Unlike Canada, most houses here come fully furnished. House hunting in the Cayman Islands brings a whole new, as in literal, meaning to 'what you see is what you get'. This works really well when the furniture is nice and, more importantly, to your taste. No need to worry about whether the stereo cabinet will fit here or there, or where to put the beds and couches. However, we also saw how having furniture can definitely limit your market, as when we toured an exquisitely furnished home. The appliances and furniture were obviously of very high quality, but it was also obvious to us that this home was furnished by a couple well into their 70's. And of course there is a difference between visiting your grandmother's home and actually living in your grandmother's home.
But of course you can also buy a house with little furniture, or one like ours, that in words of the real estate agent himself was full of "garage sale furniture". We were not quite sure if that meant that the previous owners took all their original furniture with them and filled the house with garage sale items or if they actually lived with 'garage sale furniture'. But the house also had some magnificent pieces, like the big armoir or 'entertainment unit' in the family room, which I think looks just like the little cousin of Marlene's Dracula...
It weighs as much as a small house and is of very high quality. When you open the glass doors and smell inside, it smells just like .... my grandmother's home. Remember those days when everyone had solid wood furniture? It just smelled different, I swear.
But it did not really matter to us because we had brought very little from Canada, and figured this was our opportunity to furnish a new house with things that we could both agree on! Our previous house had a definite 'his' and 'hers' feel to it, and reflected the fact that we bought much of what we owned previous to getting married. Richard did not like my green EQ3 sectional, I didn't much care for his Duck's Unlimited prints, so I think you get the drift.... But we also found that there is an area in the middle we very much agree on - and if you live in Grand Cayman, you would know what that is when we mention Woods Furniture.
But back to the house - we spent most of August trying to avoid going outside unless it was for a swim, and getting used to our new surroundings. One of the highlights of that month was the arrival of our 20' container from Canada. To give you an idea of the kind of downsizing we did prior to moving to the Caymans, let me tell you that when we moved from Winnipeg to Milton, Ontario two years ago, we arrived in a 53' container (which is also higher than a 20' container) that was packed to the brim. When the idea of going to the Caymans became a distinct reality, we figured this was the opportune time to get rid of everything we did not 'really' need, which turned out to be a lot of stuff. We sold and gave away more than half of what we had. And find we really aren't missing that much after all.
Our 20' container was still packed to the brim, but it took the guys only a few hours to unload it and place everything in the house. I was really amazed how well they worked, considering how hot it was. Below are a couple of shots of 'men at work'.