Late summer…a time when kids move on to conquer the brave new world. And whether your children have moved out of a basement or a bedroom, you have just been given a massive amount of space to repurpose and enjoy. Here are some practical tips for using the space wisely.
First, declutter and give the junk away. Vietnam Veterans of America, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are just some of the entities you can use to get rid things you no longer need. Give yourself five minutes and you can come up with at least 10 other organizations which would benefit from your generosity. Then get going.
Once you have completed this step, take a minute to consider your work habits, hobbies and personal storage needs.
Has your dining room table doubled as a home office desk for the past 10 years? Then it’s time to clean out a bedroom; furnish it with attractive office furniture to give yourself a dedicated, personal space for working from home. And don’t forget to include good lighting, a comfortable chair and an ottoman for reading those reports.
Have a hankering to go back to your watercolor painting—a skill from long ago? Then, pick the newly empty room closest to a water line, and outfit one wall with base and wall cabinets, and a small bar sink. Organize the base cabinets with dividers for different sized canvases, and pull-outs so supplies stay organized and accessible. And the sink is good for clean-up.
Your smallest bedroom can be converted into a beautiful storage closet. Use it for seasonal clothing items, to store holiday decorations or for every day. If used for clothing and shoes, integrate luxurious seating. And, good lighting is a must, so that you get a true read on the clothing colors.
Most importantly, take the time to decide what you truly need and want. And, if you need a sounding board, consider hiring a designer. Designers will assist you in matching the space to the function, with layout, lighting and aesthetics. Services can range from hourly consults to specifying finishes to overseeing the entire project.
However you decide to repurpose your empty nest, remember that your ultimate goal is to make it comfortable, attractive and functional for nobody but you.