Quite often I work with couples whose children have left home and the parents are on the cusp of the empty nester phase. This time of life causes them to long for simplicity and less maintenance. It’s a natural time to transition to a different sort of home, and many couples believe they don’t require as much space as before. While is this sometimes true, what I find most often is that they do require about as much space as before, it just looks differently now.
For example, large game rooms or media rooms that once accommodated teenagers are traded for more luxurious and expansive master suites complete with spa-like amenities, work out spaces and quiet retreats fit for adults only. Oversized closets and dressing areas give them the space they once sacrificed to other family members. This is the time, they tell me, when they want to focus on themselves. They want a clean slate and they want to do it right this time. Bedrooms, used infrequently now by visiting college kids or married adult children, become smaller to allow for larger commercial-grade kitchens, wine cellars and other such luxuries they enjoy. When planning for this phase of life, I recommend considering what new priorities couples have and how this new clean slate can allow them to sketch out the home they’ve always imagined.