The Art of Change: At Home and Through Divorce
June 9, 2015
Guest Post by Gail Green
For the divorcee, change is the norm and flexibility is a necessity. Success is measured by how well one can transition from a steadied life of structure to a less regulated life of innovation and individual enlightenment. In this respect, the home becomes an ironic confluence of adaptability to life’s ever-changing states of being.
So how is change made into a positive influence at home? Easy. We create cheerful and flexible situations that can accommodate all types of living styles. One simple method of accomplishing an immediate alteration is through paint. For instance, using a light-reflecting bright white instead of a light-absorbing dull cream color on the walls will change the spirit of a room. It will make a space feel light and airy.
Another helpful idea to enhance your home is to use more ambient lighting. For example, sconces that emit a wide net of light, will help expand space rather than enclose and darken it. Plus, sconces act as space-saving devices by not taking up any floor footage. Thus, the light will be up, down, and all around. Tube lights (as seen in the above photo) serve a similar function to sconces and take up very little space while giving off lots of light as well.
One important change for the divorcee is to de-clutter. There are enough things going on in their lives; keeping a home that is neat and organized adds to a clearer perspective and helps impose a semblance of structure in an otherwise chaotic time. So, get rid of all non-essentials and go for clean and clear surfaces with a single accessory of main importance in value rather than many smaller ones that add to an apartment’s complexity and spirit. Clutter contributes to a confused state of being, cleaning up adds to clarity.
Insofar as changing the furniture is concerned, two prominent instances of home transformation come to mind: the office by day and children’s bedroom by weekend, and the living room by day and bedroom by night.
How happy the divorcee is by day needs to match the ease by which day converts to night and vice versa. The trick is the conversion and multifunctional furniture helps pull this off! Like magic, sofas transform into beds, coffee tables into dining tables, ottomans into storage boxes, bookshelves into nightstands, console tables into desks, chairs into ladders and so on and so forth. Creating adjustable spaces helps take an ostensibly difficult time and turn it into a fun and flexible environment. Maintaining a balance between having a “family” home by weekend and a “single” home during the week is made possible through the use of transforming furniture.
And, the smaller the space, the more magic is created. Here is where ingenuity comes into play and problem solving skills to the fore. The art of enhancing a small space, making it feel larger, making it feel cheerful, making it feel welcoming is the key to successful living. With all the stress placed on the divorced individual, this kind of space saving magic is a godsend. It helps make a complicated life situation less complex; it makes a difficult time that much more tenable, it creates an otherwise down period a cheerful and welcoming experience.
Gail Green has over thirty years of design experience and is the founder of Gail Green Interiors in New York City. Her new book is AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO INTERIOR DESIGN FOR SMALL SPACES: How to Create a Beautiful Home Quickly, Effectively, and on a Budget.
Follow Gail Green on Twitter @gailgreendesign