Remodel your home in your own image

Was COVID-19 the last straw? Or have the problems been simmering quietly for a while?

Whatever the reason, a subset of homeowners called it quits during and immediately after the pandemic—and now they’re facing a challenge: carving out post-divorce space in the home.

“While I don’t like focusing on the negative reasons why some people need remodeling, a change in partnership creates new needs and allows you to update your style and décor,” he says. Pamela O’Brien Designed by Pamela Hope.

The couple can take advantage of this fresh start, first by stepping back to re-evaluate the current look. Then, immerse yourself in some locations and remake them to fit new life. But most importantly, take your time.

“You may not know which style speaks to you yet, and there’s no rule that says you have to redo everything at once. So just go room by room,” he suggests. Lisa Davisa shopping expert at RetailMeNot.

To help, here are seven ways to rejuvenate your nest after a lucky bird flies away.

1. Treat the bedroom

Photo by Leslie Cotter Interiors

The primary bedroom is the first obvious space to revamp after a breakup. For some, this means a brand new bed, while others will just change the linens and maybe even paint the walls.

“Ask yourself what colors, textures, and lighting make you feel the most, and know that changes don’t have to be drastic or expensive,” she says. Lindsey hibiscuspodcaster and design coach.

Throwing faux fur and simple graphic prints to replace dark bedding might be all it takes.

O’Brien mentioned that some of her divorced clients have embraced a more feminine design aesthetic, with an emphasis on white, pastel, and soft fabrics.

“If finances permit, consider downsizing from a king to a queen-size bed to create more bedroom space and then get the bedding you love in your style,” says Davis.

For her divorce, Davis made a bedroom makeover by painting old furniture she had and adding a floor mirror.

“It has become a focal point in the space, and it makes me smile every time I walk in,” she says.

2. Clean up the mess

Image by DesignbyRuchi

Getting rid of your ex-spouse’s stuff can clear your mind as well as off your shelves. If you’re changing homes, O’Brien adds, “there’s no need to pay people to move things you don’t ultimately want or need.” In short, let her go!

Not only do you gain more openness, but you also rid your home of shared possessions that aren’t supportive of your recovery, Roselle notes.

To do this, take a friend to help you load old albums, books, papers, and other junk so you can make a clean start.

3. Add some feelings for the kids

Photo by Cody Craig Custom Homes

O’Brien notes that some of her male clients rely on the new décor so they can create a “warm and inviting home for their children to visit.”

Family-friendly rooms, such as an entryway and a cozy room to hang out in, are key here.

“Let the kids also be involved in creating their new room,” she adds.

Roselle offers “a new theme for your children’s room or an update to suit their current age that brings energy as they navigate the changes at home – and you’ll smile when you spy their faces light up when you see them.”

4. Carve out a personal angle

Photo by Michael Ricks Architects

Whether it’s a quiet reading nook or a window seat for contemplation, having a place for yourself signals a fresh start.

“Even something as simple as a comfy chair in the corner of a room with a warm blanket that you can cover up can do wonders to keep you satisfied and put you in a calm mindset,” says Roselle.

5. Say “yes” to the color

Photo by Tom Stringer Design Partners

There’s nothing wrong with muted colors or darker shades, but veering a little more sunshine is a smart move when you’re dealing with post-divorce decorating.

“Brightness is a great medicine for healing the heart after a relationship ends,” says Roselle.

This might mean yellow in the dining room, pink in half the bathroom, or light blue in the laundry area. Or go over the paint, she adds, by choosing a new lamp “or even different window coverings or shades that filter sunlight differently.”

6. Bring in nature

Hose Photography

Last year’s Norwegian decorating trend for bringing nature indoors, known as friluftsliv, is the perfect antidote to a wounded heart. And while you don’t want to drift into crazy botanical territory, adding some greenery provides vibrancy and happiness in the home, says Roselle.

“It also reminds me of spring and summer, which is most welcome during the cooler period of the year or life stages,” she adds.

Do you have a black thumb? Air plants and succulents are practically hands-off, and there are a variety of fake plants that look so real, your friends will beg to touch them.

7. Add scent to your room

Reinventing yourself in the way you decorate can mean a special fragrance that you enjoy when you enter a new space. Diffuser candles, incense, and essential oils are easy ways to infuse your rooms with signature scents that brighten your mood and make everything smell delicious. Varieties we love include lemon, vanilla, cinnamon, lavender, and eucalyptus.

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