Outfitting Your Patio for Spring

5 Ways For Empty-Nesters To Give Their Homes An Upscale Ambiance

by Anne Wells

If your last child is in the process of packing up to leave for college, you're probably experiencing a mixture of sadness and excitement -- after all, you've raised your family well, and now is the time for you to relax and enjoy the company of your spouse. Naturally, you'll want to keep the kids' rooms intact so they'll have a place to land for breaks from school and other visits, but this is a perfect time to give the rest of your home interior the facelift you've been longing to provide it with for years. Following are five decorating strategies designed to give your home the upscale ambience you've been waiting for all these years. 

Pare Down the Clutter

If you're like most people who've recently reached the finish line concerning their child raising obligations, the common living spaces in your home tend to be cluttered and perhaps overly casual. Now is the time to cultivate a living space for grownups, so streamline your rooms by packing up the clutter. If you're unsure of where to store the items, put them in your kids' rooms to keep them out of sight until you decide what to do with them. After you've decluttered your primary living space, you can get a better idea of how you'd like to decorate it for this new phase of your life. 

Use Natural Fabrics

Furnishings, rugs, and window treatments look more upscale when they're fashioned from natural fabrics. Go for cotton, wool, linen, and silk over polyester options. For optimal effect, extend that to household objects such as bedding, bath, and table linens. The luxurious look and feel of natural fabrics will make anyone feel as if they are living in a castle. 

Display Real Artwork 

Few things bring a room together like an artistic focal point. It can be a painting, a sculpture, or a wall hanging, as long as it's authentic and fits in well with the overall feeling of the room in which it is being displayed. Keep in mind that mass produced artwork usually presents a mediocre appearance. To avoid the mass produced look, check out local galleries for one-of-a-kind items. Other decorative items should complement the focal piece rather than overpower it. For instance, you can accent the focal piece with several small ceramic object in complementary colors.

Plush Furniture

Sumptuous furniture that you, your spouse, and your guests can sink into while enjoying good conversation or a great movie is a must in any upscale living space. Now that you finally have your chance to have furniture that doesn't have to be kid-friendly, you can get the furniture of your dreams -- but be sure to take your time picking it out.

Luxury furniture is a long term investment that shouldn't be taken lightly, so resist the urge to give into your impulses and buy the first fine furniture that attracts your eye. Look for something that you can see yourself living with 20 or even 30 years from now. Go for what's classic instead of trendy and your home interior will look good no matter what the latest home fashions are. Visiting high end furniture stores will provide you with lots of inspiration about how you want your home interior to look. 

Pay Attention to Details 

Trim, wainscotting, window treatments, light fixtures, and other small touches can make a big difference in how a home interior look and feels, so don't neglect to pay attention to the details. For instance, a simple Art Deco chandelier can transform a plain dining room into an elegant haven, and brass details can make an average staircase look as if it stepped out of a Victorian mansion.