See how 10 couples reconfigure their living spaces after their children move out
After their children left home, this St. Louis couple tapped interior designer Maria DeGange to help transform an underused sitting room into a cozy space to play games, read and watch TV. With a big, cushy sectional anchoring the space, good lighting, a soft wool rug underfoot and all of their favorite books and games at hand, this room has become a favorite spot to hang out in the mornings and evenings.
While it’s certainly true that there are loads of stylish and kid-friendly decor options out there these days, the fact remains that certain modes of decorating just don’t make sense while kids are in the house. In the space seen here, Baltimore designer Elizabeth Reich of Jenkins Baer Associates helped a pair of empty nesters reclaim their home — which in this case meant adding elegant custom upholstery and window treatments, extra molding for architectural interest and art commissioned for the space.
Between saving for college and the general busyness that comes with having kids at home, it’s no surprise that plenty of empty nesters see their new situation as an opportunity to finally invest in the renovations they’ve been dreaming of for years. In this family home, designer Jean Verbridge of Siemasko + Verbridge helped a couple with four children reimagine their space after the kids moved out. By opening up the layout and completely remodeling the kitchen, the home now reflects the Scandinavian modern style the couple love.
Alan and Ellen Muskin wanted enough space to comfortably host their annual seder dinner, which regularly draws more than 20 guests. As recent empty nesters, they decided to do something a bit unusual: They let go of some bedroom and bathroom space and put it into a great room that can easily fit the large group gatherings they love to host. With help from interior designer Christen Ales, the couple created a midcentury-inspired room with tons of natural light and vintage furnishings, perfect for holiday and year-round entertaining.