ReNesting, reusing, repurposing - they all mean essentially the same thing when it comes to transitioning your furniture to a new house. We have helped a lot of our clients transition their stuff when they move with our ReNesting service.Read More
Whenever we start a project, one of the first things we need to determine is how the room will be used, how many people will be using it at a time, and what are the possible needs we should consider when selecting and arranging the pieces for the room. And with the multipurpose spaces like the “great rooms” that are breeding in new construction and rehabs like rabbits, many rooms need to have the flexibility to serve a lot of functions. After all, if a room doesn’t function comfortably and well, what good is it? We WANT you to love your room and that means it needs to work perfectly as well as look good doing it!Read More
Luxury Downsizing – it’s what all the cool kids are doing! And while this post is written about downsizing in particular, much of it applies to ANY move. There is a reason so many empty nesters are downsizing to luxury apartments, condos, or smaller single-family homes. There are advantages to downsizing. Having less to decorate and maintain means more resources to do it well. AND Moving to smaller square footage affords more time (and often closer proximity) to enjoy travel, leisure, and cultural pursuits from a home base that is perfectly suited for your lifestyle.Read More
A recent quick stop at the Boston Design Center yielded some interesting finds - some furniture with hidden surprises inside - kind of like the joy of a box of Cracker Jacks (only for grown ups and much less sticky!)
At Antiques on 5, we saw the gorgeous curved antique burl wood cabinet shown above. While this would be a beautiful accent piece in any room, it is also eminently practical with a stunning mirrored bar inside.
Furniture that pulls double duty can be a terrific asset anywhere, but it is especially helpful with the current trend toward downsizing into smaller spaces. The shelves in these bookcase cabinets at the Grange Furniture showroom slide to the sides to reveal a media center. What a fabulous way to have a large television without having a huge black rectangle glowering at you when it is not in use - there when you want it, gone when you don't!
And for the ultimate in couch potato living, these coffee tables have both storage and sections that lift up to dining/desk height to become a convenient place to eat or work ... a great solution where space for a separate dining room or home office is limited.
These are just a few of the great options available to maximize comfort and function in the most beautiful way. We are loving this furniture with a 'surprise inside'!
It is more than likely, if you are downsizing, that you will be editing down to less rooms – perhaps one ‘great room’ space to live in rather than the ubiquitous and sometimes redundant ‘living room’ AND ‘family room’. Planning these new living spaces wisely is tremendously important to the ability to live comfortably and well.
Here are 5 things that should be prioritized in your new living room space:
1 Colors you love (look at our March 28, 2016 post for tips on choosing paint colors)
Color has the power to shift the whole mood of a room so plan your color scheme to accomplish your goals. Are you looking for a serene, calm space? A vibrant, energized atmosphere? A cozy, warm retreat? The right colors can help get you there.
2 Comfortable seating for yourself and a variety of guests
Plan furniture arrangements conducive to how you live. If you watch TV frequently or prefer the atmosphere of a cozy fire, seating that is arranged around the TV or fireplace, or both if that is part of your routine, is imperative. Seating pieces should be arranged for comfort and comfortable conversation – if at all possible, in such a way that someone passing through the room doesn't block the view of the TV or interrupt a conversation. Consider how you want to use the room first and then what you need to use it that way. Perhaps an ottoman to prop your feet while watching TV or reading? A sofa long enough to stretch out on? Perching spots for guests when entertaining? Fabrics that are durable and cleanable as well as beautiful? The days of the 'living room' with plastic protective covers on the furniture and invisible velvet ropes at the doors have, blessedly, come to an end.
3 Tables within easy reach of each seat
Coffee tables, side tables, console tables – all can make a difference in usability of the room. Tables need to be available to hold a drink, a book you are reading, a laptop, a flower arrangement, or the remote. Whatever your goals are for use of the room, plan your tables accordingly, but each seat should have access to a spot to put down a drink, at the very least!
