your children go off and leave home is hard for any parent.
Whether your first or your last, seeing a child off to college, a
career or his or her own place is a big step for both parents and
children. Though the child may be gone from the home, a new
opportunity awaits what to do with that empty bedroom.
Miller, owner of Just A Little Bit of Country in Pewaukee,
uses her kids old bedroom for an office and a place to
work on her hobby of rug hooking.
This is a great time to give
that room a whole new personality, says Jalaine Reid, an
interior designer at Swan Furniture and Interiors in Wauwatosa.
Reid has worked with several
parents who have transformed a childs former bedroom into a
newly functional space. People typically will use it as a guest
bedroom, home office or hobby room, she says.
One of her clients took this
concept a step further and made a former childs bedroom into a
complete exercise room. They mirrored one whole wall and hung a
television in the corner, much like what youd see in a
hospital, she says. Its something theyve enjoyed so
much that theyre now moving the exercise room into an even
larger spare bedroom because they spend so much time working out
Kari Miller, owner of Just a Little
Bit Country in Waukesha, has gone through the process herself. She
says that the first thing parents should do is realize that
children will take what they want from the room. Those items
should move out with your adult child, she says. You can
also make a nice memory chest for each child and include select
items from their room. But after youve completed the process,
its time to have some fun with that space.
Its not usually a change in
style, rather a change in function for the room. Its a great
time for empty nesters because theyre able to expand before
they downsize into a smaller house, condo or apartment, she
says. If youve really wanted a home office or a place to
display a collection of antiques instead of scattering them
all over the house a spare bedroom works very well..
The top use for a former bedroom is
as a guest room and Reid will often make specific suggestions to
her clients who are interested in this option. I always
recommend twin beds and even futons to stash away in a guest room,
Miller does caution parents to wait
at least a year before making changes. Even though adult
children do leave the nest, some do fly back, she says. Theyre
in the process of getting on their feet and sometimes that may
mean moving back in for a while before permanently moving out.