Overcoming downsizing decorating dilemmas

By Cassy Young, 2015 recipient of International “Dream Room Award”

Downsizing can present some furnishings and decorating dilemmas. What do we keep? What will work in new spaces? How do I make rooms multi-functional? And what will we do with all of our memorabilia?

A good start is to go into each room and ask: “If I (we) could take only one piece of furniture, one decoration, or one accessory, what would that be?” Write that down, and then do the same thing in every room in the house you are leaving. You can add second choices, third, etc. for each room.

This exercise will give you a good idea of what really made your house a home to you, what made it special, what made it you. It will help to take photos of each room.

Now try to determine if there are any commonalities among these items. Might it be sentimentality? Could it be stories about how they were acquired? Is it the color or colors?

Speaking of color: Are you tired of any? Are there some colors or patterns you would like to duplicate? When you decorated before, what came first, your choice of colors and patterns or certain pieces of furniture? In other words, what were the primary influences in your furnishings and decorating?

In all of this, the idea is to help you think through what it is that makes your home interior very special to you.

Your new space

Now some questions about your new space: In what rooms will you be spending most of your time? Will you be entertaining? Do you want to make any kind of statement with your decorating?

Do you want to create memories for yourself and visiting family members? What role will electronics such as computers or a media center play in your lifestyle at home? Will one room have to serve as or double as a home office?

Now, the tough part: Go back to the lists from the house you’re leaving. What will fit in the new spaces? What will work? What won’t?

The first decision to make is this: how complete do you want the new space to be when you move in. If you want it complete, you’ll have to make painting or wallcovering choices and window treatment selections by considering the furniture pieces that are still at your house along with the space, lighting and flooring of the new home. And, of course, you’ll have to make choices for new furnishings. This is a good time to consider whether you might need some help. A professional decorator could provide assistance that will help you get the results you want with the least hassle.

Whether with help or on your own, you’ll want to measure pieces that you’re taking and list them. Those photos may help here. Next you’ll want to visit the new space to measure walls and take photos of those spaces.

Back at your current home, you can start to select and plan. You can work through your new home room by room, selecting fabrics, wallcoverings, paint colors, window treatments, furniture and accessories. A professional will probably have tools that can help you visualize and plan your new space. After, you can return to the new home with your designer to check selections against the natural light there.

With this approach, you can move into a home that’s yours—right now.


Cassy Young_Decorating Den

As an Allied ASID Interior Designer and owner of Decorating Den Interiors, Cassy Young represents more than 85 home furnishings suppliers and offers furniture, accessories, lighting, floor and wall coverings and custom window treatments. Please call Cassy at 706-540-8925 and talk about making your home beautiful.

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