The last kid is heading off to college in the fall, now comes the big question: renovate or relocate? Many families are choosing to downsize once all the kids have grown and gone. Others take a slightly different approach; rather than relocate, they repurpose the space they have. Maybe they really like where they are, the commute is perfect, the market isn’t right, or they want plenty of space for their now grown kids to come for a visit. Whatever the reasons for staying, it doesn’t make sense to leave the kids’ rooms as they were. It’s time for a little empty nest redecorating.
Before you tackle any project, make sure you and your college student are ready for this. Talk to them about your plans, and give it a few months of school before you start repainting. That buys you more time to plan and purchase just the right things for your newfound space. Now, what to do with it?
Get rid of a bedroom – if you plan to stay in your home for a long period, this could be an option, especially if your home has several smaller bedrooms. Combine two tiny bedrooms into one big one, or transform one room into something else entirely. Just be aware that this is a permanent solution and will affect the market value of your home.
Go bold – no plans to sell? Go ahead and paint with bold colors. The longer you plan to stay in a space, the more personal you can make the hard surfaces. Do what you love.
Shift rooms – planning to use that formal dining room? If not, why not transform it into a fabulous library or home office? Rethink your space based on how you use the house and reuse the current footprint in new ways.
Make guest space – your kids will be coming back for visits, so make sure you’re prepared for them with a warm, welcoming guest bedroom. Make visitors feel like royalty with quality bed linens and a handy water carafe for nighttime drinks.
Keep some mementos – if you’re not quite ready to box everything up, pick a few favored pieces to display on shelves or bookcases. It’s a great way to create a transitional room that serves both guests and your visiting student.