One of my very favorite times of year is the progression into Fall. It is a time of transition, celebration, festivities and family traditions, and yes, many of these are centered in the home.
I recently visited a client and good friend in Vermont and noticed the changing colors of the leaves. This family has made a major transition to Vermont from within New England, full of excitement and shifts in both the way they live and where. I am a true believer that a home can be made anywhere, and to that end, it must be made comfortable and inviting. This family, being part of my local community, were wise enough to ask for assistance BEFORE their move. I cannot say enough about my first and foremost tip for those in transition – whether you are down-sizing, moving or combining homes, take time to plan the move of your items. Properly label good quality boxes or, my favorite, plastic totes, as to contents and location, pack the items safely, being careful not to overfill the box, and provide a room or section of the living room as home base for stacking boxes by location before the movers arrive. If you pack in a meticulous, organized fashion, it will be more like Christmas and less like Armageddon upon arrival (and well after) to your new home. This is essential for those down-sizing or combining two households.
After solidifying my client’s living room needs, we went for a stroll in the breezy afternoon to their children’s new school. Children often need more emotional buoying in times of transition than do their adult counterparts. So, on to transition tip #2 – finish essential areas first, particularly the children’s rooms, or at least get them to a workable stage, providing the backdrop of paint and flooring for the furnishings. Why? Experience dictates that the child will sleep better, be more receptive to the transition and are more apt to spend time in their room, essentially ‘nesting’ if these allowances are made. If going back to school, it offers a grounded, quiet refuge to complete homework or relax after a stimulating day of classes.
After the furniture had been moved in and placed to plan, my client was amazed at how the new paint, drapery treatments, furniture placement, and the addition of a few anchoring pieces transformed her existing furnishings. Sometimes, it isn’t what we have or don’t have, but how they live in the space that make it inviting and provide good flow. My #3 tip to clients in transition is to invest in a few excellent, beautiful anchor pieces to complete a room. Rugs are a great example of this, particularly here where it can be chilly in the evening hours. More on shopping for rugs later.