Downsizing Decisions

In working with those who are downsizing to an independent living facility, I found that not only is it overwhelming, but in some ways sad. They are leaving a home that they thought would be their last, they must get rid of many, many items that won’t fit into the new residence and they have to get used to a new way of living. To give them something to look forward to:
1. Have family photos arranged on the wall in a similar manner that they are now displayed.
2. Offer to shop with them for new window treatments and/or bedding ensembles.
3. Help them find a “loving home” for those collectibles that cannot be moved with them.


If you can’t decide on a color for your new family room, try looking in your closet. You will see that many times you choose the same color over and over again. If that color doesn’t seem appropriate for that room (like hot pink!), use that color for an accent wall, throw pillows or matting for photos. If you use a basic neutral and add that pop of color use it in at least 3 areas.

Spray paint-colors, metallics, etc. can inexpensively update lighting fixtures. I’ve had two wall mounted fixtures that have been updated that way and been moved from a living room to a family room to a bathroom!

For paints that have fewer toxic fumes and less taxing on the environment use the ones with VOC levels below 150 grams per liter.

Boomers: Does it have to be gated and age restricted?

As I read an article in one of my trade journals, I agreed with many of the statements about “Boomers”; 1. They are downsizing to smaller, more manageable spaces; 2. They need furniture that will make it easier to rise from; 3. They mix and match furniture they want to keep with new pieces they want to incorporate. As a designer I have been working with older clients who do need to move into adult communities and Assisted living facilities. So yes, I have been doing the floor plans and working with them on lighting, color, etc.. What I don’t agree with is that Boomers downsizing to an adult community is the solution. Where is it written that we need to be “inside gates”! Why not a mixed community where children are living and going to school? That gives the possibility of families living near enough so grandchildren can ride their bikes to their grandparents’ home. It eliminates the problem of the community pool only being available to visiting grandchildren at certain times. It also doesn’t make me feel like I am just waiting for the “inevitable” to happen!

You are moving anyway!

You are moving anyway!
Even though you love your collection of roosters in the kitchen, now may be the time to pack them away. “Unstuff” your closets by packing the clothes you won’t be wearing until next season. Put storage racks on the floor of the closet to organize shoes, it looks neat and you can take them to your new home. If there are certain items that you will need to access, put them in labeled baskets instead of laying around on the counter or table tops.

Before you even think about putting the house on the market!

Take a walk through your home and make notes of what should be repaired, painted or replaced. Your daughter may love the purple on the walls of her room, but buyers won’t. Check doors and windows to be sure they are all in working order. Clean out the tub and shower areas with grout and specialized cleaners. Repair any cracks or chips. If you don’t think you can be objective about the walk through, either ask a (honest) friend, or look for a professional stager in your area.

Time to Move?

After the terribly cold, snowy, icy weather we””ve had here on the east coast, many people may be thinking about moving to warmer climates. Or they may just be thinking about moving! In any case now is a good time to start getting your home ready for sale. Keep in mind you may have to spend some money (for repairs, painting, etc.), but it will save you thousands of dollars that the buyer would like to deduct from the asking price if they have to do the work themselves. Make them want to come into your home. Clean up the yard, straighten out the mailbox and invite them inside with a great door color. More to come on inexpensive ways to fix up the interior of your home.

Christmas Clean Out

Many people will start their Christmas decorating as soon as Thanksgiving is over. If you are also contemplating putting your house on the market in the early Spring, this is a great time to start the “decluttering”. Pack up the photos and accessories in moving boxes. When bringing out the Christmas china and glasses, decide if you can do without the items you are putting away, either permanently or temporarily until you’ve moved. Making room in the closet for guests’ coats, weed out those you don’t wear any longer and donate them.

Check your pricing

I needed to make some signs out of card stock paper (it is a heavier than regular printing paper). Naturally I checked Staples website and found 65 lb., 8 1/2″ x 11″ 250 sheets to the package for $37.00. Wow-a little more than I expected. I decided to check out my local store (The Paper Superstore in Brick). I found the exact same paper, size, color, quantity for..are you ready for this..$14.35!!! Really Staples, you need to make that much profit!!

What to do with those catalogues?

I get many furnishings and accessories catalogues, which I am sure you do too. Although I have access to many design trade showrooms, I love seeing how the rooms are put together in these catalogues. Just to copy the room seems a little boring and you might see the same set up in your neighbor””s home. Try mixing items from different sources. Say, furniture from Ballard Designs, accessories from Grandinroad and rugs from I once did this for a client. They gave me a budget and I created a floor plan with furnishings and accessories. Then gave them a list of where everything came from. They could then shop on their own, when they wanted to.

Do you know what e-design is?

I””ve been thinking about adding e-design to my website, when it occurred to me-how many people even know what it is?? Basically it is the ability to work with an Interior Designer on line. Many people are “do-it-yourselfers” and don””t feel they want to incur the expense of working with a designer. Depending on the plans offered, you can get anything from a basic floor plan to color schemes to window treatment designs with a click of your mouse button. Sound interesting? E-mail me with your thoughts!