It is important to begin life after divorce on a positive, updated outlook. Guest contributor, Elizabeth Holmes offers great advice on getting your new Single Parent home off to a great start…
most women, I fell in love with the movie Crazy,
Stupid, Love for two reasons: Ryan Gosling and Ryan Gosling’s abs. But I
must admit the movie fell short for me in one area. While newly separated Cal
Weaver (Steve Carell) was busy getting love and fashion tips from pick-up guru
Jacob Palmer (Mr. Gosling), it was evident that he also needed a decorator from
the looks of his apartment.
best line from the movie is Jacob’s directive to Cal: “Be better than the Gap.”
And to you single dads who have found yourself in new diggs (urban slang for home or apartment) I say: be better than
that store where you got your furniture in your college years. Sure, in your
early 20s it was okey-dokey to buy furniture made of cheaply glued cardboard.
Not so much today. Probably the last thing you want to be bothered with is what
shade of gray (yes, there are more than 50) goes best with your drapes. But the
truth of the matter is that a brighter, better, and more palatable home can
bring you happiness and harmony.
helpful tips to get you started as you embark on your new adventure:
– Do think of your space as permanent. As a designer, I’m often told by
clients that they only envision themselves in a particular space for six months
or a year tops, so they don’t want to invest too much time and money into
making their space, well, more beautiful. Five years, one plant, and perhaps
even a cat or dog later, that conservative, utilitarian-designed apartment is,
in fact, still their home, yet not so warm and sweet abode. So if you are
considering interior design, don’t cut corners or see it as something fleeting,
but rather consider it an investment in creating an environment that you want
to come home to, entertain in and ultimately can claim as your own.
Do express yourself through your décor. You can tell a lot about someone
when you walk into their home. I once interviewed for a job where the owner had
among other things an extraordinarily baroque Purple Haze Hendrix painting in
his office. I immediately thought: this guy likes really good music, smoking
really good pot, or both. Your new space is your opportunity to select paint,
furnishings, and accessories that speak to your personal taste and style.
Figuring that out can be difficult. So spend some time reacquainting yourself
with yourself. Explore what colors you like, and what expertly designed piece
of furniture you would splurge on if you could. Who needs a Ferrari or a Ducati
when you can have a lush flokati pile rug underfoot?
–Do aim for a kinder, gentler type of Man Cave. Another movie reference:
when I think of kids and decorating, I can’t help but remember Cheswick (Sydney
Lassick) screaming for his cigarettes in One
Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. Not McMurphy’s (Jack Nicholson) or Martini’s
(Danny DeVito) cigarettes. He wanted his
cigarettes. Similarly, when your kids – whether they are five or 15 – are
transplanted to your new home, they want, expect, and perhaps scream for an opportunity
to have some say in how their rooms and your interior should look. So involve
them in the process. A Wii notwithstanding, what would make your home feel more
like home to them? As you map out a plan for paint and furniture, get their
advice. Take them to a paint store, and look and select swatches. Here’s an
even better way to bond: have a paint or wallpaper party with them.
a little design challenged and in need of a Ryan Gosling-like décor coach to
get you on your way to enjoying your new home? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I offer online design services via Skype and iChat, so when in paint chip hell,
don’t hesitate to call on me.
HOLMES is a New York residential interior design consultant. Unconventional,
creative and willing to experiment, Liz embraces every opportunity to work with
like-minded clients seeking to express their own distinct point of view. Her
designs are as fresh and innovative as the clients she serves. To learn more
about her paint selection and home décor shopping prowess, call 516.620.9048 or
Richard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children.
RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
“Make Life Happen…Again!”