Home decoration ideas for expats in Hungary

Hello,

After moving to Hungary, setting up home and turning your accommodation into your personal abode can be a great way to start off your new life and feel at home. We would like to know whether expats are keen on decorating and furnishing to warm up their space whether for the festive season or all year-round.

Upon renting a new apartment or house in Hungary, do you redesign your accommodation to suit your taste? Are your choices influenced by price, climate, etc…?

Have you brought any interior decoration items from your home country or did you consider buying any once in Hungary?

As an expat in Hungary do you find it worthy to invest in home decor? Could you share what you have bought and perhaps some interesting places to shop for home decor?

How would you describe the local style of decoration? Have you picked up any item which reflects the local style?

Would you be inspired by the festive season to decorate and add a festive touch to your living space?

Thank you for sharing your experience,

Bhavna

We own our house, so we definitely invest into decoration.

But when renting, the fist thing I always did was replace the curtains. And that includes the show curtain.

In my opinion the single most important way to make a space your own in a rental is to replace the curtains. Plenty of small curtain shops around. They have the best selection of curtain materials in my opinion. But else, even the big box DIY stores have a curtain section with materials you can select from.

The next thing, is hang some pictures on the wall. Also a great way to make a place you rent more "your own".

If your rental comes unfurnished, then of course you will have to buy furniture. Quite frankly, I prefer real furniture, especially bed, sofas, chairs and tables, not an IKEA flat box. But each to their own.

P.S. I meant "shower curtain", not "show curtain".... :)

We've started having furniture made to order by local cabinet makers.

You actually get (more or less) what you want - right size, right colour, number of drawers, shelves and made of proper solid wood (and not laminated chipboard).

We started on this path when we simply couldn't get anything quite the right size and look from Ikea and similar.  We do have stuff from Ikea - mainly for the kids.   Easy for us as we live about 8km from their largest store.   

BTW, some Ikea stuff like their knobs and handles are quite good and very usable on your own furniture to modernise it.

fluffy2560 :

We've started having furniture made to order by local cabinet makers.

You actually get (more or less) what you want - right size, right colour, number of drawers, shelves and made of proper solid wood (and not laminated chipboard).

We started on this path when we simply couldn't get anything quite the right size and look from Ikea and similar.  We do have stuff from Ikea - mainly for the kids.   Easy for us as we live about 8km from their largest store.   

BTW, some Ikea stuff like their knobs and handles are quite good and very usable on your own furniture to modernise it.

Interesting to know, did you have things shipped over from the UK?

SimCityAT :
fluffy2560 :

We've started having furniture made to order by local cabinet makers.

You actually get (more or less) what you want - right size, right colour, number of drawers, shelves and made of proper solid wood (and not laminated chipboard). 

We started on this path when we simply couldn't get anything quite the right size and look from Ikea and similar.  We do have stuff from Ikea - mainly for the kids.   Easy for us as we live about 8km from their largest store.   

BTW, some Ikea stuff like their knobs and handles are quite good and very usable on your own furniture to modernise it.

Interesting to know, did you have things shipped over from the UK?

No, the furniture were all made locally  here in HU by a small workshop (about 8km away).  They do things to your design (they aren't designers!), they built them, then deliver them.  You have to be really specific.  They aren't mind readers.

I've always asked for solid wood for furniture apart from one place in the house where it wouldn't make sense (in a bathroom).   All the handles on the cupboards match our kitchen (also made by them).

The latest thing we're going to have done is a sandy coloured dining table of modern design, "double length" with 6 legs and possibly with drawers all around.  We'll have to go and buy 8 chairs (3 or 4 per side plus one each end).  We think that chairs might be quite difficult for them to make so we will have to choose those carefully.

I've also got some bedside cabinets which are (now unpopular) dark wood.  We might have them sanded down, done in the same theme colour and add some modern handles/knobs off the shelf from Ikea.  I could sand them down myself using say wirewool, but it's 2 C outside and really foggy and I don't really have time to do that.  Besides, they are much better at it than me and have all the fancy machines.

We honestly haven't done much to improve this old 120 year old flat.
I'm sure some  of our old "friends" from the states who saw our old style and our new ,"style" must of rubbed their heads after seeing our flat here or those we had in the US and our old house in Ca.
I call it freedom as we can pack our bags and leave anytime we wish to without feeling sad about tossing items away.
No showplace here.
We may of done more if we had family here to leave things to, our son has little interest in living here.

