By Marlene Oostryck (Wiki Takes Fremantle participant) (Uploaded from Wiki Takes Fremantle) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Marlene Oostryck (Wiki Takes Fremantle participant) (Uploaded from Wiki Takes Fremantle) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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There was once a saying made famous by the likes of Paul Young and Marvin Gaye suggesting that ‘wherever I lay my hat, that’s my home.’

All over the world, roughly 230 million people are currently living away from their country of birth. That means that if expats were to create their own nation, it’d be the fifth largest in the world! In developed countries, one in every 10 people lives outside his or her country and roughly 6 million Americans legally reside outside of the United States with 5 million Brits following suit.

To make you feel more at home and to help you settle into your new country, we’ve pulled together some basic advice on how you can use home design to make your new space more comfortable.

Leave the cynicism behind living abroad requires a very open-minded and positive approach. While many people move to their new countries with varying degrees of desire and circumstance, there’s no denying that it can often result in homesickness and adaptation. Nesting in a new home is essential to being able to psychologically re-adjust, no matter how beautiful your new surroundings may be.

Start afresh the feeling of diving in head-first to a new culture can often be exhilarating, and you can easily feel adventurous with a sudden need to test your limits. If you are this type of person, cutting ties with your home country’s aesthetic can help you become integrated with your new surroundings.

Know your roots  some expats prefer to use their new house for preserving a certain feeling of normality and identity, which of course means something completely different for each expat. It could be playing 5 a-side football or planting a rose bush in the back garden. Drinking British tea, eating hob-knobs or cooking a Sunday roast – even if the design of the building is nothing like back home.

It’s interesting what can suddenly become a treasure to an expat. As time passes, even the most common objects from a former dwelling can in fact become reminders of what seems like a different life.

Embrace your new hybrid existence – instead of fearing the loss of your identity in the face of a new culture, find a way for it to exist alongside your host country. Don’t hesitate to let contrasting styles take over; the look will reflect the eclectic mix of cultural influences in your life. There’s no denying that it can be difficult to create a home away from home not just psychologically, but also logistically. Often the options are different, the materials and prices are unfamiliar, and it can be difficult to balance what you find normal and what fits in with the local setting.

Share your culture through cuisine – Ask a British expat the question, ‘what do you miss most about home?’ and you’ll probably receive a list of food items ranging from Tetley Tea, HP sauce, Milk Chocolate to fish and chips. Expats can often be found in the kitchen, attempting to merge the tastes from their childhood with the cooking culture of their new country together with substituted ingredients and modified recipes. The great thing about expressing your expatriatism in the kitchen is that other people get to benefit from it as well so celebrate it!

Plan multiple time zones – many expats often find themselves working strange hours, telecommuting to offices back in their home countries. With this in mind, a home office should be equally tranquil during the day and night. Create a relaxing garden space for you to wind down when you need to recouperate.

Decorate your home with photos and memories – don’t forget the positive aspects of your past and your journey in life. After all, it’s made you who you are today! Many people often lose memories simply because the visual cues aren’t there for them anymore. To prevent your travels and your home culture from fading away, try framing and hanging photos and mementos as pleasant reminders.

Push yourself – being an expat can be one of the most challenging, rewarding, frustrating but satisfying experiences. There are days when you absolutely love where you are and consider yourself incredibly fortunate and there are days when you feel your limits being stretched! Either way, there’s no time to look back or unlearn the variety of experiences gained from living in multiple cultures.

Our advice? Let your home reflect your range of life experiences and use interior design as a tool for teaching others about your home culture.

PSS International Removals are the UK’s first choice for moving overseas and we have successfully helped thousands of customers move to many destinations throughout the world.

All PSS Staff have been professionally trained in export procedures and work entirely on overseas removals.

PSS specialises in:

  • Full or Part Household shipments
  • Motor Vehicle shipments
  • Baggage Shipments
  • Airfreight/Express Service
  • Shipping Service from anywhere in the UK to Anywhere in the World

PSS also charges for part loads. This means you only pay for the space you fill.

We are able to offer you all of the services listed above including additional visa, employment, banking, currency, pension transfer, pet shipping, tax rebate, education, flight and property advice through our network of trusted partners.

So if you are thinking about moving to a new country and want to find out more about what you should expect, get in touch for a free survey and a chat with one of our experienced consultants who will be happy to help you.

Visit to find out more or contact us for a free quote now!