One of my dearest clients and her husband are in the midst of a nasty separation, which is leading to an even nastier divorce. At this juncture they are in a furniture battle, throwing things across the room. Yes, like "War of the Roses."
She is devastated. I tried to console her as best I could, but to no avail. Finally, I had a better idea: Let's go shopping. With that, the twinkle came back into her eyes.
I felt she needed antique lighting to properly illuminate her new loft. So we rode up to Stamford, CT to The Hiden Galleries. These types of antique galleries are great resources. Everything is in one location, from lighting to rugs to sofas. It was instant retail therapy. We found many little treasures to help jumpstart her new life in the new apartment.
Don't forget that small changes can make a dramatic difference to the way you feel. Everyone has a different idea about interior design. My own belief has always been to make my clients feel comfortable, and at home in their own space, regardless of the size or the budget.
But of course the budget can be a big factor. The real trick is to not break the bank and achieve the same results with a modest amount. It can be very challenging, but with a little creativity, wonders never cease.
Women who have recently become separated or divorced face a very different kind of design dilemma. Creating a new place that is yours alone, whether by choice or not, is a difficult challenge. However, with some inspiration and expert advice, it can be done.
Here are 10 simple things you can do to reclaim your existing space or make a new space more comfortable:
1. Remove all old photos that remind you of the ex.
2. Rearrange the furniture. Seems like a no-brainer, but a different walking pattern in all or a few rooms can change the space and make it feel different.
3. Repaint with a new color or decorative paint solutions. Color has an impact on you mood. No, not like a mood ring — better. I live for color. Everyone can benefit with a new hue around them (for the new "hue" in you)!
4. Decorative accent pillows, whether custom or not. The mighty throw pillow is one of the easiest ways to create a new statement of style. I like to change pillows at least twice a year seasonally.
5. Special glassware. Champagne anyone? Purchase a special glass or two for that wonderful bottle of wine you’ve been waiting to open. Antique glassware and dishware can be very affordable and make a glass of wine and cheese more special.
6. Plush new towels, slippers, bathrobes and bath accessories to create a spa–like feeling in your own home. Scent is one of the most effective methods to change your mood. Lavender is one of the most magical fragrances known to man (or woman, in this case).
7. Artwork. Modern, classical, the choices are endless. Make an event of going to art galleries, museums, and auctions. Not only will you learn about art, it’s also a great way to meet someone, not to mention the great wine and cheese served at all the chic gallery openings.
8. Lighting. Nothing elevates your being more than a properly lit room. Lighting is also a very personal item. The choices available in today’s market are so varied your selection is also a reflection of your style. I have only one thing to say regarding lighting… “everything MUST be on dimmers.”
9. Fresh flowers. No one can resist a blue vase filled with a grouping of bright yellow sun flowers. Van Gogh lives. Treat yourself to fresh flowers. You deserved to be pampered.
10. Start a collection. A good way to focus on yourself and something you have always wanted to explore is to start a collection. This is also another fun and interesting way to meet people and plan events to find the object of your desire. Antique shows, flea markets and Internet shopping are great venues to locate special items.
Remember small changes do create a significant impact on your day-to-day life. Embrace them and let’s move on together.