Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Over 55 Decor-Rethinking Your Space for the Way You Live Now


We keep thinking we will sell this big house and property and get something more manageable that will still accomodate extended family.  In priniciple this sounds like a great idea.  We can get less house for more money and higher taxes. Sounds fabulous, right? I have several current clients who share this same dilemna. Do we downsize or try to make the home we have more workable for how we live now?

Our game room is an awkward room that no longer functions for Steve and I.  The room originally was meant to be larger. When building our home over 30 years ago we decided to put in a bath that would be accessible from the outside for children in dripping wet suits. This simple addition, very practical for many years, left us with a funny L shaped room. It housed a small tv area, and a larger area with a pool table.  The pool table has become a junk collector and the TV area is too small with too little seating. Of course Steve would like a larger TV as well.  I have resisted revamping it because I am not sure how long we will remain in this house. We have finally decided to get rid of the pool table and make the room more functional for us.  A wise realtor friend advises her clients to fix up their home and enjoy it for a couple years.  So many redo their homes only for the new owners to enjoy.

One of the benefits is the large bank of windows that overlook the pool, gardens, and hills. It probably has the best view in the entire house. The view from the french doors..






The view from the bank of windows on the East side when my garden is at it's best.




Right now we have a small sectional along the south wall of the bathrooom and the (small by Steve's standards) tv is in the built in bookcases.  The only other seating we have in the entire room are two small chairs on either side of the console (located where the future tv will be).  When we have family over we are all scrunched up in the corner because the pool table that no one uses takes up the rest of the room. This is what it looked like before we painted the walls white.



Here is the plan.  The pool table is going on Craig's List.  This furniture arrangement is not going to be perfect but it will work.  Here is a poor drawing of the room. 



Since this room is filled with windows and french doors there is very little wall space. We never use the french doors so the loveseat will sit in front of one. One of the doors will still be operable. Over in the corner where the sectional was will be a round table (inherited from my mom) surrounded by four wicker chairs from Artesia Collections.  My upholsterer is building the sofa and loveseat so it will be extra comfortable! They will be covered in a Perennials fabric for practicality.


I inherited two small dog eaten Lee Industries Club Chairs with ottomans.  If they were any bigger they would not work. They will be upholstered in a perennial stripe.  I am not normally a blue girl but the small bath has some blue tile that will remain. I am adding blue accent pillows from Peter Dunham, Etsy, and Wisteria. I am using a RL animal print on pillows and ottomans.  The brown paisley is from Peter Dunham, and the brown and white fabric is from Zak and Fox. The coffee table I ordered from Artesia Collections.  It will house items from my own collection. I have a great twig console that was built by a local artisan that will go below the TV with some Old Hickory Chairs.  The box and basket will echo the colors in the chairs and console. We are removing the pool table light fixture and replacing with a simple fan.  I always purchase the "cheap" Hunter fans from Home Depot.



I have six audubon prints in frames that I really love so I am going to replace the forest creatures with birds to bring in some blue.  I am a firm believer in repurposing what you have.  Steve has a collection of Blue Stoneware that has been in the closet for years.  I am hoping to use some of the larger pieces on top of the built ins that are being painted in an Amy Howard brown paint.  I will share all sources when I post the finished room.

Does your home need a refresh?  Are you considering downsizing?  I would love to hear how you are handling this time in your life and how it affects your lifestyle and home.

20 comments:

  1. So happy I stumbled on this page. My husband and I are in our early fifties. The last of our 5 kids is still at home, as she commutes to the university downtown, rather than live on campus. I would love to downsize from our large home, but as you said, it will cost more and we'll have a higher tax bill. The idea of a newer place with less maintenance sounds heavenly, though. In the meantime, we're trying to spruce up the current old home. Love your color choices for you family room. Unlike you, I've always been an indigo girl. I've always liked other bright colors along with the blue, but in recent years I'm trying to get a little more neutral, peaceful vibe into the mix, while still keeping my blue. Your page has been inspirational!

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    1. Thank you so much Melanie. I am determined to move sometime in the not so distant future, but I don't want my house to look like grandma lives here in the meantime!!

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  2. I love the new look! We would like to find a new zero lot line home with very little maintenance. Our house is not large but we do have a large inground pool and we are on a corner lot. Al of the homes I have found are small and ridiculously expensive and most only have a one car garage. I don't understand that. We actually have three cars because my husband has a classic car. I guess they think once you downsize to no maintenance you also only have one car? As the ex-wife of a home builder and former real estate agent I just don't understand this mentality. We will keep looking. I am looking forward to seeing your new space!

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    1. Good Luck Angie. I totally understand your dilemna. Very little maintenance sounds heavenly to me as well!!

