Scaling Back When Kids Move Out

BILTRITE Furniture – Leather – Mattresses specializes in small scale furniture, with the best selection in the metro Milwaukee area. When children leave home to go off to college or start their own families, the “empty nest” they leave behind can feel sad or lonely for parents. It’s a big lifestyle change, and with that comes a need to adjust your home to fit your new way of life. Children leaving home is a great opportunity for parents to rededicate rooms in their home to their own interests and personalities – and that can be a very healing act for parents having a hard time with the change, too.

One of the ways you can begin to reinvest in your home is by scaling back on the furnishings in your home. Some parents even choose to move to a smaller home with less upkeep to better enjoy their later years. Other parents stay put but decide to rediscover their own style and redecorate accordingly. Regardless of how you transition into this new phase, new furnishings offer you the opportunity to breathe a new life into your home that is all about you.

Here are a few ideas on how to “re-feather” your nest in style.

Resize your world

About one fourth of all empty nesters decide to move when the kids leave, but they often find that the furniture that fit the scale of their former home is much too massive for their new, simple life. A smaller home gives you the opportunity to find new furniture that you really love, instead of the furniture that was too impractical while your children went through their destructive phases. (Think smaller-scale sofas in sumptuous fabrics – minus the fruit juice stains.) Whether you want to replace just one or two pieces, or revamp an entire room, you can enjoy the freedom to explore the many furniture styles and choices that reflect your new way of living.

Living in a smaller home is one instance in which the furniture you choose can make a huge difference in creating a room that is not only beautiful but is incredibly functional for your lifestyle as well. Less space in no way means less luxury, style, comfort, or elegance.

Choose furniture that not only fits well in the space you have, but also helps you with your overall space-saving needs. BILTRITE Furniture understands the constraints of smaller spaces and we have responded with an array of products for every size home and room. For example, sofas are often available in varying lengths, starting at 70” and up, and recliners can recline within inches of a wall behind them. Many entertainment centers are sold as separate units, so you can choose the pieces that best fit your space, and corner units are now available to accommodate large-screen TVs without consuming a significant amount of room space.

Also, think coffee tables and side tables that provide storage or shelving within it; ottomans that can serve as extra table space and open up to store blankets.

Re-purpose children’s old rooms

Research shows that most empty nesters redecorate their children’s bedrooms into a library/reading room, hobby studio, guest room, home theater or home office. The American Home Furnishings Alliance offers these tips for designing and decorating your new space:

  • Library or reading room: This top choice demonstrates empty nesters’ desire for both relaxation and education. Displaying favorite books and photo albums on bookshelves, coffee tables and end tables. Chairs of all types, including recliners, are available in hundreds of styles that are both comfortable and stylish, to suit both his and her tastes. Brighten the room with elegant lamps and other decorative accessories.
  • Guest room: Guest rooms are a great way to express yourself and have fun decorating with a new style or colors. A sofa-sleeper or click clack will create some additional flexibility with the room, if desired. Remember, the comfort of your guests should be top priority, so be sure to include a dresser or chest, a mirror, and seating such as a chair or bench. Accessories for guest rooms can include baskets, books, and a stack of cozy blankets and fluffy pillows.
  • Home Theater: The “musts” of home theaters include plenty of comfortable seating pieces. From leather sofas and loveseats to comfortable recliners and chairs, there are a variety of styles to choose from in all price ranges. Today’s entertainment centers will help you organize all your electronic gadgets, from satellite television and videos, to your children’s leftover video games and CDs. Now is the time to finally splurge on that glass coffee table or upholstered ottoman for the finishing touches!
  • Home  Office: Organize your  household to be comfortable and reflect your own personal taste. Today’s  home office furniture comes in all shapes, sizes and price ranges – from a simple workstation to a traditionally elegant desk and file storage. Add  an ergonomic chair to ensure a back-friendly workplace.

Even though you may put away the rock posters, trophies, and school memorabilia, you don’t have to say good-bye to your children altogether! Accessorize with a few sentimental pieces or photos to keep them gone but not forgotten!



Randi K. 4th Generation Family Member