One of the biggest challenges I have found for individuals that move from one location to the next, due to job or lifestyle change, is the ability to transform their new living space to a look they can call "home." My nephew Erik is a perfect case study. I call him the "world traveler" because of his constant desire to be on the move either due to work status change or just being Erik.
His idea of "something to do over the weekend" might be to fly to Tokyo to have sushi. Or, fly from his home in Hawaii to Florida to help his fraternity make money for his frat brothers charity drive. Either situation, he doesn't have much time to plan his interior home lifestyle look. With that in mind, he makes a call to his favorite uncle (me) to help him stay stylish yet remain cost effective.
For individuals on the move like Erik, here are a few design tips to help build a great look yet enable you the ability to switch things up when needing to make a residential change.
Building A Room- Keep the overall look simple and uncluttered. Don't spend a lot of money on furniture as your taste will change. Remember, you can have an impactful look without hurting your bank account if you plan well enough.
The Look- Prior to buying, decide if your design look (traditional, contemporary or transitional) will be flexible enough to work in the "next" space you could eventually be moving to. For those constantly on the move, scale furniture more towards a smaller size and shape so that it will fit from new location to new location.
Color Tone- Neutral color furniture will work best in any situation. Restoration Hardware furniture photo layouts always seem to be lifestyled in neutral cream and beige tones. The reason is this type coloration will work with any design lifestyle or look. Black leather is also a sure winner for key furniture pieces (sofa, sectional or stylish lounge chair) in the room. Yet... do not overdo the use of leather. Use it as an accent, not as a Room In a Box look.
Accessorizing- Once again, keep it simple and inexpensive. This gives you the flexibility to change it out when you move to the next place.
WOW Factor- If your leasing a space, find out if you are able to paint a feature wall. Having this ability will add drama to a room without spending no more than $20.00 for the look. Only paint one wall to achieve the POP of color you may need to give the room.
Rental Furniture- Another angle to temporarily decorate your "in transition" home, is to find a reputable furniture rental company to fill the space. My only hesitation in doing this is that the furniture tends to be a bit "80's and flashy" in looks. Plus, when you do the math you actually come out cheaper buying inexpensive disposable furniture rather than pay furniture rental cost.
Resell Your Stuff- Here's a simple way to switching out your look as your location and taste change...sell the furniture you don't want. In some cases you will sell it for somewhat less than you originally paid, yet you will have the ability to switch out your look to something new for the next place. Be sure to keep your sales receipts to show prospective buyers what you paid verses the great savings they will get on "short term" gently used furniture. When I was younger I did this all the time, and in some cases I got the same amount of what I originally paid (see my past article on Designing A Great Garage Sale for tips on selling furniture) I was always changing out my look and I was able to make it pay off.
Recapping: What I described above is not for those who are building a look for a more permanent space. Yet, this article is for those that move frequently and whose taste and lifestyle changes are they're way of life. Best part is, Atlanta has some great value conscience retail locations around town that provide furniture looks to suit both your taste, budget and mobility. Check out the attached photo's of an impactful living room look from IKEA that really didn't cost a lot...but gave a slick clean feel.
For questions or design ideas, you can contact me through the comment section here on Patch or directly at: PatchAroundTown@hotmail.com