By Tammy Brooks, Marketing Specialist at Twin Towers
Making decisions about what to bring to your new home can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve been living in your current home for years.As an interior designer, I’ve walked clients through this decision making process countless times.
Here are some tips to help you tackle the task of laying out your new space and how to evaluate what to bring.
1. Define The Space
Decide how you will use the rooms in your home. This is especially important in floor plans with an open concept. Create an imaginary line within that space and look at each as a distinct room.
If your imagination isn’t enough, place painter’s tape where you see the room divide, or put a rug centrally in the area to aid you in separating the space.
For rooms that will serve a dual purpose, anchor the furniture pieces into each area so that each space is well defined. For example, if you have a dining room/living room area, place your dining table under your chandelier and anchor your buffet on the wall centered with the table.
It’s important to remember that the division of the space is not just in relation to furniture. Centering artwork in the defined space rather than on the entire length of the wall is suggested.
If you don’t see any negative space, the untouched wall space surrounding your art and decor on your walls, that is an indicator that something is “off”. Don’t be afraid of a little negative space on the floor and the walls between areas. This allows your eye to visualize that there are indeed two different spaces.
2. Identify Walkways
As you move through your new home, you will quickly discover the natural walkways. If you are moving with a pet, allow them to explore and take note of how they are navigating the new space.
For major walkways, typically those that lead you to a doorway, allow for 4 feet of space. This provides ample room for 2 people to walk side by side or pass each other.
Areas that are accessed less frequently can be closer to 3 feet wide as they will not be used as often. These spaces may include areas behind a couch or console table. Remember, it is ok to not place all of your furniture against the walls. Depending on how big your space is, placing your furniture up against the walls can cause the conversation area to be too big.
3. Functional Use of Furniture
Making decisions about furniture pieces can be some of the most difficult during this process. If you are downsizing and know that you cannot bring everything you’ll need to evaluate each piece to decide if it makes sense to bring it to your new home.
Here are the things you will want to consider:
- Is the piece necessary?
- Does it perform a function that cannot be replicated in another area of your home?
- Do you use the piece daily?
- Will it fit in your new space?
- What condition is it in? Many find that this is a great time to replace things, like mattresses, that have become worn or need to be replaced.
Regardless of the answers to the above, you may find that you still have a few items that you just can’t part with. Here are some suggestions for these items:
- If you love a piece of furniture but it is no longer needed, try to find a new purpose for it in your home. For example, a chest of drawers from your old guest room may work well in your new foyer or offer you some added storage for linens in your dining room.
- Have some extra dining chairs? Use them in a corner of your bedroom or office. A small throw blanket can dress them up and they can still be pulled out when you have guests.
- Perhaps you have a formal dining table but no dining room? Try taking the leaves out and using it in a kitchen nook or sunroom.
Thinking of different ways to use furniture pieces can breathe new life into them and having them in your new home can provide you comfort. Just do your best to make decisions so that the items you take serve a purpose either visually or functionally.
4. Think Up
Use vertical space to your advantage, not only on the walls but in your closets, storage space or garage.
If you purchased closet organizers in your last home, see if they will fit in your new space. You may need to disassemble or redesign them but they very well may serve you in your new home.
Stacking - If you have two similar pieces of art in the same style frames and size, you can stack them. Place them on your floor first and measure the height of them as a whole. Hang them at so they so that they are centered at eye level. The bottom one will be hung lower than normal and the top one will be hung higher than normal. I usually like to put about a 3” space between the two frames.
Gallery Style - You can also consider putting together a gallery. Place all the pieces on the floor before hanging and make sure you look at them as a whole when deciding where to place them on the wall. You can use different styles and shapes of art in your gallery.
For example, hang a rectangular canvas painting, round mirror, and a piece of metal art. I like to use equal space between each of the pieces. So, if there is a 2” space between the canvas and the mirror, there should be a 2” space between the mirror and the metal art piece.
5. Lighting Is Everything
Don’t rely solely on overhead lights to illuminate your new space, think about using lamps for lighting. Lamps add warm, low light and it will help you enjoy the space so much more.
- Lighting can transform a space. If you are entertaining in your living room but have a lamp on your TV console, turn the lamp on when you have guests! It will divert attention from the TV being there and help to create a conversation space.
- Lighting helps to expand space. Use lamps in multiple spaces of a room, spacing them out so that all areas are illuminated. I also like illuminating corners if possible. For example, if you have a chair in the corner of a room, place a standing lamp next to it.
- Light bulbs matter. The type of light bulb you choose makes a huge difference. There are bulbs that cast a cold, blue light and there are bulbs that cast a warm, yellow light. The warmer the light, the better your space will feel.
The goal is to make your new home your own - so don't be afraid that you 'won't get it right' when you first move. As you settle in you'll learn what is best for you, and you can always make changes!
Each day at Twin Towers offers a new opportunity to engage in life and enjoy an exceptional lifestyle. Fill your days with enrichment, activities, exercise at The Connection, friendships and lots more. To find out more about senior living at Twin Towers, contact us online today.