Decorating After You’ve Downsized

Laurie WallDesign

House a Home - Armchair with Decorative Pillow

Downsizing can be an emotional experience. Chances are that you’re going to a smaller place because there’s been a major shift in your life. Try to embrace the change rather than be overwhelmed by it. See this as an opportunity to begin a whole new life rather than simply an editing of the old one. Here are some tips to get you started.

Get Rid of Stuff You Don’t Need

Chances are you’ve probably accumulated tons of stuff in the larger place that you really don’t need. Maybe you’ve stored it away somewhere and forgotten about it. Or it’s stuff you keep thinking you’ll use again but never do. Or you have redundancies—how many colanders do you need anyway? Be honest with yourself about what you actually use and what you could easily live without. If you have trouble doing that, find a good friend to help.

Curate Your Goods

It’s likely that a lot of your stuff came into your life through happenstance. You probably didn’t make conscious decisions about roughly 80% of it. It was a gift, an impulse buy, or something a child or a spouse brought home. Decorating when downsizing is your opportunity to be deliberate about what you have and how it shapes your style. Choose only what suits you now. Don’t go for the quick fix, but take your time considering what you really want in your new home. Because you’ll have fewer things, you can afford to make sure that each one is a quality item.

Who Says Less Is More?

Going smaller doesn’t mean decorating your home with dollhouse furniture. When choosing furniture, you have two options. The first is to pick smaller furnishings that are proportionate to the space. The second is to get larger pieces but fewer of them. For example, you might choose a funky, oversized couch and use it as a focal point of your living room. You don’t need four chairs, a coffee table, and end tables. Be selective about how you decorate the rest of the room to set off that couch.

Make a Plan

For decorating when downsizing, make a floor plan of the new place and then arrange the furniture to see how it fits in the space. This kind of plan will help you decide what to bring and where it should go. It’s better to have a plan before you move than to try to make decisions when you’ve got a small space crammed full of furniture.

Choose a Single Color Palette

A larger home can support a different color scheme in each room, but too many colors can look busy or chaotic in a smaller house. If you choose a single color palette and carry it through the house, it will give the space a sense of flow and make it feel bigger. Choose lighter colors that make the space feel more open. You can always use darker, more saturated colors for accents.

Make Sure Everything Serves At Least One Purpose

When space is limited, you want to eliminate frivolous items. Choose things that generally serve more than one function. For example, use a trunk as a coffee table. When you’re decorating when downsizing, items that are decorative and also provide storage are a great functional addition. You’ll want as many storage options as possible in your smaller home.

Downsizing usually means that you’re making big changes in your life. Change can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Embrace the change as an opportunity for a fresh start. Decorating when downsizing can help you make conscious choices about what you want your new life to look like.

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