Article by Niki Schafer
When our children up and fly the nest, our homes change dramatically. We finally find ourselves in control of what is on the television, freed from endless amounts of washing (unless a laundry basket arrives home at every visit), and not having to re-stock the fridge every 24 hours. But our homes can also start to feel a bit empty and maybe just a bit too quiet.
However once you get used to it all, it’s time to start reclaiming your home and making the most of that free space. An unused bedroom, a garage empty of teenage paraphernalia and a dining room without stuff piled everywhere is an interior design dream. Maybe it’s time to inject a bit of your own style back into the place!
Rediscover your own style for your home as an emptynester
For the last twenty years you’ve probably adorned your walls with star charts, your child’s GCSE artwork and maybe even a certificate or two. But now it’s time to re-evaluate what you want on your walls, and whether a trip to the wallpaper shop and your favourite art gallery is in order. Rediscovering your own style may be easier said than done when you have been used to family compromises for so long, but some good places to start finding inspiration could be museums, period properties, hotels and even restaurants. Rediscovering your own style either as an individual or in a couple will not only give your home some identity, but will also be a fun project now you have a bit more autonomy in your home.
Another consideration when your children fly the nest is what to do with their old bedrooms. It can be a delicate issue, but if it is handled in the right way and with your child kept in the loop, there are so many possibilities. It may be that you want to turn the room into a guest room which can be used by friends and relatives as well as your children when they come to stay. If this is the case it can be helpful to sit down with your adult child and discuss their ideas for decoration as well as your own.
But if an extra guest room isn’t needed, there are so many other ways you can utilise the additional space. How about a home office or a reading room? Or perhaps a music room or a hobby room? If you enjoy exercising, what about a gym? Or if the room is near your bedroom, perhaps you have always dreamed of your own dressing room? Maybe you have a passion for arcade games or hundreds of books you don’t know what to do with? In which case turn it into a games room or library. The possibilities really are endless. It’s time to make a wish list!
Whatever you decide to do with your newly found space, make sure it really meets the needs of the people who are living there now. Your interiors can have such a positive impact on your well-being when they are designed carefully and individually. So go on – have some fun!
Niki Schafer is an interior designer and can be contacted via www.dwell-being.co.uk