4 Appropriate and adequate lighting
Well dispersed lighting can create a flattering atmosphere, or accent art or architectural features in a room. Lamps tend to cast friendlier light than overhead fixtures, and any overhead fixtures should be on dimmer switches, Lamps can provide reading light or ambient light or both. Fixtures and lamps can also contribute to the overall mood of the room as accessories in their own right. Choose both the lampshades and the bulbs for your lamps with an understanding of the impact they have on the quality of light and the resulting atmosphere. My personal suspicions that fluorescent lights were conceived by an evil overlord bent on destroying civilized society aside, choose what is best for you!
5 Personal, meaningful accessories and art
Favorite art that may have been scattered throughout a larger home previously, can have great impact gathered into a gallery wall arranged for best effect in your new space. And meaningful accessories or carefully curated collections will personalize your new space and help it instantly feel familiar.
The key to making your house into a home lies in surrounding yourself with the things you love and making your home furnishings and accessories choices serve how YOU want to live.
Are you up to your eyeballs in stuff? Even if you are not a candidate for the show ‘Hoarders”, we all need to de-clutter occasionally. Stuff, it seems, just creeps in and multiplies without conscious effort on our part.
Spring is around the corner and it is the perfect time for a clean sweep.
If you are getting ready to sell or preparing to downsize, there is no better time than now to start editing your possessions. Need help? There are professionals who special in organizing and in liquidating if you don’t have the time or inclination take on the task yourself, but only you can decide what is really important to you. Editing down to just the best of the best is difficult and often emotional, but if you are planning to downsize it is critical. De-cluttering and downsizing is often very freeing.
Conventional wisdom on de-cluttering advocates the box or pile method: go through each space and sort into 4 piles: throw away, donate (or pass along to family members), sell, and keep. When you are preparing to move to smaller square footage, the "keep" pile requires a great deal of thought.
Having a cohesive plan for what will make the move is essential. Planning not only from a ‘will it fit?’ space perspective, but also from a ‘will it WORK?’ design and scale perspective will save time and regret later on. For example, suppose you have a favorite hand-painted armoire you are currently using for storage. It looks terrific in your home with the scale of things around it and in the room, but will it look good with different things? Or in a smaller room? Or with lower ceilings? Will the bulk of it make the whole room feel uncomfortably lopsided? Does it need to be balanced with furnishings or artwork on an opposite wall? Will it fit through the doors or up a staircase to get to it's new destination? Just because it fits on the floor plan (and yes, you should measure everything and yes, you should have a floor plan!), doesn't mean it will be just fine as is. It might, or it might not. It may need re-thinking. Can the doors be re-used on built-in storage in the new space or re-purposed as artwork so you can enjoy your favorite things about the piece without the bulk? Creative solutions are often necessary.
For help with strategic planning and creative solutions for your move, check out our ReNesting services.
What is the most difficult part of deciding what to take to your next house?
Have you considered moving to a smaller space, but aren’t quite ready to part with your treasured belongings? You are not alone!
Downsizing is a popular trend right now and the reasons for it vary widely … sometimes it is empty nesters looking for less to maintain and more freedom to travel and enjoy newfound leisure time, sometimes it is the result of a life-change like loss of a spouse due to death or divorce, and sometimes it is a move from sprawling suburbia to more compact city spaces to be close to work or to all the cultural opportunities the city has to offer (or both!).
Though the reasons are varied, the goal is always the same: to arrive at a place that still feels like home and to be surrounded with the things you treasure most.
Here are the top 3 challenges to moving to a smaller space:
1. Not sure WHERE to move to
While this is a perfectly valid reason, a little research can help – check out different neighborhoods and areas to find one that resonates with you, then connect with a real estate professional so you get informed when something comes on the market in your preferred location.
2. Overwhelmed by the idea of sorting through your stuff
There are professionals to help with this, but you can start immediately by tackling different areas one at a time and sorting and organizing. Sorting can be painful and time consuming, but far less so than the pain of storing or moving things you won’t really ever use. The popular The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo is an inspiring book on the subject of editing and organizing your belongings – even if, like me, you can’t buy into all of it, the premise is sound, and anything you can accomplish is a step in the right direction
3. Worried about feeling at home with less of your stuff
Bringing the important things with you is the key – pictures, artwork, things with special memories attached. Thoughtful attention to the relocation of the things that make you smile every day is what will make you feel like your new space is truly YOUR home!
What’s the biggest challenge for you in considering downsizing or moving?