Upsizing your design when you downsize
13 November 2019
Residential master bedroom designed by Meli Studio
Downsizing is a part of life, as well as part of your property journey. But, just because you are moving into a smaller space, doesn’t mean you have to downgrade on the visual appeal.
We spoke with interior design expert, Julie Ockerby of Meli Studio who specialises in sophisticated living for seniors nationwide, who said downsizing is the perfect opportunity to design your ‘forever home’ exactly the way you want it.
Here are Julie’s 10 tips to help you downsize in style, while making the most out of your smaller space.
1. Only keep the things you love
Downsizing gives the perfect opportunity to give away or even sell anything in your life that doesn’t make your heart sing.
It may well be that you’ll need to buy smaller furniture items anyway, so consider this as an opportunity to let go of tired old pieces and replace them with the furniture that you’ve always wanted, especially when you don’t have to worry about pleasing anyone but yourself!
2. Don’t be afraid to be bold
When picking fabrics for any new furniture, throws, bedspreads, curtains or cushions, don’t be afraid to go bold with colours and textures, as this can help bring smaller spaces to life.
To really future-proof your new abode, pick fabrics that are stain resistant and with waterproof backing.
3. Height matters
Make sure that any new furniture is at a height that suits you. Ensure your bed is not too low or too high, while sofas and armchairs should not be too low, for ease of access as you get a little older.
4. Give yourself space
To create a home you can live in for as long as possible, space is essential.
This may seem counter-intuitive when downsizing, but even though you’re probably losing two or even three bedrooms, make sure your rooms are not too small to allow good access around your bed, dining table, chairs and sofas. You’ll be especially thankful for this if you or your friends end up needing a walking stick.
Julie Ockerby holding the fabric collection of her new range
5. Deck the walls
One area you might need to edit a bit, but don’t need to cull dramatically, is your artwork.
Create a dramatic feature wall by covering one wall with your favourite pieces, potentially combining art from several rooms in your old house.
6. Avoid clutter
Clutter is the enemy of good interior design and easy living. Cluttered tables and shelves are harder to keep clean, easier to mess up or knock over, and can actually be confusing on the eye and thus the mind.
You’ll appreciate and enjoy having just your favourite trinkets on display – even if you have to rotate them every now and again.
7. Don’t slip up
Use non-slip tiles wherever possible. Definitely use them in the bathroom, but also consider the kitchen and laundry, where spills can quickly become just as much of a hazard as a wet bathroom floor.
8. Light up your life
Good lighting, especially in often neglected areas like the shower or the dressing space in front of your wardrobes, can make a huge difference to the functionality, aesthetics and safety of essential areas that are used daily.
9. Say no to sharp corners
This applies to all ages and can give you more room to move without worrying about bumping into any nasty corners. It’s also an especially handy tip for when visiting grandchildren are toddling around.
10. Spoil yourself
Finally, splash out a with just a bit of the financial equity you hopefully free up when downsizing on an interior feature you’ve always dreamt of but could never quite afford.
Perhaps it’s a top-of-the-line steam oven, his and hers vanities or a stunning statement piece of art.
Are you looking to downsize in Perth? See what’s for sale.