Home decoration ideas for expats in Vietnam

Hello,

After moving to Vietnam, 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 Vietnam, 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 Vietnam?

As an expat in Vietnam 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

You must realize that at least 9/10 of your readers are either single males who can't be bothered or married males who wisely let their Vietnamese wives make all the decorating decisions.   :joking:

Its depends on the period going to stay in Vietnam. 80% foreigner who married Vietnamese and they are going to buy or rent a house and fixed according to there requirement Because they have long term plan in Vietnam. I have some friends who did interior decoration once they bought a new home. Most of the item they import from different countries according to their requirements.  In my case, I am not staying in Vietnam for long each every time I come here and renting the studio and stay there is nothing I can change.

Rental apartments are usually fully furnished so renters don't need to buy anything. You would think the style would be Asian, but that hasn't been my experiences. Items that are more 'modern' looking seem odd to me, possibly Russian influence?

I live around the working and middle class, they seem primarily cost conscious and not bothered about interior design. Stainless steel tables, inherited ponderous dark wood seats and beds, plastic chairs, plastic dressers and stacks of plastic bags for storage. The overall design effect is 'mish-mash', sort of like the fruit lady whose floral daytime-pajama tops don't match the bottoms.

I knew one lady who spends 70000 USD just for one table

Contem talk :

I knew one lady who spends 70000 USD just for one table

$70k for a table? Is this lady single? I am! PM me for personal info, I would be happy to take her out for a bonh mi sandwich.

We didn't do a thing other than put out a few wedding photos in stand-up frames.  It's a rental.  We will be here a year.  I do look forward to doing something when we build a house.  I like to decorate and have a nice house.  I've found the decorating in virtually every Vietnamese home extremely lacking.

SteinNebraska :

We didn't do a thing other than put out a few wedding photos in stand-up frames.  It's a rental.  We will be here a year.  I do look forward to doing something when we build a house.  I like to decorate and have a nice house.  I've found the decorating in virtually every Vietnamese home extremely lacking.

I have a tendency to agree. Even the expensive homes are poorly decorated. But, its what they prefer at the end of the day.

Canman62 :
Contem talk :

I knew one lady who spends 70000 USD just for one table

$70k for a table? Is this lady single? I am! PM me for personal info, I would be happy to take her out for a bonh mi sandwich.

Why you so curious about that. Some people were born for Money.

Contem talk :
Canman62 :
Contem talk :

I knew one lady who spends 70000 USD just for one table

$70k for a table? Is this lady single? I am! PM me for personal info, I would be happy to take her out for a bonh mi sandwich.

Why you so curious about that. Some people were born for Money.

He's not curious. He just fell in love. Help the brother out.   :cool:

TIles, tiles and more tiles. I guess its easy and practical.

colinoscapee :
SteinNebraska :

We didn't do a thing other than put out a few wedding photos in stand-up frames.  It's a rental.  We will be here a year.  I do look forward to doing something when we build a house.  I like to decorate and have a nice house.  I've found the decorating in virtually every Vietnamese home extremely lacking.

I have a tendency to agree. Even the expensive homes are poorly decorated. But, its what they prefer at the end of the day.

There's always the option for a bigger TV...

She's got a 55" Samsung curved screen at her house but she doesn't want to move it "for only one year".  Her house is sitting vacant...

House is vacant? I've got an idea!

Canman62 :

House is vacant? I've got an idea!

Must be painting time...

OceanBeach92107 :
Canman62 :

House is vacant? I've got an idea!

Must be painting time...

No, it's close to an hour from where I work everyday so we rent close to where I work.  We will sell it in a few months and buy a house near where we are renting in D2.

Decorating is easy, pictures of Buddha, HCM and ancestors.

vndreamer :

Decorating is easy, pictures of Buddha, HCM and ancestors.

and a calendar. Maybe a plastic wall clock with a bank logo.

gobot :
vndreamer :

Decorating is easy, pictures of Buddha, HCM and ancestors.

and a calendar. Maybe a plastic wall clock with a bank logo.

Our calendar is on January 25, 2016 in the rental house.  My wife tears off sheets to use the back for scratch paper so she won't throw it away.  It's right under the "shelf shrine/temple" thing in the kitchen which always seems ubiquitous even though there is a proper shrine thing 5 meters away in the living room and a big one upstairs in the prayer room.  All here when we arrived.

SteinNebraska :

My wife tears off sheets to use the back for scratch paper so she won't throw it away.  It's right under the "shelf shrine/temple" thing in the kitchen which always seems ubiquitous even though there is a proper shrine thing 5 meters away in the living room and a big one upstairs in the prayer room.

My husband keeps a stash of last year's calendar pages to use the back for scratch paper. He's not Vietnamese.

The shrine in the kitchen is for Ông Táo (Three Kitchen Gods).  The one in the living room, if on the floor, is for Ông Địa (aka Thổ Công, God of the Land) or Ông Thần Tài, Fortune God, if the owner is in business.  The one in the prayer room is for Buddha. 

All the shrines have their own places and positions, one doesn't mix or combine them.

Ciambella :

The shrine in the kitchen is for Ông Táo (Three Kitchen Gods).  The one in the living room, if on the floor, is for Ông Địa (aka Thổ Công, God of the Land) or Ông Thần Tài, Fortune God, if the owner is in business.  The one in the prayer room is for Buddha.

I also notice a table or dresser with pictures of ancestors, vases, incense, I call it an altar but not to a god. A Vietnamese/Chinese tradition, as an adjunct to the Buddhist/Christian/other religion of the family, but the practice seems religious to me. Spirits of loving ancestors can have a mean streak too, my wife says, so one must appease them.

At 4:55 this morning I woke up to familiar music, this time at the large Catholic church across the road. I always get up to listen and hope to see. After a while, a crew shouldered a coffin out of the church to the street, spun a 360, then over to the fancy gold hearse, while the Dixieland band played. It is fascinating how a western religion, local culture, and an up-tempo rendition of Auld Lang Syne integrate in the ceremony.

Every house should have a picture of their son when he was about 3-years old, naked and touching his tally wacker.

One common piece of furniture is those huge hardwood sofas and chairs that have no cushions and are about a meter from front to back.  They are incredibly uncomfortable, even if supplied with cushions, and seem to me to be primarily decorative in nature.

gobot :

I also notice a table or dresser with pictures of ancestors, vases, incense, I call it an altar but not to a god. A Vietnamese/Chinese tradition, as an adjunct to the Buddhist/Christian/other religion of the family, but the practice seems religious to me. Spirits of loving ancestors can have a mean streak too, my wife says, so one must appease them.

When there's not enough space, ancestor altar can be combined with Buddha's altar.  The photos of ancestors must be placed way below the statues of Buddha.  Any kind of food can be offered to ancestors, but when the altars are combined, only fruits and vegetarian food is allowed.  Buddha has higher authority.

It's not a mean streak of the ancestors that demands a place of respect.  Many Buddhists and Catholics believe that the spirit of certain relative watches over them at all times and protects them at the moments of needs, much more so than Gods of any religion.  In the West, we call it guardian angels.  My husband strongly believes he has a guardian angel who has literally pulled him back from the grasp of Death several times now.  In Vietnam, the guardian angels have the faces of the parents/relatives/siblings who passed away but never left their families completely.

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