House Beautiful + Expat Thoughts On Decorating

There are some lovely rooms to be inspired by over at House Beautiful, do you visit them regularly online? Reading magazine websites really help to keep you plugged in to the world of design and decorating -- no matter where I live I always feel like I know what's going on in America which is great because that's where I'm from.

House Beautiful

It's a nice feeling to have such resources at our fingertips, don't you think? I'm an expat and now more than ever before I see the value in reading magazines online that I once could find at the local newsstand. It has been a huge source of comfort at times when I wonder what's happening or what's new -- I just go online to sites like House Beautiful and feel instantly plugged in.

If you are also an expat, you must find this super helpful to you, too. I often think about what it was like many years ago before planes and the internet when people left their homeland on a boat and traveled many miles over the sea to a new country -- I can't imagine what being a foreigner was like back during such times! Once you left your country back then, you were truly cut off and could only carry your home in your heart and then, try to recreate it a bit in your new surroundings. Even in the 80s and early 90s before the internet really took off -- how did foreigners cope I wonder? I think it took a lot more gumption to make a success of yourself  as an expat back then - much more than now even - don't you?

House Beautiful

Many of my friends in the states admire me for selling most of my belongings and moving to Europe, but I don't think I'm that courageous at all - I have it easy with the internet, international shipping, i-Tunes (for TV shows), DVDs so I never miss the films I long to see, cheap flights, cheap long distance (or skype), fast snail mail (I get most letters from the states within 3 days - when I was dating my husband writing him letters by hand back in 1999 it took around 10 days for them to arrive in Germany from Boston), I personally don't feel like moving took much courage at all. When my family came over on boats through Boston back in the day arriving from Europe, that took way more strength than my move to Germany.

House Beautiful

These photos are so nice to look at, aren't they? One thing I notice since moving to northern Germany over a year ago is how very American things look to me suddenly! I never noticed or really thought about how American design looked to those in other parts of the world but living abroad has really given me an alternate view and that is something that I cherish immensely. When I see certain styles, whether it be in fashion, interiors, product packaging, trends... I immediately can tell whether or not it originated in the states. House Beautiful reminds me of the differences between decorating trends and styles in Europe and those sought after in the U.S. and it is quite fascinating to consider.

House Beautiful

If you are an expat, can you comment on what differences you see in design/decorating in your new country vs. your home country? I'd love to hear your thoughts, no matter where you live in the world - it's a fascinating topic I think!

(images: house beautiful magazine)