New Look For The Empty Nest
Moving Mom: Part 1
Baby Boomers are hitting retirement age. More and more people will be downsizing and moving to smaller and more efficient living spaces. Retirees will want comfort, independence and homes they can age into gracefully. That means living on one level and floor plans with universal design elements in case wheel chairs and walkers are future necessities. For some people it will mean condo living and others apartment convenience. Wherever you choose to live as you gain wisdom (sounds better than aging doesn’t it?), you will certainly want to put your signature style on your interior design.
Last spring, my mother-in-law decided that it was time to sell her home. It was not an easy decision; after all, she lived in the home she built with my father-in-law for over 40 years. Once she realized she just couldn’t take care of everything, we helped her with options. Apartment living was much more appealing to her than a condo. She wanted to live in a place that offered activities, outings and camaraderie.
I took her apartment “shopping” as soon as her house was on the market (sold in 3 days!). First we made a list of her needs and wants. Besides the activities, most important to her was:
- 2 Bedrooms. She wanted a separate room for her sewing machine and ironing board.
- Dining room. She really wanted to take her dining room table and chair set.
- Highboy desk. This is another piece of furniture she loves and finding space for it was important.
We found a lovely place with 2 bedrooms and an L-shaped living and dining room with lots of friendly people and so many things to do she can stay busy 7 days a week.
I will take you on our down-sizing journey. You gotta have vision when looking at apartments with stark white walls, white mini blinds on the windows and beige carpet.
Moving on is a difficult process for the elderly parents and adult children. It’s hard to say good-bye to the childhood home. Deciding what to move, give away and toss can be very emotional.
It pays to enlist the help of an interior designer. I can look at everything from a neutral perspective. I am Switzerland. I measure the space and the existing furniture so we know exactly what will fit and what won’t. The best part of hiring a designer is you don’t have to be the bad guy. I have no problem when a client tells her dad, “Since Merri said it won’t fit, we have to leave it behind, but she said there is plenty of room for this piece”. Really, I don’t mind taking the blame for the sake of family unity, sanity and to keep the peace!