Having lived in a large home for many years, you have decided to move into a smaller space.  It may be because of your retirement, you may be a single buyer, or you may just want to leave behind the responsibility of maintaining a large house.  Whatever the reason, you have some tough decisions to make.  What stays what goes?

I believe you should work backwards.  You have lived in a comfortable environment for many years with many of the same furnishings, albeit furnishings that you liked and furnishings that hold memories for you.  Why not think in terms of creating a place that reflects who you are now?  It is easy to start filling your new living space with your existing furniture until you have no room left.  When all is said and done, everything is the same except it has been squeezed into a smaller space. I say stick with “the new you” plan.

I am not suggesting that you discard all of your old furnishings because there may be many pieces that will add beauty to the rooms.  It is more important to keep the furniture to a minimum and make sure that the pieces are all complimentary in style throughout your new home.  A smaller space calls for some uniformity and a range of colors that you can carry through every room.  If you use different print patterns and textures, and vary the color shade and intensity, you will have uniqueness for each space yet the colors will blend from one area to another, thereby giving the feeling of more space.  In a small space, you may be tempted to forgo window treatments, but do not make this mistake.  Floor length curtains add fullness, height, drama and comfort that is hard to replicate using any other decorating item.  A nice rod and complimentary fabric color, pattern or texture will enhance the appearance of the room.  I say hang them on every window.  You will be surprised at the result.

I encourage my clients to have fewer pieces of furniture that are dramatic in scale.  Just because the area is small, it does not mean that small-sized pieces have to be added.  If you have a swivel chair or an armless chair with matching lamps and end tables that you would like to keep, then keep them.  Floor plans are generally kept open in a small area to give a larger illusion to the space.  These pieces will fit perfectly, and the swivel and armless chairs will allow you to move from one conversational area to another.

Proper wall color will add much to the appearance of your new home.  Be somewhat bold in your selection.  A deeper wall color on one wall in each room will add drama to the space.  The wall behind your headboard, the wall behind the china cabinet and the wall behind the media unit are perfect places to begin.  Then, add accents of the same color throughout each room, and you have a great look to your new home.  Less clutter and more open space will make the downsizing quite enjoyable.

Follow these tips and you just may experience the joy of downsizing.

Wendy Lepkoff – Wendy Interiors