorporate your own take on British style into your home. Focus on the features that most please you and which lend themselves to your new apartment and then let your creativity define your style.

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