In our final newsletter for the year I’d like to finish the five key questions you need to ask yourself before downsizing…
Are you planning to repurpose existing furniture or buy new? We’ve had so many clients who are attached to favourite sofas, armchairs or even tables.
Aside from the fabulous variety of fabrics to choose from, you can remove unwanted ‘curves’…(think 80’s big curvy sofa/armchair arms), to produce more streamlined pieces with a contemporary aesthetic. Additionally, seat and cushion inserts have come a long way in the last 10 years so your updated sofa or armchairs will likely be more comfortable and easier to keep in shape than previously.
Examples of two projects where we’ve updated clients’ much loved Moran sofas by removing rolled arms and upholstering in new fabrics.
Our philosophy is, if a client’s existing furniture is well-made and can successfully be updated we’re all for repurposing. Some people prefer to start afresh and literally give all their old furniture and items to adult children or to charity, so in the name of sustainability, repurposing is very satisfying.
If you do decide to go down this path, it’s still important to purchase new furnishings, lighting or rugs to blend with your existing pieces. That way you’ll breathe fresh energy into the spaces, you’ll feel you’ve moved forward and the interiors will be more in keeping with the architecture of the building.
This is a nice segue into the final question…
Just before you downsize, are you happy to move forward with an open mind?
Moving from a family home into an apartment does take some adjustment. However, overwhelmingly, our clients have been so happy having done so. Initially, they may have been disappointed moving into smaller spaces but once acclimatised they’ve admitted to how much easier it is to manage…’much like a Parisian apartment’! I notice too, that if they have a beach house or a cottage in the country, having less space becomes less of an issue for them.
We have clients who have either moved into large apartment complexes or smaller ones, and have enjoyed getting to know their neighbours. They’ve also loved becoming familiar with a different neighbourhood and being closer to galleries, theatres or even cafes and restaurants.
But when it comes to their new interiors it’s invigorating for them if they embrace new ideas or revisit things they’ve said ‘no’ to in the past.
Many clients have been sceptical about using wallpaper, or even painting walls a different colour to standard white. However, when we’ve convinced them to do so they’ve absolutely loved the result. Using wallpaper really is the easiest way to introduce texture and colour…transforming a room to a mood infused space. A large living room will be ‘grounded’ and will have more gravitas, and most of us know that wallpapering a powder room can potentially transform this tiny room into a beautiful wonderland!
How wallpaper can enhance various interior spaces.
When moving into an apartment or townhouse for the first time, I also think people are inclined to leave the walls and existing cabinetry as is. With all the activity of the move they don’t really want to change anything but in the end, they can regret the lack of storage or display.
We often design and have installed custom cabinetry…bookshelves, sideboards, entertainment units or expanded wardrobes, prior to moving in. When you’ve waited a long time to make this move I feel it’s important for everything to be just right…that way, you won’t end up resenting your move.
Modern apartments and townhouses are fitted out with the most beautiful new finishes and fixtures so decorating them with equally beautiful furniture, rugs, artworks and window furnishings just makes your transformation that much more complete and special.
To recap, the 5 key questions should be:-
- How do you want to live your new life once you’ve made the move into your new residence? Will you be travelling, what sports or hobbies will you be participating in and do you anticipate entertaining often?
- Most people moving out of the family home are enamoured with idea of reducing the amount of space they want to live in….how large are the items you’re keen to take with you? Will they be appropriate for your new digs, will they be used and will they fit into the lift if you’re moving into an apartment? Scale and capacity of your new home will predetermine what you’ll be able to keep or not, and remember, there’s light at the end of the tunnel…editing your belongings can be a wonderfully cathartic exercise!
- Have you considered that in the hands of an experienced designer you can add additional cabinetry in your new home? That way you can store and display treasured fine china, silver or platters collected on overseas trips! Or, how about creating an area where you can serve drinks when entertaining? How about bookshelves for books, shelving for collectables or to display beautiful sculptures? Appropriate storage for clothing, suitcases, the vacuum cleaner, ironing board or indoor line…not all apartments make room for these!
- Have you considered repurposing existing pieces of furniture or are you wanting to start afresh, or a mix of both?
- Are you prepared to move forward with an open mind? As well as the potential for a whole new lifestyle, there is a plethora of wonderful wallpapers, fabrics, furniture designs, modern lighting and space solutions for you to enjoy at this stage of your life…now is the time!