Having bought a property in the Algarve – be it an apartment, town house or villa, overlooking a golf course or ocean – you will have to make a decision about how it is going to be decorated. And this is when the fun starts!
A little like a blank canvas is to an artist, an empty villa can seem very daunting. But, do not fear – help is at hand! The services of an interior designer will save you the traumas of realising that the items you have chosen, just do not gel!The majority of people have never had the challenge of furnishing a property from scratch before, let alone on what is often a tight time schedule.
Family homes evolve over the years, often starting with heirlooms or items bought on a tight budget. Without a doubt, the first thing to establish is the budget, unless you have unlimited funds at your disposal! Beds are essential, but boring, so get them out of the way first. A good night’s sleep is as important on holiday as it is at home – clients will make return bookings if they sleep well, so a ‘test drive’ is a good idea. Lay flat on your back…on your side…and give the pillows a try too. The same applies to the lounge. Sofas and chairs also need some rigorous testing, so sit down and put your feet up – only for a test, of course!
Dining tables should be as large as space will permit, especially on the terrace. And plenty of chairs with arms are also a very good idea to lounge on during those long, al-fresco lunches. Oh, and don’t forget that piles of beach towels must go on the shopping list as well, otherwise, summer rental clients and guests will use the bathroom towels to dry sun-oiled bodies, often covered in beach sand! Never good…
One point worth mentioning: if you are thinking of bringing existing furniture from northern Europe, try to imagine it in the new home. Stand in the lounge with a photograph of the existing pieces in your hand and visualise them in situ. Often, styles, textures and colours that worked in a colder climate and in a darker environment are disappointing when unpacked here on a typically bright sunny day. If that is what the budget dictates, so be it. If not, sell up or store, and then start from scratch here – it’s much more exciting!
Next are the smaller, but very important, items that tie those larger items together. Bed linen and towels, lamps and coffee tables, china, cutlery and glass wear and, last but not least, garden cushions and a big parasol! And that is before you have even started to think about the kitchen items – once you begin, the list will seem endless!
Professional advisers can help you pull all the different aspects together by suggesting how many of each will be ideal for the imagined use of the property, leaving you with choosing the items yourself.
So the first brush strokes are beginning to appear on the blank canvas. With help, in the blink of an eye, you will have a new home that, in itself, can be a work of art.