Not-So-Empty Nest: Decorating When Kids Move Out
A few months ago, we talked about décor decisions for parents with “boomerang kids,” or adult children who have moved back home with their parents.
Now, let’s look at what to do in the reverse situation: How to redecorate when your kids move out.
Your son or daughter may have just left for college or have found their first apartment or even their first home.
There are quite a few options for adding a touch of country decor to the room your son or daughter has just vacated. Here are a few suggestions.
Your New Guest Room
When your one of your children move out, you can turn their room into a guest room. When two kids move out, and they had rooms side by side, you can make those rooms into a guest suite.
That suggestion comes from interior designers on Bob Vila’s website, who say knocking down a wall to create a suite is high on the list for many of their clients.
“It’s not about having more square footage—it’s about having the square footage do more,” says Letty Rozell of Designworks in Denver.
Some clients have done a lot more, said designer Judith Sisler Johnson, turning old bedrooms into suites that have mediation areas and exercise rooms.
If you’ve decided to take a simpler route and have turned an old bedroom into a new guestroom, you can finish off your redesign with one of our country quilts or primitive coverlets, and give the windows a new look with something from our line of country curtains
Your New Playroom
Another option is to turn an old bedroom into a place for recreation: Put in a card table for poker nights or board games, or use the space to try out new hobbies. Your son’s old bedroom could become your husband’s new art studio.
If you’re a family of readers, you can finally give yourself a library and reading room. Make the space feel more relaxing with one of our country candles. Or you can turn the room into a home gym or yoga studio.
His New Room or Her New Room
Having new space gives couples freedom to stretch out. A child’s former bedroom can become a place for a wife to work from home, or for a husband to watch football with his friends. It can become a study, for quiet reading, or a place to take phone calls from family.
Your New Storage Room
If none of these options work, you at least have another storage space. And just because it’s storage space doesn’t mean it has to look bleak. Give the space a new coat of paint, or decorate with one of our many varieties of country curtains.
An old bedroom can become a cedar closet, simply by lining the walls with cedar plank or panel liners.
There’s a reason for cedar beyond the visual appeal. The planks smell nice, are safer than mothballs and have a natural resistance to pests such as moths, silverfish and cockroaches. A few extra planks can help trim the walls of the room, writes bobvila.com’s Jackie Dishner.
“Then the entire space becomes a great place to store seasonal outdoor equipment and clothing that might otherwise take up space in the garage.”
The room doesn’t have to become just the place you keep unwanted clothing or books or paperwork. Use it to store seasonal decorations or cleaning supplies.
Don’t clean house completely.
While you might be itching to repurpose an old bedroom, you may want to remember that college kids tend to still come home, at least on breaks.
“College kids are home a lot and it still needs to feel like their home,” says designer Lyn Peterson on the website Grown and Flown. “I hate the look of those partially empty spaces. Somehow to me they feel like someone fled in the night.”
Many designers suggest turning your child’s old bedroom into, well, their new bedroom: a place where they can stay when they visit, only a bit more grown up.