It's hard to fathom the day when you become an empty nester. When that day comes, it might be unclear what to do with your home. After years of children at the center of the home, this is your time and you deserve it!
Is there a renovation project you want to do? Are you itchy to update your living room? An empty nester might feel lonely in a home with vacant bedrooms. Is it time to downsize into a smaller home? Of course, there isn't one right answer. But it makes sense to think about what you want from your home during this new chapter of life.
I encourage you to treat yourself to a beautiful, comfortable, safe, and exciting home. One that is custom-designed for your particular needs and evolving personal style.
Read on for seven inspiring examples of how you might want to change your home. One of these ideas may motivate your next steps to find joy in your home again.
1. A Place All Your Own
These may become your favorite places to spend time in your empty nest.
If you're a book lover, this is for you. To create a private library, line a wall or two with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. Or have a built-in designed with cabinets, drawers, and shelves.
Add your books and a stylish twist by including artwork and accessories. For a little eye candy, arrange your books by color family. If you're more practical, organize them by author or subject matter.
Get the comfiest sofa, or my personal preference, a reading chaise. Or have fun reupholstering a sofa you already have. Pull up an ottoman, end table, reading lamp, and a basket of pillows and throw blankets.
If you practice meditation or yoga, you'll appreciate having a dedicated place of solitude. Hard flooring is the perfect foundation for yoga mats, cushions, or padding to assist you. Install a full-length mirror to check your alignment. Consider including a small TV or tablet to play yoga or meditation videos. You'll also want a sound system to play soothing music or sounds that will help you be in the moment.
Is it time to reconnect with your creativity? Are you an artist, crafts person, or musician? Are there new creative outlets you want to explore? A dedicated studio for your creative pursuits is not only fun but healthy.
There's nothing like having a place with all your supplies and tools within easy reach. It's your space to enjoy the process, make a mess, and no one can say anything about it.
If you have space, a few comfortable and durable pieces of furniture would be perfect. We all could use a good place to read or take a nap now and then. Good lighting will be a must and bonus points for an excellent audio system.
2. As Fancy as You Please
There are ways of decorating that don't make sense until you have an empty nest.
Do you day dream about elegant custom upholstery and window treatments? Would extra molding add architectural interest to your dining room? Or do you long to commission your favorite artist for the perfect piece over your mantel? This is your time!
3. Long-Awaited and Necessary Remodeling
Some parents feel unsatisfied with their home before the kids move out. When they finally move on, you may find time and money to tackle projects you've put off.
It's time to stop wishing for a better home and make it better. An empty nest that no longer matches your personality or needs can put you in a bad mood. Even worse, if you don't expect issues of comfort and safety now, you might have to move out sooner than you want. If you or your family worry about the safety of the kitchen or bathroom, it could be time to consider a remodel.
4. Make Room for More
Empty nesters might feel a little lonely without the activity children bring. If you like to play host(ess), consider doing something unusual. Create more space for entertaining family and friends. Maybe that means letting go of a bedroom. Remove the wall and creating the ideal party room, big enough for a large group.
Nightlife fun can be yours. Use mood-boosting colors and eclectic art to bring energy into the room. Include places to place drinks, a buffet of food, and a welcoming bar cart. Stain-resistant seating and area rugs can help ease any spill or stain anxiety.
5. Downsize to a New Town
When the kids move out, it may be time to think about moving into a smaller home. It's also an opportunity to think about moving to a different town or even state. If you're lucky enough to have a vacation home, you might have daydreamed about moving there full time. As an empty nester, that may no longer be an impossible dream.
If you're unsure it will work out, do it as a trial run before committing. Who knows, you may fall in love with a new state and decide to stay.
Make the downsizing easier by enlisting the help of loved ones or an Interior Designer. They can help assess your belongings and furniture arrangement in your smaller home. It's a good idea to know what you can bring so you don't waste time or money bringing things you can't use.
6. Special Place for Grandkids
Set aside one room to the reign of your grandchildren. A playroom/guest bedroom for the kids can ensure they're safe while having fun. It will also give you a place to keep their toys and messes contained. When they grow out of the toys, add in a couch and television to make it a teen hangout.
Cover one wall with chalkboard paint and spread a colorful stain resistant area rug on the floor. Fill some inexpensive bins with toys and set up a creative station with art and craft supplies. A bunk bed could ensure your status as the favorite grandparent.
7. Home Office
Working from home has become a trend for several years. Whether you want a dedicated office to use the computer or if you're still working a full or part-time job. A home study or office is by far, one of the most popular options to transform a spare room. Get a proper desk, install shelving for books, a file cabinet for paperwork. Last but not least, treat yourself to a comfortable chair for business reading you want to catch up on.
Avoid feeling cramped by thinking through the layout of your office. It's important to balance function and ergonomics when creating a place you want to work.
Let the Empty Nest Fun Begin!
Congratulations to you and your children for taking significant steps into young adulthood. Your home can now become a beautiful, comfortable, and safe place to live now and in the coming years. You'll be able to enjoy your home more and live there much longer. Your family will want to come and visit you in your new cool, empty nest.
If you need help re-imaging your empty nest, it would be my pleasure to assist you. Contact me and we’ll find a good time to talk about what’s on your mind.