Can quirky be practical?

Furnishing your Portugal property

When you buy a property in Portugal the majority will have been used as holiday lets or second homes. This means that nine times out of 10 the vendor will leave the majority of the furniture when they sell.

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Even if the furniture is not to your taste the benefit of this for you, the buyer, is that furniture is non-taxable in Portugal, saving you a little on the cost of purchasing your dream home.

Furnished or unfurnished you will probably want to put your own stamp on the interior decor of the property. But, before you hot foot it down to IKEA take a minute to remember how you’re going to use your property as this will make a difference to the kind of furnishings you go for.

For example, if your property is only going to be used a rental investment think more about practicality and durability rather than whether the furniture suits your individual tastes. If you’re furnishing for a more permanent reason then think about everything that you packed away back home so you don’t double up on things you already have. Think about what will fit in your new pad, what may not fair too well in the hot Portuguese summers and what personal items you definitely want to make space for to give your dream home a real homely feel – most importantly, make sure you get some comfy outdoor furniture and sun loungers – you’ll be spending a lot more time in the sun that you did back home!

If you are planning to use your property for holidays as well as renting it out then you will need to strike a careful balance between providing practicality for your paid guests and feeling properly at home when it’s you spending time there. Many of our clients who choose to use their property this way earmark one of the wardrobes, spare rooms or storage areas to pack away their most treasured possessions or personal belongings and leave it locked when guests are staying. This makes it possible to keep popping back and forth to use your property without carrying huge cases.

So now you have thought about the kind of things you need to get for your property, all you need to know is where to get them from! Portugal is well served by IKEA, but if that is not your thing then there are other options – Conforama, Casa and smaller expat run stores like Simple Taste, Kit & Caboodle and Abode, there are also plenty of Portuguese furniture stores dotted around the country, many of which continue to sell rather more traditional furniture, often involving plenty of dark wood!

It’s worth keeping an eye on the second-hand market as well. There are lots of Facebook pages for people selling things or in the local papers – you may even end up buying items from people who are returning to Britain, although why they would choose to do that we don’t know!

However, if you find the task of furnishing a whole house or apartment daunting, why not consider enrolling the help of an expert? There are many interior designers throughout the country who will help you through the process, they will discuss your tastes, your budget they can advise on quantities of linen and crockery etc, and will create a bespoke package suited perfectly for you and your property. They even deliver and assemble everything free of charge, so that the next time you visit you won’t have to lift a finger! We can let you know the names of some of the companies we have used in the past.

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that unless you’re moving in on a permanent basis, it’s best to make furnishing decisions with the head rather than the heart. That quirky piece of furniture you fell in love with may be ideal for personal use, but isn’t so practical for the rigours of a holiday rental property.