An Empty-Nester's Guide to Re-Decorating

Sending the kids off to college this year? Here are some great uses for your new found extra space.

You may be dreaming of that home office or craft room, but don’t make any major changes until your empty nest syndrome sets in. You will, of course, have kids coming home to visit, and they may be bringing friends, significant others, and one day, their own kids. And since Grandma’s sewing room probably won’t be child friendly, you’ll need a comfortable place for family members to sleep, play, and relax.

Both for form and function, we love the idea of a guest suite.

The guest suite is like a combined family room and hotel room right inside your home. At its most basic level, it’s a bedroom with a sitting area for guests to relax in . It provides your kids and grandkids their own space to retreat to, and leaves you with more of your own personal space when guests are in town. When small children are around, the guest suite can provide a quite place for naps and a safe place to play, without needing to childproof your entire home.

When creating your in-home guest suite, its always a good idea to start fresh. Simply adding a love seat to your college kid’s old bedroom won’t do. Your guests will feel like they’re intruding when they stay, and your now “adult” children will want to control what happens with the space. Re-claim the space by emptying it out completely. Pick a neutral theme, or one that matches the common areas of your home, and match the wall color, window treatments, bedding, and seating to the theme. Wow your guests with extra touches like accent pillows, matching linen and towels, and other hotel-inspired accents like regionally significant wall decor.


A multi-function home office is a great use of extra space.

Another great use for a former bedroom is a home office with a seating area. There are many options out there for incorporating a day bed or futon while keeping a sophisticated look. If you go this route, it’s important to keep this room a clutter free space, for when you do host guests. A home office with seating area is a great option for those who aren’t yet ready to retire, and will likely have guests, or perhaps their own children staying at home. 

For other great decorating ideas, check us out on Pinterest!