All the kids are gone and now you are left with rooms full of outdated, well-used furniture filled with memories, worn spots, stains, and sagging cushions. How do you conquer empty nest syndrome?

Simple –it’s time to let go of the memories and redo those rooms to reflect the new grown up you and this new chapter in your life! But as we stand there looking, dread overcomes us and we are stumped. “Yikes! This is going to cost a fortune.” We become paralyzed and the project stops dead in its tracks.

Don’t stop! Instead, start with your inspiration.

Start with a Room That Will Matter to You

Don’t get stuck conjuring up ideas for your newly vacant rooms. Instead, look around your entire house. What spaces stand out to you? Which do you feel have the most potential for improvement?

Decide what is most important to you, and start with that room in your empty nester house plans. If it’s the master bedroom you’ve always wanted to change, then start there. Is it the family room that has the worst wear? Then go for it. Or maybe it’s the kitchen that never was never quite functional for the baking or cooking you wanted to. Start dreaming up a remodel.

When you’ve narrowed down your focus, it’s time to ask yourself the finer questions.

Questions to Inspire Home Remodeling Ideas

  1. What is your lifestyle?
  2. How do you want this room to feel? (Warm and inviting, relaxing and spa-like, etc.)
  3. How do you want this room to function?
  4. What do you like about your room and what changes do you want to make?
  5. What do you envision your room to look like?
  6. What is most important to you?
  7. What do you want to incorporate from the existing space?
  8. How much money do you want to spend?

These are great thought provoking questions that help you narrow down your scope and vision for your space. This gives a definition to what you want and helps the process really start.

Next Steps Remodeling your Room:

  1. Measure your space, get some graph paper, and draw out the layout of the room. Placement of doors and windows are important, keep that in mind.
  2. Use a free room planning software and transfer your measurements. Don’t be intimidated! You’ll be surprised at how useful this will be in your process. Check out Planner 5D and Roomstyler 3D.
  3. When out shopping, pay special attention to your fabric choices. These will drive the overall color scheme for your room.
  4. Take your sample fabrics to the paint store and select a number of colors. Once you bring them home, look at the swatches throughout the day and night as the color will change moods. Select your favorites and then get samples paints to paint large samples to further confirm your choice.
  5. Make sure you have enough lighting in your room. This is one of the biggest mistakes we make! Think of lighting as a triangle; there should be three points of light in your room. Use floor lamps, table lamps and if your room calls for it, go for a chandelier. What a statement that will make!
  6. Add a rug to anchor your conversational space. It can be colorful, a floral design, geometrical, Persian, etc.
  7. Accessorize with artwork on the walls and pillows that bring in depth and color. Add a bit of the outdoors with a large plant. Use baskets for storage and find an ottoman that doubles as a coffee table. Be creative; check out Pier One Imports, HomeGoods, and World Market for unique, fun pieces!

Thinking of a Kitchen Remodel or Bathroom Renovation?

These can be a bit trickier, but my recommendation would be to connect with a local Interior Designer. They will be able to work with you to put together the design concept and layout which will help you envision what you can do with your space. For a Portland Interior Designer, look no further than us! Contact Karen Linder Interior Design for advice and quotes.

A contractor is also a great connection, as they will be able to help you figure out what your budget will be for a remodel. Remodeling can be full of surprises, but a good contractor will always minimize the unknowns!

So remember this: as you embark on the next chapter of your life, this is your time, your space. Make it your own that reflects your lifestyle!