Reinventing Our Physical Landscape: After Divorce “War Of The Roses Turned Pleasantville”
Written for Art, Antiques and Design (By Gail Green)
The value of altering our physical landscape – the home – is an excellent first step towards personal reinvention, paving a visual path to becoming a more positive and happy person. If clothes make the man, then surely a change in one’s home will affect one’s disposition. For, not only is our home a reflection of ourselves, but our living environment clearly shapes our thoughts. Dull and drab decor evokes a “down in the dumps” feeling, whereas a fresh, clean, and calm setting puts our frame of mind in a completely different direction. By creating an “as if” environment of serenity, we become and act at one with our new surroundings.
Divorce design is positive reinvention. It is a turning towards the future, albeit different, yet hopeful beginning. As we experience the turmoil surrounding divorce, we make changes in our lives. These alterations, if done in a positive direction, can dramatically alter our attitudes and disposition. Should we feel good about our home, should we feel secure and comfortable, as though it were a respite from the daily grind, then “the Home” can create a cheerful environment in which we make good decisions with clarity of mind.
Reinventing our life is very similar to restructuring our home. The designer begins, if you will, with a host of issues and then problem solves as to how best to reconfigure or redecorate the existing space, according to our situation and needs. In other words, a home has to rightly fit, creating both proper room “flow” and a good feeling for us when we walk through the door. If a room doesn’t feel right, we feel equally disjointed.
With all it’s transitioning phases, Divorce allows us to make changes in our lives for the better. As Karen McMahon notes “While divorce causes upset in many areas of our lives, by focusing on ourselves, we can emerge in a new, healthier place in our lives; one that honors who we are and how we wish to be in the world.”
Going from “We to Me,” divorcees establish a living environment reflective of our individual personalities. It is a fresh start: a rebirth, of sorts. Downsizing from large to small, as with any change, is oftentimes difficult. Whether we are restructuring our marital home to create distinct and separate spaces from that of our cohabiting partner, or whether we are moving out and creating our own home, change is inevitable. For those of us wishing to stay, the change may be less physical, yet just as emotional, as we remain in an atmosphere of harrowing memories. In this case, immediate visual modifications are recommended. A fresh coat of paint or a new sofa and carpet can invoke happier feelings. Oftentimes, this adjustment to our “transitioning” home is the quickest, easiest, and least expensive change towards positive reinvention we can make. A quickly Transformed Home from dull and drab to happy and serene helps create a more positive mindset.
Redesign, redecorate to reinvent. It is imperative to make our home look and feel like the “new” me. Choose colors, furniture, fabrics that evoke a cheerful ambiance. Use lighting that is bright and far-reaching. Buy new bedding and keep everything in our homes clean and crisp. Remember clarity of space creates clarity of mind. Being the center of our home ensures that our furniture is scaled to our proportions and to those of each room. And, for those of us who will be transporting children from one home to another, purchasing multi-functional furniture is essential. Couches that turn into beds, dining tables that condense to side boards – all these measures of space economy are vital to a clear spirit.
For the Divorcee, changing one’s home can be the most immediate and direct way to positive recovery. Divorce Design is about reclaiming our space as the primary source of emotional intelligence and inner strength. Surrounding ourselves with beautiful, familiar, and serene objects create a strong psychological foundation upon which to build a new inspired, reinvented life.
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