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Redesigning Home for Your Changing Life

Your Life Changes and So Should Your Home

We are naturally connected to our community and Islanders exemplify this in a very special way. We know that we have lifelong friends because of the activities we have led, participated in, and volunteered for as our children grew up.

As our lives transition through different seasons, our living needs change. Empty nesters especially face a new chapter, with kids grown up and moved out. Now is the time to re-envision your home for this exciting next phase. An experienced designer like Amy May of Artala Design can help create a space tailored specifically for your needs and dreams as an empty nester.

Amy shares one project for empty nester clients looking to transform their house into a spacious retreat for two. They felt it was dated and cramped. As Amy explains, “Empty nesters are people who finally get to have their grown-up house, after years of living with the eclectic clutter for the sake of the kids. Now they want a home suited for upscale, luxury retirement living.”  

In working with this couple, Amy focused extensively on uncovering their pain points and aspirations for their new adult oasis. What did they want to change about their current home? How will their lifestyle be different now? What's their vision for living and entertaining in this liberating new season?

Amy uses this in-depth discovery process to reveal the clients’ true goals and wish lists. For these empty nesters, the freedom to entertain friends and family was a top priority. Their current home only allowed hosting 2-4 guests comfortably. They dreamed of regularly having 12+ people over for dinner parties and holidays once the kids were out of the house.

Yet the space also had to remain highly functional for just the two of them and accommodate aging in place. The wife suffered from chronic back pain, so the design needed to reduce bending and reaching.

With the clients' criteria in mind, Amy recommended adjustments like opening up the cramped, walled-off kitchen by knocking down walls to create an airy, open-concept gathering area. She suggested repositioning the kitchen island to improve traffic flow for guests. They even repurposed a coat closet near the front door into a built-in bar area for drink service and extra counter space when entertaining.

Amy also proposed installing pull-out shelving and drawers in the pantry and cabinets to reduce bending. And she recommended taller countertops and movable task lighting to customize the cooking area to the wife's height and vision needs.

In the end, Amy delivered a customized home catered exactly to this couple's wish list that far exceeded their expectations. The once cramped, isolated kitchen is now a spacious, luxurious entertainment hub perfect for hosting lively dinner parties. And the everyday living areas are tailored for the clients' comfort and changing preferences for convenience.

As Amy notes, clients frequently wish they had hired her from the start once they see what’s possible by collaborating with an experienced designer focused on their specific needs and dreams. By involving a designer early when facing life transitions, you gain a home thoughtfully designed for your next chapter. Be prepared for an outcome beyond your imagination.

"I reinvent the wheel on every project because each client has unique needs and dreams for their home to match their changing life."

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