Making Things Right Again:

Creating a New Home, This Time as a Divorcee

This article (1st 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.

This is about you, finding and designing your story from where you can rebuild and live your best life. You’re ready to make new dreams, to be more than simply a “resource”, the person who paid the bills or a “caregiver”, the person who takes care of everyone. Now it’s time to begin to understand your family hasn’t been destroyed, rather it’s changed. You’re starting to think about what’s important to you, rather than what’s simply an obligation that you had come to believe was what defined you.

Stacey Lapuk, ASID

You’re beginning to understand you haven’t lost “your home”, but “a home”, and that it’s up to you to build a “new home”. You’re starting to internalize the fact that home is more than the place where you sleep. In fact, it’s the place that you choose as the center of your life, where you’re going to energize, create, dream, rest, share with your children and entertain friends and eventually, bring that special one over to enjoy the beauty of sharing a space that defines who you are.

Why You’re Wonderful and What That Means

1. You want to make things right.
Men, by nature, want to fix things, solve problems. It’s an inborn need and desire to succeed. It’s one of the things that makes, men, men. Women, in general and by nature, thrive in a nurturing role. Their love for their children overflows. They find themselves however, being the primary care-giver, the cook, the keeper of the schedules.

After a failed marriage, these needs are front and center. You need to reset your moral compass, as what you thought all along was the “right” way to succeed, turns out to be not-so-true. This need is felt in everything, from entering into a successful new relationship, to having a home interior design that’s comfortable for you, as well as attractive to new dates. Your home is a reflection of who you are, and new friends will read into how you live as an expression of who you are, and who you want to become. To make your environment, your most personal space right, is to broadcast safety, intelligence and even humor – all indicative of your desirability as a potential partner.

2. You have a deeper understanding of taking care of others, particularly members of the other sex.
Unlike someone who has never married and tends to be more set in their ways, you have learned how to co-define reality. This means you have had an opportunity to see yourself through another’s eye as well as your own, providing a deeper understanding of what makes you tick – where your strengths are, and a drive to share those attributes with others. The important 2nd impression (the first being meeting you, of course), of how these qualities are perceived is your new home interior design and how you’ve chosen to live.

3. You very often have children.
This can be very attractive to single men and women, many of whom have chosen not to have children for a variety of reasons. Your kids may offer them an opportunity to interact with children – whether they’re three or thirty – without the pressure of having their own. This also means that your new home interior design must be a home for them, as well as for yourself. A place they’ll want to come visit or even live, where they’ll feel their own sense of “home” – comfortable and safe. Even more, you probably don’t want your kids feeling sorry for Dad living out of boxes, with only a leather sofa and TV, or Mom holding onto something that no longer serves her or your family. Lastly, you want your children to want to be with you, to love being in your new home.

What Your Home Wants

What would it feel like to create a real home, a comfortable space where you can feel nurtured and supported, and relax after a crazy day at work? Where you feel pride entertaining friends and business associates. Where your relationship with your children can continue to blossom and grow. And when you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, bringing dates home. You’re more likely now than divorcees in the past, to care about what your new home interior design looks and feels like. You want a home that’s comfortable for your family, but not necessarily a family home.

The reality is that your new home interior design has to balance a number of important characteristics. Cheerful comfort for your children and a design reflecting Mom or Dad as a single gal or guy at home, as well as being attractive to potential romantic partners. Definitely your new house, but with a softness and personality to it.

Creating a home with warmth, as a fresh place to start over isn’t difficult, but it can be tricky. If you’re not careful, you can waste a lot of time, make expensive mistakes and embarrassing decisions.

Generally speaking, men tend to be less design-savvy than women. And women tend to believe they are supposed to be able to figure it out, or should be born with an ability. You may know what you like and what you don’t like, but there are two things you usually can’t do: You have no idea where to buy what you need (there’s way more to life than Restoration Hardware!), and you don’t know how to pull it all together. You want to transform your new home interior, not create a garage sale or a catalog page.

<style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px;” />The good news is that given the right information so you can make informed choices, you tend to make your design decisions quickly. This will help to move your project along, and be completed that much faster.

Divorce is hard. Knowing you can rest your head in a warm and inviting home specifically designed for you, will ease your transition into your new life.

What Your Home Needs

Know that your new home interior is your healing place. To be as impactful as possible, you’ll want to pay attention to the following:

  1. The right flow of space, furniture placement, air and light.
  2. Make certain your furniture purchases are quality-, not trend-driven.
  3. Your colors, in paint or other wall finish, fabrics, flooring and tile are balanced.
  4. Your window treatments address privacy, light control and provide the right aesthetic for you.
  5. Artwork or photos are framed and hung with thought.
  6. Nice dishes, glasses, towels and sheets are all the little things that make a house a home.
  7. Your home functions properly – you have enough room for the number of guests or family you would typically host, you have enough storage and closet space, you’re attentive to where outlets need to be (under the sofa, for example, to accommodate side table lamps), and (for we’re all growing a bit older), handles that are levers, rather than knobs and low-slip flooring.
  8. There’s a perfectly comfortable spot for you to decompress.
  9. There’s a perfectly wonderful spot for you to entertain romantic partners.

If children are in the picture, making the transition for them as seamless as possible is a priority. This means designing a new home interior where they can feel, well, at home. Not in their Dad’s old dorm room, or where Mom may feel alone, but rather in the sort of place they’ve been used to.

You’ll want the space to be practical for them as well – where you can do “parent” things, like make pizza on weekends or do science experiments. They’ll need a space in which to do their homework, as well as space to entertain their own friends.

A home becomes special when it becomes an extension of the person(s) who live in it. An interior should be like a perfectly tailored suit: It should fit your lifestyle well, make you feel great, and hint a little about who you are on the inside.

Stacey Lapuk, ASID

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.  Service areas include but are not limited to marin County, San Francisco, Napa, Sonoma, Ross, Kentfield, Belvedere, Tiburon, San Rafael, and Pacific Heights.