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Lifestyle: Interior Renaissance

Jacinta Davidson

By Jacinta Davidson

Often when you retire and or become an empty nester, you are left in a predicament as to where to start with the interior decoration of your home. Oftentimes, you have grown up children or parents who have passed and have left some of their furniture behind. Couple this with a home that is now tired after going through the paces of children’s growing years. The furniture passed down often holds sentimental value but these furniture pieces are usually the heavy rosewood or mahogany timber which doesn’t suit today's homes or lifestyle. It can be overwhelming due to the heaviness of the furniture items that are often kept for sentimental reasons. Once you can overcome the indebtedness of having these pieces a weight is lifted.

When downsizing you need to be prepared to declutter and look at furniture with an open mind. It’s important to take stock of what is important so that this can be considered in the overall decorating. Empty bedrooms provide potential to create multipurpose rooms. Seek pieces that serve a dual purpose such as ottomans with inbuilt storage, sofa beds for overnight guests to free up usable space. You may wish to create an additional study space for hobbies, a quiet reading area or exercise space. This is an exciting period in life where you can dare to be different and have your home reflect your true self. Your furniture or style may not be in the current trend but trends come and go and your home deserves to be different.

Of critical importance when refreshing your home's interiors is colour and proportion. Do warm or cool tones suit your home? Once this is determined you can start with your flooring, if that needs upgrading, and move to wall colours. Furniture colours and upholstery is then selected to complement and contrast depending upon the style of decorating. Floor rugs and cushions are the items that bring the elements of the room together and require due consideration. Not selecting the right size furniture piece is often a mistake. In addition to the furniture dimensions the overall proportions to the room need to be considered. For example, large rolled arms sofas with high backs take up visual space. Functionality, aesthetic appeal, mood and ambience are the pieces that bring together a room or home.

If you intend to begin by renovating or refurbishing one room at a time, it is important to have a plan in place for this room and also how it will then relate to other rooms in the home. For instance, if upgrading a kitchen, how does it then relate and flow into the adjoining rooms. When working with an interior designer it is important to have an open mind. Be prepared to let go of items which do not serve a purpose or suit the style. If you allow yourself to be open to a different opinion you will find the process of working with a designer more pleasurable and it allows the designer to be more creative. A good designer will listen to you and hear those unsaid requests and explain the reasoning behind the selections.

Jacinta Davidson lives in Hawthorn East and holds a Diploma of Interior Design. She runs her own interior design business, Home by Jacinta, servicing the inner suburbs. Her specialty is rejuvenating homes of empty nesters who are reclaiming that extra space.

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