Your kids have spread their wings and flown, leaving you with an empty nest and plenty of mixed emotions. While you are probably happy to see your teens embarking on their own lives, seeing their empty bedrooms on a daily basis can leave you feeling quite lonely.
Look on the bright side, though. With your kids out of the house, you finally have the extra space for that study, home office, craft room, or guest bedroom you’ve been longing for. Transforming a no-longer-used childhood bedroom into a brand-new space makes it much easier to process your emotions and enjoy being an empty nester. Here are a helpful home redecorating tips and some advice on how to transform the spaces in your once-bustling home.
If your kids left their rooms behind as shrines to their teenage years, you will need to do a lot of organizing before you can transform the space. It may be too soon to pack up all of your kids’ belongings and donate them to charity if they have only recently left for college and still plan on coming home on vacations for school. In this case, your best bet is to reorganize their stuff to make room for yourself.
Tuck personal effects in baskets or boxes and store them in closets or dresser drawers for easy access. Consider installing a large shelving unit that can be used to display some of your child’s favorite possessions. This will allow you to maintain the personality of the room while giving yourself a bit more space.
When the kids are finished with college or have already moved into their own homes, feel free to pack up the things they left behind and either put them in storage, donate them, or throw them away. Of course, it’s always a good idea to check with your kids before getting rid of things that may still have sentimental value.
Come Up with a New Purpose
How do you want to use the newly available extra space? Would you like to transform your teen’s former room into an elegant guest bedroom? Set up the craft room you’ve always dreamed of having? Put in a home office where you can pursue your own entrepreneurial dreams? Create a home gym? Deciding exactly how you want to use the space is the first step in figuring out exactly what you will need to do to redecorate.
Once you’ve decided on a purpose, consider what furniture you will need. In many spaces, large furniture pieces serve as the main focal point. Selecting furniture like living room sofas, desks, and bedrooms sets early in the redecorating process will help you determine a color scheme. Look for high-quality furniture that you love that will withstand the test of time. With no more kids running around destroying everything, now is the time to invest in that classic leather recliner or sofa you’ve always dreamed of having!
Upgrade the Lighting
Changing the lighting in a room can change the entire feel of a space. If your son had a sports-themed ceiling fan or your daughter had a Hello Kitty bedside lamp, replace them with more elegant, mature fixtures. You may also want to upgrade basic fixtures and ceiling fans to more elegant styles that are better suited to your personal taste.
Add a nice floor lamp or some wall sconces. If you plan on spending a lot of time in the room, think about investing in a lamp that mimics natural sunlight to create a comfortable, inviting space. Choose lights that are appropriate for the type of room you are trying to create. A chandelier may be an amazing touch if you are converting a room into an elegant walk-in closet, but it may look out of place if you are converting the room into a home gym.
Replace the Flooring
Kids are messy, and there is a good chance that the floors in their old bedrooms aren’t in the greatest shape. Whether it’s nail polish in the carpet, water stains on the hardwood, or any other type of problem, a damaged floor can really detract from a space.
If it is in your budget, replacing damaged flooring gives any room an instant facelift. Even if the carpet is in good condition, getting rid of the baby pink and replacing it with carpet in a more grown-up color or hardwood will help you make the space your own. If completely redoing your floor doesn’t quite fit into your budget, pick up a nice rug to hide the damage. Also, arrange your furniture strategically to keep spots and stains out of sight.
For parents, living in an empty nest brings a lot of mixed emotions. While they are happy to see their kids starting at college, beginning their careers, and exploring the world on their own for the first time, the sudden emptiness in the home can bring sadness. By redecorating your kids’ old bedrooms, though, you can eliminate the depression that can come from staring at a shrine to their teenage years day after day. Redecorating also allows you to reclaim the space and transform it into something you will enjoy.
Your kids’ old bedrooms aren’t the only places you can redecorate. With the kids out of the house, you are now free to purchase higher-end furniture pieces and décor without fear of it being ruined by careless children or teens. You can decorate with your own style preferences in mind to create a beautiful home that feels less like an empty nest.
About the author: Jeff King serves as Vice President of Club Furniture (One Source Plus, Inc.). Jeff oversees all marketing related functions from the Charlotte, NC headquarters. When not busy playing bass guitar... Jeff enjoys reading, playing tennis, and spending time with his wife and two children.