June brings with it a change of season and change in life: Students graduating out into the world, leaving their former homes behind. But what about those parents who are now “empty nesters”? This is a great opportunity to reconsider priorities and resources, especially if you’re nearing retirement or want to travel. It’s time to graduate to a downsized home, one that will provide many more years of joy.
In our last blog, we met the owners of a downtown 2-bedroom condo located steps from the San Francisco waterfront. The clients are a retired couple moving from the suburbs to the city for a more urban and active nightlife, wanting a space that reflects their modern aesthetic with the vibrancy of colors from their vacation home in Antigua, Guatemala. They were lucky to meet each other in their golden years and decide to embark on a new adventure together. Combining and reducing their possessions is key to achieving this focus.
A major aspect of their project is the need for beautiful and effective storage. I addressed this by creating custom cabinetry to display their gorgeous collectibles and books, house their multimedia electronics, and conceal everyday items such as office supplies. This coordinates beautifully with a modern classic Eero Saarinen oval dining table by Knoll, and B&B Italia dining chairs, visible in open plan living.
When downsizing, one of the simplest ways to gain more space is to have your rooms perform double-duty. Our couple wants to keep their second bedroom available for guests and family, and still have a private study for regular use.
Again, custom cabinetry is the solution, this time with a Murphy bed and convertible desk. By keeping the blue and white colors consistent with the master bedroom, I created a harmony that feels peaceful and comforting, while bringing in a touch of lively yellow from the living room to tie it all together.
Another place you can make a big impact is in the bathroom. By simply replacing a towel rail with an ADA-approved grab bar, this bathroom is now safer for aging residents, allowing them to stay in their home longer. Safer than a traditional bathtub, a curbless shower allows older people to easily and safely step into their personal hygiene. Beautiful and functional can go together!
Kimball Starr helps you achieve your downsizing goals through thoughtful interior design in the San Francisco Bay Area and Peninsula. Contact her today for a consultation!