How to create a grown-up space

by Natalie
Mums Off Duty, Grown-Up Retreat

When we moved house eighteen months ago, we had no idea that we would be spending the best part of a year all at home together staying safe during a global pandemic. While we’ve all enjoyed and appreciated the family time this has created – as well as positive lifestyle changes that I believe will persist long after the pandemic is a distant memory – this intense ‘togetherness’ has also brought its challenges.

In particular when schools were closed, it was so hard to find any kind of space – mentally or physically! With many of us holding down busy jobs, home school plus all the usual housework, it got pretty tough there for a while. We usually keep our house fairly tidy and organised but with mounting piles of schoolwork and toys in every room, I admit we kind of gave up for a while and resigned ourselves to living in a bit of a mess.

Now that schools are back open (whoop!) we’re able to start feeling a bit more organised at home. Both my husband and I feel happier and calmer when the house is in better order. We also realised how much better we felt once we’d restored the lounge back to its former glory. It was back to being a grown-up space in the evenings which meant we could relax more.

When you have children, there is a tendency for their things to take over the entire house. I believe it is really important to create a space that is just for the grown-ups. If you’re struggling to find that space, here are a few tips that may help.

What do you want to use your space for?

Have a think about how you’d like to use the space. Do you want a grown-up snug with comfy chairs and cushions? Perhaps a games room or gym? Or maybe even a bar!

Decide on the purpose for the space and this will make planning so much easier.

Where are you going to have it?

Do you already have space within your home that you could use? Maybe you have a spare room that is currently used for storage that could be repurposed? Consider your current space and whether you use it efficiently. Could furniture be moved around to make better defined areas?

If you simply don’t have any spare space inside your home, do you have the budget to extend your living space? During lockdown, home extensions have been extremely popular. This is of course a much bigger project than simply converting an existing room but would add value to your home in the longer term.

Things to consider include whether planning permission is required, design, energy efficiency, making the space safe and dry (i.e. damproofing from Visqueen), insulation and double glazed windows.

If your budget doesn’t stretch to a full extension, you could convert a garage or build an outbuilding for much less. I’ve seen amazing conversions on social media with people turning even small spaces into brilliant bars or workout spaces.

Get rid of the clutter

If you’re converting an existing space that was used for storage, you will need to have a good declutter. You’ll be surprised at how therapeutic getting rid of clutter can be. I absolutely love a good sort out and for me, it honestly feels like therapy! It kind of resets my busy brain.

Decide what you want to keep and what you want to get rid of. Good quality items that you no longer need can be sent to a charity store.

Consider clever storage

Kids come with a lot of stuff – toys, drawings and numerous junk models from school are all part and parcel of being a parent. If you have no choice but to keep these items in your grown-up space, you’ll need to keep it well organised and consider clever storage solutions.

There are so many options available now, including in-built storage, attractive baskets, clever understairs storage ideas and, of course, your classic budget space savers such as Ikea Kallax units (every home has these somewhere, right?).

The fun part – designing your space

Mums Off Duty, Grown-Up Space

Once you have your space cleared, the fun part begins! It’s time to design your room. If you’re redecorating, have some fun with choosing paint colours or wallpaper. Darker shades can be quite popular for more grown-up spaces as the overall effect is quite sophisticated.

Also think about the size and style of furniture you’d like, storage and layered lighting. Remember this is an adult retreat so create a space that lets you unwind and recharge.

Share your thoughts

Have you created a grown-up space in your home? We’d love to hear your tips – please feel free to share in the comments below.

Happy designing!

Natalie xx

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post.

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