First thing was to update the curtains,for sure, we got some modern blinds which open up the room a lot.  Off white of course, we always like  off white.
Even bought a  off white linen living room set when our son was a toddler... live and learn on that one... White material and grape juice or not a good combo...Had to have the entire set redone, in off white again, no more juice on the couches.
As far as furniture here, we actually have,"museum" quality furniture...
Was bought in 1978 by my MIL, saw an example of commie style furniture that was a perfect match to our cabinets inside a Budapest museum... so classy... not.
I am not embarrassed to have hand me down stuff because I , we still do not feel settled  here at all after over 12 years time.
I have already experienced in my lifetime buying brand new furniture to our taste, nice light colored leather couches and big coszy leather chairs, the newest Sony tv set available at the time etc.
As long as everything works and is useful, I no longer care one way or the other if it is in style or not.
Believe me, we have pretty good taste in decorating but we haven't put it into action here.
We also did ship over a few of our favorite pictures to hang although our nice oil paintings are still in storeage in the US... Someday they may hang again...

Our son just spent around $10,000 in Japan buying all new things for his new apt. What a waste.
New stove, fridge, curtains and still he hasn't bought a real bed yet.
Even bought a new computer as well as everything from dishes to towels.
Not sure he is staying there or not either.
This past year in Vegas before my son and DIL left for Japan, they sold what they could before moving. It was mostly all our old furniture, what was left of it.Felt sort of sad to see it go ...

I do all my own decorating and use a lot of white paint. I also like to put in better quality lighting and rewired to have more sockets.
It's more difficult to get good quality materials in Hungary so I've often shipped better quality materials over. Recently I ordered wallpaper from the uk because it's expensive and not very stylish in the local diy stores.

Flats in the uk cities tend to be small and expensive compared to Budapest so it's nice to have tall ceilings and bigger rooms.  But you do need very tall ladders and helpful neighbours to change lightbulbs. Long curtains can also be very expensive.  so it's best to stick to plain styles that you know  wont date so you can live them with for years.

I brought  furniture  with me from previous homes and only had to buy some  second hand sofas from people selling on facebook. In town I have a lot more space than I had previously so it has taken me a while to make my flat look less empty. I am not a minimalist by nature.

When I first viewed property in Hungary in 2009 I went to many dark and gloomy places that had not been repaired,  decorated or cleaned for many years. Especially in the countryside.

However, my last owners in town left quite a lot of IKEA style "billy" shelves and other oddments and I reused them in my storage room because I'm not fond of chipboard furniture.  They had also put in some ikea kitchen cupboards which I had remodelled into a more useful layout and workspace.
I also had a Galleria built in one room and the company came back and built matching real wood bookcases.
I think taste and style has greatly improved in Hungary generally since we have had IKEA showrooms . But sadly this has also contributed to the fashion of  making one large apartment into two or even three smaller ones and therefore some of the character has been lost in some buildings.

I am a great believer in keeping things like original flooring, shutters and doors but I realise I am old fashioned in that respect.

anns :

I am a great believer in keeping things like original flooring, shutters and doors but I realise I am old fashioned in that respect.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1153/6490/products/CH02252_1024x1024.jpeg?v=1516317954

anns :

...I am a great believer in keeping things like original flooring, shutters and doors but I realise I am old fashioned in that respect.

I agree but actually when you look at some places, you might as well rip it all out and replace it.  There's nowhere here which is really old like there is in the UK - like 500+ years old cottages  etc.  Most of it seems to be from the days of the Austro-Hungarian empire or the 1950s onwards.  Austro-Hungarian buildings were pretty shoddily made - all concrete, no damp proof courses, rubble walls, no lime plaster and all sorts of bodging.  Communist era furniture is all veneered chipboard and really rubbish.   Probably you cannot even burn it legally as it'll be full of chemical pollutants.  We had a pile of wood furniture left behind here. I chopped it up to make a chicken house and dumped the rest in the skip/kontener.

I think the way to go is to is to keep key select pieces to highlight history and dump the rest.  Modern materials are far better at energy saving, keeping out damp, wind and rain.  My own house dates from the 1970s.  We kept some parts of the house we thought had some value but really we'd have been better just knocking it all down and starting from scratch on a cleared site. 

I've got a stone/tiled wood burning heater in my garden I thought we could rebuild but I realise it's a waste of time keeping it.  It's almost worthless as it's a really crappy colour.   We had a super modern one from before and we installed that instead.

fluffy2560 :
anns :

...I am a great believer in keeping things like original flooring, shutters and doors but I realise I am old fashioned in that respect.

I agree but actually when you look at some places, you might as well rip it all out and replace it.

Once one starts to rip out, they are probably starting to renovate, not decorate. So I have moved my comment to a new Renovation topic.

https://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.p … 61#4756774

New topic