This article (2nd in a series) is about creating the space, the right home environment in your life from where you can make things right again and move forward most joyfully and productively after your divorce. You may have left a large house, never bought a towel, rarely cooked a dinner and have no clue what to buy, or even where to buy furniture that will hold up to use and is not over-priced. You work hard and simply don’t have the energy, desire, time or resources to furnish your new space (or empty old space), but you want the job done well, and you have the means to have it done right.
3 ACTION STEPS TO MOVE YOU FORWARD IN FURNISHING YOUR NEW HOME AS A DIVORCED MAN
Stacey Lapuk, ASID
Divorce is difficult enough. But knowing you can rest your head in a warm and inviting home specifically designed for you, will help to ease your transition into the life of a single man.
Your life is probably highly charged about now. You may not be sure what to expect in the process of designing your home, or even know what you want. All you know is you’ve been through a lot, and are now seeking peaceful and happy solutions to your home challenges. You fear leaving your past behind, and at the same time are excited about creating a new home of your own – one that reflects both who you are, and who you expect to become in your new life.
Action Step One
Your initial challenge is to make your Wish List. This is very personal, and probably something you haven’t considered for a long time. Be as objective as you can, removing limitations that might come up. The best way to do this is to remove yourself from your new home. You will be able to come up with ideas you may not have thought possible.
Make a list of phrases, words or sentences that express your ideal living environment.
Go through magazines or websites, cutting out pages of entire settings or particular items – any image that will give your designer a more rounded idea of what you might really want.
This may sound simple, but you’ll be surprised at what thoughts and ideas will come to you, as you work on this exercise. It will force you to think about, and envision a lifestyle that wasn’t even a possibility in the past. You are creating your new adventure as you begin your new life as a divorced man.
Prioritize your images and ideas in regards to both design and budget. Your designer can walk you through this process, until you have your clear, basic design ideas and appropriate budget. Then the design process really begins!
Action Step Two
Developing your floor plan will set the feeling and flow for your entire home. The last thing you need in your life right now is disharmony. A well-developed plan will keep spaces from stagnating, and feeling disjointed from one another. Done right, your floor plan will provide harmony, balance and flow. Living and moving in the space will have you feeling good about yourself – anchored, solid and free.
The elements in your floor plan will include area carpets, seating, tables, storage, artwork and lighting. Consider how many people you’ll need to seat. Is it formal or informal? Do you need storage? What is the focal point of your room? What functions will you need to accommodate? Reading, TV, entertaining both personal friends and dates, and business associates, card games, and homework is just the beginning.
Action Step Three
Purchasing your furnishings. Going from a “we” to “me” is a process, and to create a solid base, fewer, quality pieces should take precedent. A throw-away sofa will have you feeling a throw-away life.
Attention to detail and excellence in craftsmanship are a must. They will anchor you as you discover your new life. Pieces should be selected because they harmonize with the whole and fit into your overall design scheme. They each have a reason for being – far beyond the necessity of a chair in which to sit. No more piecemeal selections that may or may not work, and are purchased based on your need for immediate gratification. Your new life isn’t a shot in the dark – it should be deliberately moving you towards your new goals, even if you’re not quite certain what those are at the moment.
Design is not only about good taste or pretty colors, though these are certainly important aspects to your new home. More important are balance, order, scale and the overall harmony a space can evoke. The home has to feel right, in addition to being wonderful to look at and use. Your well-being will be affected. As the American Society of Interior Designers notes, “Design Impacts Lives”. Good design is about buying the right furnishings to fit within the proper context of your architecture, taste, needs and lifestyle. It’s worth being thoughtful and deliberate. After all, unlike a new suit or even a car, you probably won’t change your furniture pieces for many years to come.
Stacey Lapuk, ASID is celebrating her 30th year with her firm. Named “One of America’s Ten Designers To Watch” by Design Times Magazine, one of the “Top 100 Interior Designer in North America” by Blink Art Resources, and the winner of multiple national design awards. Her goal is simple: To co-create with her clients the home of their dreams with responsive and comprehensive solutions, and timeless, beautiful results.
Her full service firm attracts clients desiring the finest workmanship, materials and custom design. Facets of work include partnering with architects on new construction, remodels, kitchen design and bath design, color consultation, custom furniture, flooring, area carpets, wall and window treatments, lighting design, art procurement and antique acquisition.