Design for downsizing: Taking the items you love.

Many of our clients are downsizing … moving into smaller homes and embracing a fresh start! This is a fun, scary-exciting and emotional time, for sure. During this process, the questions that inevitably arise are: 

What are we taking with us? What will fit? Where will my favorite table go?

Whether it’s a piece of furniture, an heirloom, or a collection you’ve cultivated for years — or all of the above! —  there are certain things you can’t picture leaving behind. And guess what? You don’t have to. At KLJI, we love helping our clients move onto this new adventure with clarity, confidence, and of course, their most-treasured possessions! 

We recently worked with several clients on moving and downsizing projects. Ultimately, this meant that they were going to a home with fewer square feet than their existing home, so not all their belongings could be taken. Decisions had to be made on which items would come and which items would need to go bye-bye! 

This can be hard, to say the least. Understandably, it can be quite upsetting when it appears “there is no room” for furnishings, collectibles or heirlooms with sentimental attachment. 

Here is where Karen Lee Johnson Interiors came to help. We created floorplans with furnishings layouts (see below) that made the best use of the new space and the clients’ existing items. 

floor plans for downsizinghow to use floor plans for downsizing

How did we create these plans?

In attempts to keep as many desired items as possible, an analysis of the rooms and functions was done to see where there may be new ways to utilize furniture pieces, artwork, etc., differently, versus how or where they were placed/used in the previous house. We worked as a “set of new eyes” for the clients to realize other options for their furnishings, and to give them satisfaction that some of their items could move on to their “next life” without regret!

The reality is, helping clients downsize is about more than just possessions. At KLJI, we aim to:

  • Help create a new space that clients feel great in! This means maximizing the flow of your new home, creating a space that works for everyone, and incorporating the old and the new in a way that aligns with your vision.
  • Determine what’s possible, and what’s not, to move forward with a sense of confidence and excitement! The design process sheds incredible clarity on what you really want, and what makes you happy. This can make letting go of things much easier. It also opens up a homeowner’s eyes to opportunities. Perhaps there’s something else that could function better?

  • Provide an expert, objective opinion and fresh insight. When you’ve been looking at the same furniture for years, it can be hard to see the possibilities. Could things be set up differently? Is there something I’m not able to imagine? Could this function in a new way? We bring a fresh perspective.
  • Make room for the future (and the possibilities)! What does your new life look like? Does this include grandkids, crafting, reading, gardening, baking, a side business, or new athletic pursuits? At KLJI, our design will identify new areas of need and focus on living, not just moving.
  • Streamline the process and reduce stress. While moving doesn’t necessarily mean moving on from the things you enjoy having in your space — it does require intentional decision-making, and a plan. If you’ve ever moved a bunch of items only to realize they don’t work in your new space, you will find this approach very refreshing: Everything will have a place before you move! 

Are you looking at a future move that would include downsizing in space? Perhaps having a design partner with “fresh eyes” could make that process a much smoother one for you. You’ve surely got enough going on … selling your current house, buying a new house, and all the rigamarole that goes with that! We’d love to take the pressure off. Why not book a call and we’ll talk about it!

Karen Lee Johnson, interior designer in Milwaukee Wisconsin

Hi, I’m Karen!

I’m the Founder/Creative Director of Karen Lee Johnson Interiors, a residential design firm working with clients seeking a professional, innovative and collaborative approach to design. We partner with you to creatively and meticulously translate your dreams and visions into reality. Learn more about our services or book a call to tell us about your project!

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