Interview: How to Deal With Your House During a Divorce
Marta is an interior designer in Greensboro, NC. Since 1989 she has been providing interior design and space planning services throughout the Southeast. Services range from single design consultations to complete turnkey projects. Marta is known in our area for designing “livable spaces” and for her color expertise. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AZ asks: How do you deal with your house in a divorce?
When finding yourself face to face with starting anew after a divorce, there’s no better place to start making positive change than your home. Whether you are staying in the family home you shared with your spouse, or moving to new quarters, keeping the old furniture or starting fresh – it is important to surround yourself with your very own personality and character.
AZ asks: My husband and I are selling our house – what is the best way to divide the furniture?
There are many ways this “split of items” can be done. But before deciding how to divide the entire house, each party should take out of the equation the items that each has brought into the marriage as family heirlooms. The items that have been acquired jointly can now be divided based on the legal settlement, as well as the size and requirements of where each person will live. The truth is that, from a furnishings perspective, each “half” house can be made “full” again with minimum effort and investment, and both homes can develop their own identities with a few easy but well thought out changes.
AZ asks: How can I afford to start a new life and still keep the same old furniture?
If you are staying in the same house, there are some simple “face lifting” tricks that will completely change the aspect of your home: From just rearranging the furniture, recovering a few pieces, adding an item that will create drama and change the feeling of the spaces. But, the single most mood-changing thing that can be done to alter how a home feels is color – selecting different wall colors will dramatically impact the look and feel of your home.
AZ asks: I am keeping the house because of the kids – what is the best way to freshen it up?
The environment in which we live – our home – is a major factor in determining our mood and how we feel. There are many studies on the psychology of color and how color affects people. That is especially true for kids – when such a major change takes place in their lives, it is important for them to maintain a degree of familiarity but to create positive change. And of course, YOU need change. Regardless of your budget, you can make dramatic change by altering the furniture layout and the color scheme in the house – trust me, you are not locked to certain colors just because that’s what “goes” with the furniture! (Be adventurous – do something outside the box). Also, give the kids some input on what should be done with the house – maybe give them “a room” that they can make some decisions on – that might be a playroom, their bedrooms, etc. – the feeling of ownership will also help them through the transition.
AZ asks: We are selling our house – any suggestions on how to stage it for a successful sale?
A well-staged house is extremely important, especially in today’s market. A fresh coat of paint will make a huge impact- light, clean, uplifting color on the walls is a must. Clean the carpets and floors. Sparse furnishings, well arranged to give the feeling of space in each room to best show how each room can be used. Good lighting. Strategically placed accessories near the “less then perfect areas” will detract the attention from what buyers might perceive as negatives. But the key words to staging a home for sale are: no clutter. Clear away the mess by adding attractive boxes or bins throughout the house for your “everyday living” mess – then pack away everything else!