If you or your spouse’s work requires frequent moves across the state, country, or perhaps even around the world, you can still create a feeling of home every time you move, and do it in a way that quickly says “welcome home” in a strange new place.
1. Keep it Simple. Even if your company relocates you, you will incur at least a few extra expenses as each new space always has different dimensions and proportions. Allow for, say, inexpensive new window shades and properly sized curtain rods. A long length of flowing fabric can be easily draped over the rod for an “immediate” drapery treatment.
2. Consider it an Adventure. Unlike people who live in one home for many years, this is your chance to collect things you love from many wonderful places and showcase them in your home, creating a “life collage” over time.
3. Keep it Light. Collect only items you absolutely love and that are lightweight. Small paintings or pottery are better than heavy pieces of furniture. Limit yourself to one or two pieces per move, or one piece per family member. Remember, you’ll have to move them next time, and moving companies charge by weight.
4. Keep it Functional. For immediate “homey-ness” you’ll want a comfortable sofa; two reading chairs with small tables to hold drinks, lamps, and magazines; a coffee table; comfortable beds and side tables with lamps; a bureau for each bedroom or family member, a dining table and chairs; computer desk(s) and chair(s); a piece to hold your TV and stereo equipment; and perhaps a bookcase or two.
5. Functional Favorites. Choose your functional pieces carefully and make sure you absolutely love their style since you’ll be taking them with you wherever you go. The familiarity of them will help make you feel immediately at home the next time you move.
6. Keep it Neutral. Consider purchasing large furniture, like sofas and chairs, in solid neutral upholstery fabric such as cream or tan. This makes it easier to mix and match items and use them in any room with each subsequent move. Pieces seldom fit exactly right in the next location. Neutral upholstery will help it all flow.
7. Color it Beautiful. Dress up that neutral upholstery with some pillows in your favorite colors and possibly a snuggly throw. This is your chance to bring in patterns and textures as well.
8. Bon Appetit. Buy a set of white dishes and cookware. They’ll make the colors of your food stand out and look appetizing, and you can change napkins and placemat colors depending on the occasion or your mood.
9. Spa Day. After a long move, there’s nothing like a hot bath to ease the tension. Buy two complete fluffy towel sets per family member, in their favorite colors, to jazz up the bath.
10. Comfy Kids. Let your children choose their own comforter and pillows in their favorite colors for their beds. Children need a sense of immediate security and comfort in their new space and choosing their own things will help ease the transition.
11. Flower Power. To immediately make a new place feel like your own cozy home, purchase some fresh flowers and put them on your dining table in a favorite vase.
By keeping things simple, functional, and “portably colorful, " (like the pillows and towels), you’ll quickly create a comforting new home for you and your family each time the moving van pulls into your new driveway.
c2005 Kathryn Bechen. All rights reserved worldwide.
Visit http://www.kathrynbechendesigns.com for more free ideas and tips for decorating your cottage style home on a dollarwise budget and to sign up for Kathryn's free e-newsletter of decorating tips and resources. Kathryn is an interior decorating consultant and author who specializes in Cottage Style , Non-Toxic, and Dollarwise decorating.