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Decorating Your Empty Nest


As a parent, there will always come a time when your child is ready to move out of your home whether it is to go to university, to travel the world or to get married, leaving you with something that is commonly referred to as an ‘empty-nest home’. This is a good time to make some changes to your home and the first thing you should do is transform the extra space into a new room to create a brand new space.

If you think that your child will be returning regularly despite moving out, then you might wish to transform it into a guest bedroom. This can also be used by other visitors who want to stay in your home and it is important that you decorate it, so that it is appealing to everyone rather than aiming it solely at your child’s taste.

You will need to consider the following to create a welcoming guest bedroom out of your child’s former room:

The Colour Palette

Using light colours will open up the space to make it appear larger than it is. Light hues also help to make guests feel more welcome and you should encourage as much natural light into the room as possible by installing a skylight or a large bay window.

emptynest pic 1






Add Subtle Touches

A plainly coloured room will look boring if you don’t break up the light colour palette with some simple touches. Adding a mural which also uses soft tones and patterns can bring a room to life. It should be something neutral, so that it will appeal to anyone who stays in the guest room from children to adults – e.g. take a look at the one in the image below. A mural in neutral tones can add a subtle flash of colour and style to the room without costing a lot of money.

emptynest pic 2

Soft Furnishings

You can use small rugs to break up a monotonous floor and cushions can add something different to a sofa or a bed to give them room a more welcoming atmosphere. If you choose to use light coloured curtains, be careful that they are not too thin as being woken up at the crack of dawn because a room is flooded with sunlight is no fun for anyone.

emptynest pic 3




If you would prefer to transform your child’s former bedroom into something other than a spare bedroom, then you can use it as anything from a walk-in wardrobe or an office to a crafts room or a quiet reading area.

It may seem daunting the thought of having an empty-nest at first and if you are not ready to pack up your child’s stuff, you can strategically re-organise it to look more like a room you want. Whatever you wish to use your child’s old bedroom as, you can find decorating tips and ideas online.


Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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