Unlike buying a property in your home town and furnishing it, buying a property overseas from a developer or building your own in a country you hardly know is much more challenging.
When it comes to furnishings, property developers make your life easier and generally offer you a furniture package when you buy.
But what if you decide to go it alone and furnish and design you own interior? You might be doing this because you find it more rewarding or because you dont like the furniture package on offer and think that you can buy what they are offering cheaper somewhere locally.
Whatever your reasons you need to have a plan to achieve this. If you havent got a clue where to start it is probably a good idea to engage an interior designer.
Finding an Interior Designer
Your Interior Designer will know where to source everything locally and countrywide and will do all the running around for you.
They will supply you with brochures, photographs, fabric swatches etc. and all you'll have to do, depending on how much you want to be involved, is choose the fabric for your upholstery and curtains.
What they will have that you will not have is the insider knowledge of where to go to get all the pieces you will need to design and furnish your new abode from local antiques to hand made furniture.
When seeking out a good interior designer remember to ask around locally and again, do your research. Also, ask ex-pats who are living in the country if they know of anyone they can recommend.
You might find where you are buying your property there are interior design shops selling furniture and pretty much everything you will need to furnish your villa.
These shops are a good place to start and most will have interior designers working for them who can advise you if you purchase furniture from them.
If you engage an interior designer it is important to know your budget and how much you will be involved in the process of choosing or whether you are going to leave all the decisions to your interior designer.
You will of course, have your own ideas of what you want, however, listen to any advice your interior designer gives you as they are in the 'know' and also have a feel for what goes with what.
You will also need to discuss the time frame with your interior designer and introduce them to the site Project Manager if your villa is still under construction.
This is important, as your interior designer will need to liaise with him if things are to be delivered at certain times.
Warning: Do not try to get furniture delivered before your villa is ready. You do not want building dust over your furniture even if it is packaged, as it is likely the packaging will not be adequate to prevent dust and dirt getting in.
There is also a danger that workmen might have to move your furniture and in doing so damage it or worse still work around your furniture and probably splash it with paint if they are finishing the decoration.
If furniture arrives early it is safer to put it into storage. Your interior designer will advise you on this.
Don't forget your interior designer will also project manage everything for you so you need not worry about what arrives when. You should also be aware that delays are bound to occur and if your furniture has to be made to order this is likely to happen. Anyhow, your interior designer will be on top of things, so don't worry.
Communicate with your interior designer
Be clear with your interior designer what you want them to do for you and make sure you can get on with them. If communication breaks down between you it is best to call it a day and release them from their contract with you.
Remember, when you approach an interior designer they will also assess whether they want to work with you. It is nothing personal, they will want to produce the very best they can and to do this they will need you to communicate effectively to them what you want and what you don't want.
Of course, you may change your mind about things, but always keep your interior designer informed of what you are thinking and don't forget communication on a regular basis is very important, especially if you are not going to be in the same country all of the time as them.
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