The expat life looks glamorous with its exotic culture and foreign foods, but there’s something to say for familiarity and known. Living abroad may include a host of new experiences and exciting adventures, but it’s important to create a “homey” space in your apartment or house while living abroad for any amount of time. Here are my best tips:
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1. Choose a focal point.
I chose to pack a vintage poster of Paris and placed it in the middle of my wall arrangement. Yes, it took up some room in my suitcase, but these walls are so drab! Think about bringing a large poster, some type of wall decor or even a tapestry.
2. Pack photos.
Life abroad is fabulous, but sometimes you’ll miss home. Be sure to pack pictures of your family and friends as well as snapshots from other trips. I packed pictures from my trip to Los Angeles, which add a nice pop of color to the walls with its bright blue ocean.
3. Get fancy with postcards, greeting cards or other artwork.
Add texture and dimension to your wall arrangement by including more than just photos. I packed several Paris-themed postcards I purchased in Epcot’s France, which add some sophistication and variation. Inspired by Cate of Habit & Heart’s physical inspo board (learn how to create a digital one here), I put some artsy greeting cards in my bag to spice up my wall as well.
4. Don’t forget logistics.
It’s no use to pack all these goodies and have no way to hang them. Although I could’ve purchased sticky tack and push pins here in France, I opted to buy them in the U.S. and pack them to simplify life.
5. Pack other memorabilia for the rest of the room.
While your wall decor may be the focus of your room, don’t forget to pack reading material like magazines and books in your native language when you need a break from all things foreign. (The time will come!) I even packed a frame with a quote to place on my desk. Even though a frame takes up space and can break in transit, it makes my tiny flat more like home.
Embrace the foreign and fancy things abroad, but also remember that piece of your heart called home. Happy decorating!