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Empty Nest Or Second Honeymoon? Redecorating Your Master Bedroom When the Kids Leave For College
I’m at a stage in life where many of my friends (who married young!) are sending their kids off to college and feeling the myriad emotions of an empty nest. I’ll admit that I haven’t been through this stage of life myself because I don’t have children, but as a writer I’m an observer of life and my perspective on it is this: like anything in life, we have choices. . You can either choose to feel like you are now old and useless, or you can choose to see this as a time to rejuvenate former personal dreams and goals and rekindle that special romantic spark with your longtime partner. . I can think of no better way to do this than to transform the master bedroom suite into a place of quiet rejuvenation and renewal – creating a “second honeymoon” getaway, if you will. If big college bills come up, you can do it on a dollar budget.
Here is the procedure:
1. Decide and eliminate. Clutter robs you of peace and good sleep. Go through your wardrobe and get rid of anything that no longer suits your current taste or doesn’t fit. Leave room for new clothes.
2. Drab Dressers. Get rid of old chests of drawers that are no longer your current decoration taste. Donate them or use them to store tools in your garage or camping gear in the basement.
3. Art Smart. Take down any art and get rid of any decorative accessories you no longer absolutely love. Leave aside the things you would still like to keep and integrate them into the new interior.
4. Beautiful bed. Is your mattress still in good condition? If not, replace it and make sure it’s luxuriously comfortable. Choose a headboard that you like, or forego it altogether and hang a beautiful large painting instead.
5. Window Wonder. Draw the old curtains? Take them off, fill the curtain holes in the walls and wash those windows until they shine!
6. Smoothness of the floor. Carpet outdated and worn? Scratched wooden floors? Replace and repair. It’s not expensive either.
7. Beauty bedspread. Choose a bedding set that will make you smile. Buy matching sheets, blankets or throws, pillows and curtains all at once so they all match. Make sure your sheets have a high thread count. Linens will set the tone for the style of your “second honeymoon” suite.
8. Soothing color. Take your bedding to a paint store and choose one of the colors it has for the walls and the other for the ceiling. They can answer it exactly.
9. Painting Party. Ask friends who are empty nesters over for pizza and painting. Later, you can help them in return. Make sure you use a healthier, VOC-free paint.
10. Noble furniture. You don’t have to break the bank to buy bedside tables and dressers that are reasonably priced but look expensive. Check furniture catalogs, online and in stores. Choose a style that complements your bedding.
11. Lighting Love. Forget the glare of overhead lighting – you want the mood of your ‘second honeymoon’ suite to be romantic, so instead choose bedside lamps in a style and color you love, and make sure the bulbs cast a soft pink or yellow glow.
12. Amazing art. Now it’s time to pick some art that will make you swoon. Discount stores often have beautiful art prints for a small price, or frame pictures of your lovely family in matching frames to create a “happy wall” of family photo collages. Choose vases and other accessories in colors that complement your bedding.
13. Bathroom Bliss. If you can’t afford to replace the tub and sinks or you don’t like their color, have them resurfaced or just replace the fixtures. Paint the walls or choose wallpaper that matches the color of the bathtub and sink. Fresh fluffy towels and beautiful art and bathroom accessories that match the color scheme and style of your bedroom will complete the ‘suite’ look.
14. Movie magic. Place your TV in a hidden cabinet or mount it on the wall so you can shut yourself off from the world on a Friday night by choosing a movie that you both enjoy as a way to recover from a busy work week. My husband and I do this and it is welfare. You might even consider stocking the mini-fridge with goodies.
15. Final Flair. Time to put it all together. Arrange the furniture in a pleasant arrangement, make the bed nicely, hang the curtains, place the art and accessories and turn on the soft light of the bedside lamps. Put fresh flowers in a vase, turn down your favorite music, light a candle and pour some sparkling cider!
When I was recently giving this “second honeymoon” of my new honeymoon to a friend who was about to be empty, she quipped, “Second honeymoon, hmmm…could it give you a headache?” I laughed and said, “No way, honey! … So get out that brush, put on your best negligee, and get moving!”
Copyright 2009 Kathryn Bechen and Kathryn Bechen Ink. All rights reserved.
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