Category Archives: Senior Move

NOT YOUR TYPICAL SENIOR MOVE

Poet Dylan Thomas wrote Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.  I’ve thought of his life-affirming poem several times recently working with a couple on a move to Spring Grove, Illinois.

Beginning with our original phone chat, I could tell this husband and wife team were going to be different from what I might have expected from a retiree couple moving into a new home.  Rather than our usual “senior move” clients, it was obvious from the get-go, they had no intention of going gently into any “good night”!

Instead of downsizing into smaller accommodations, they were actually upsizing into a larger home.  Wanting to make room for their adult children, their spouses and grandchildren, the couple had purchased a country home complete with a large finished basement and in-ground pool.

Far from a simple move-in operation, plans included substantial updates to the home to better enjoy it and share with family.  Plans were made for:  new hardwood floors, fresh paint, updated light fixtures, and kitchen updates.  Also, new furniture, custom window treatments, artwork and accessories were needed in many of the rooms.

Kitchen Table

BEFORE

Breaking large projects into smaller bites makes an easily overwhelming job more manageable for homeowners and us alike.  So, we started with the obvious.  Canvas work like updated flooring and fresh, on-trend paint set the stage for what was to come!

Ski Lodge Living Room

AFTER

Next, we shopped for stonework and insert to update the lackluster fireplace.  Built-ins were removed to better showcase the beautiful new stone fireplace.  New lighting was ordered to replace the dated glass and brass and other “staging” fixtures that were left by the previous owners.

Fireplace

BEFORE

Stone Fireplace

AFTER

Living Room

BEFORE

Ski Lodge Living Room

AFTER

While these changes were taking place, I shopped with the couple to find beautiful, new furniture for their Living room and Master Bedroom.  While we planned to reuse some older pieces in other rooms, these clients wanted all new for these two rooms.

BEFORE

Mission Office

AFTER

After selecting furniture from Penny Mustard, we were able to turn our attention to window fashions to coordinate.  New Hunter Douglas Silhouette™ blinds were installed on the front of the house.  We commissioned custom soft treatments from our amazing fabricator, Kasia of Claudia’s Draperies, to help frame and add drama and texture to the extra large windows in the Living Room and Master.

Master Bedroom Move In

BEFORE

Master Bedroom Corner

AFTER

Finally the day arrived to bring in the remaining layers including rugs, lighting, art, greenery and accessories.  After a full day of styling, our clients returned home to see the end result.

At the beginning of every project, as a decorator, you know the most difficult part of the job will be getting into your client’s heads.  Good communication is key.  But at the end of the day, guiding open-minded folks like this couple to create a look that reflects who they are and what brings them joy was actually the easier part of the job.

Master Bedroom Before

BEFORE

Master Bedroom

AFTER

I’m happy to report this couple was so thrilled with Phase One, we’ll be working on additional renovations and decorative additions into 2018.  “Exceeds expectations” is always a great way to have a client sum up your work.  And helping this couple “upscale” into a beautiful home to share with family definitely feels like we’ve done our part to help them go anything but gently into that good night!

Happy Decorating for all ages from Decor Designs, Inc!  815-245-2433

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RIGHT SIZING FOR SENIORS

How many times have you moved during your lifetime and why?  Maybe your parents moved when you were growing up.  Perhaps your first move came when you left home for college.  Or was your first move into an apartment with roommates?  A while later, you probably moved again when you bought your first home.  Maybe there were even other moves in between.  Chances are your living accommodations have changed many times over the years either out of want, necessity or both.

Usually, the most challenging moves comes later in life when you find yourself needing to scale back due to age or other physical limitations.  Sometimes that transition is out of choice.  More often than not, it is of necessity.  In many ways, these moves aren’t filled with the same excitement as those when you were younger.  Often, they can feel like a move with few choices.  On top of that, it has been reported that moving is the most stressful thing you will ever do in your life second only to burying a friend or loved one.  The logistics of any move, especially for seniors, can be overwhelming.

But, senior downsizing (or what should more accurately be referred to as ‘right-sizing’ ) into a smaller home can be be just as exciting and rewarding as those you looked forward to in your younger days.

One of the biggest challenges of ‘right-sizing’ is figuring out what to take with you and what should be left behind.  Sentimental attachments can make parting with a lifetime of accumulated treasures a very traumatic experience.  That’s where the help of an experienced decorator, especially one with senior move experience, can help put a different and more positive spin on this stressful time.

While younger folks usually handle a move independently, senior moves really are more of a family affair.  And while it’s natural to want everything to be nice and new for mom or dad to get them excited about moving, the reality is older furniture and accessories are actually better.  Time worn and cherished belongings immediately make any new and different space feel more familiar and comfortable.

We recently helped with such a transition for a senior in Palatine.  Mobility, memory and other issues had forced the family to decide to move this 90 year old widow into a nearby Assisted Living facility.  Apprehensive and confused, our client’s biggest concern was just how she was going to fit a lifetime of stuff from a four-bedroom home into a 400 sq. foot apartment.

BEFORE

 

AFTER

BEFORE

AFTER

Over the course of several weeks, we discussed and planned the move with the entire family’s input.  First, we decided what absolutely needed to be taken and what would fit in the new home.  Next, we worked on solutions to maximize storage for clothes, toiletries and other supplies. Finally, we filled in the blanks with things that were mostly sentimental in nature.  Our goal was to make the new space feel like a small cross-section of the previous home.

BEFORE

AFTER

The day before the big move, we went through the home and collected all the furniture, art and accessories we had decided to take to the new apartment.  Of course, toiletries, towels, bedding and such were also on the list.  Everything was carefully packed up and readied for the next day.

BEFORE

AFTER

On the morning of the move, we arrived to take everything to the new facility.  While a few members of the family stayed behind to reassure our client, we were off to get things done.  Minimizing disruption, especially for those suffering with memory loss, is crucial to any successful senior move.

After several hours, we called to let the family know it was time to bring mom in for the big reveal.  What had felt like a tiny empty box the first time she saw it now felt more like home.  And while it could never compare to the home she’d left, it was now a cozy and inviting space that included many more of her memories and treasures than she ever thought possible.

In the Rascal Flatt’s hit ‘These Days’, part of the lyrics are “Life throws you curves and you learn to swerve!”  Nothing could be truer of moving, especially for seniors later in life.

Decorating for anyone is a privilege.  Helping seniors transition into age appropriate living accommodations that are both safe and beautiful is even more rewarding.  Honoring the past while embracing the present helps the future look much brighter.  Looking forward to hearing of the many new and happy memories this mom has in her new home.

Happy Right-Sizing from Decor Designs.  815-245-2433

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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