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  3. Well I hear ya. We went from 10,000 to 5,000 in 2006. We were still rattling around. Now at last in the perfect size for two around 2600 sq feet. I love it! Easy to clean,and less STUFF. I gave away quite a bit and goodwilled the rest. I lol about the pool table. Been there done that. And what to do with the ginormous piano? Hoping I can persuade the hubs to sell it.

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    1. Thanks for weighing in! Your comments make me smile. I am trying to purge as well so when we do move it isn't such an ordeal!

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  4. That is so funny... smaller house for more money and taxes (that's why we are keeping the Lido house). I love your direction and I really believe that this is not over 55 decorating (more like over 30) ...as it's so fresh with your fabrics and textures. That's fun that you will have a game table. I learned a new board game in Florida...we can have a little friendly competition if we ever get invited back :)

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    1. I guess I should have added that the game table will prevent Steve and I from eating on the coffee table in front of the sofa!!

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  5. This post resonates with me. Our house is the perfect size square feet wise, but I'm tired of some of the exterior upkeep and ready for something easier. In California you have the option of that one time property tax retention if you are over a certain age---we are. :-)
    It will probably be 5+ years before we do anything like a move. Your redo of your bonus room makes sense and looks like it will be wonderful. I wish I had room for some of the large Audubon prints you see online. I love them!
    xo,
    Karen

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    1. Sadly Karen it maybe five years before we do anything as well. That is precisely why I finally decided to "spruce up" the game room.

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  6. I have always been a fan of making a space your space. When we moved into our house 32 years ago, the first thing I did was turn the family room adjacent to the kitchen into a dining room. Now I've turned that dining room into a library with dining options. We faced this issue of to move or not to move in 2008 when the world went wonky. We have more space, lower taxes than we would else where. Some of the most odious garden tasks we have hired others to do. Sometimes what we what really isn't what we need. All the best in your taking over your house. Love the swimming dogs and the luscious garden views.

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    1. Oftentimes what we want is not what we really need....so true. I have a gardener that I could not do without. My yard would be a total disaster without him! Your home sounds wonderful!

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  7. Oh Cindy this was a fun post to read. I love looking at your diagram and seeing how you plan your seating around the TV. I'm not confident about furniture placement, even though our rooms aren't large I always think there's a better way to configure things. The other day the hubby asked why we can't have all the furniture against the wall so the living room would feel bigger. I just looked at him. :)
    hugs,
    Leslie

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  8. WANT TO SWAP HOUSES?!!!!!!!!!!!
    YOU will be closer to DAUGHTER and GRAND DOG I on the other hand maybe could have a COW in the garden??
    XX

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  9. It's ironic with many of my 'older' clients, saying they want to downsize, they find a huge home instead, but perfect, AND they pull the trigger.

    Sideways, 2 different clients phoned this spring, both in late 70's, and having to move due to health issues. Neither couple wishes to move, but life doesn't always give a choice.

    Late 50's, the house we just moved to is bigger than my previous 30 year home. It was listed on zillow as same size as previous home, discovered they missed the correct size by over 1,000sf. Kept telling Beloved it was harder to navigate this house for upkeep, he said I wasn't used to a single story house. Ha, wish he had been correct !! Have already been planning for choices in future. When we build barn at back of the property it will have tiny living quarters, size of my first apartment after college, 900sf. We can rent the house. This is not a 'plan', merely creating choices.

    BTW, LOVE your views, and home. Garden & Be Well, XOT

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  10. Love your plans to redo the room. We had a pool table that was Craig's Listed when we downsized 18 months ago. Don't miss it a bit. We are in half the square footage and love it. Just finished repainting our kitchen cabinets and will post thumbs up and down on product used. This is by far my favorite home. Great neighbors all around and have a slower and easier lifestyle. Like the advice of the realtor to redo and stay a while though. Can't wait to see the room when complete - BTW love love love the views.....

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  11. Cindy, I recently discovered your blog and love it!
    My family room layout is very similar to your drawing. This room has been problematic to decorate from day one, over 20 years ago. I thought I was ok with my furniture arrangement until I saw your layout! It's brilliant to have your sofa and loves seat against that wall, freeing up the space in the middle.
    Anyway, please do post photos of the transformation. I want to get ideas�� and know it will look great!

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  12. Looks lovely and so much more practical. We down-szied from 3500sf to 2000 sf 4 years ago and have enjoyed living with less. To make up for the lost storage space, every single item in the house has to have a purpose. The chest that was in the entryway in the old house now sits in the living room and stores table linens for the attached dining room and small decorative items. the armoire that housed the TV in the den in the larger home now sits in the guest room and houses the TV as well as additional bed linens, games etc. We have just one sofa now instead of three etc. Hope it all works out well for you and you enjoy your "new" space.

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