Excerpt from “Downsizing your home with style and regain your freedom’
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Measure it out the floor space you actually have.
Lets face it the average human needs an average size of functioning living space and anything extra is a luxury.
A bathroom is a bathroom and they don’t vary in size that much. Hand basins do a bit, as so do showers but you only need one of each. Clean and bright is more important then size.
A bed is a choice of single, sofa bed (French double with feet over the edge) double or king. If your used to a king and can’t stand your partner get a mattress for them on the floor-it will give you space and ensure they will leave with in a year. Ive never put a man on the floor who didn’t leave-trust me it works but done nicely.
Kitchen needs are a sink, a fridge, food cupboard and two hobs, a table and chairs.
‘Downsizing’ a kitchen requires a whole new approach to eating and living and i will dedicate a whole chapter to this as for me its the biggest challenge e.g get a BBQ, tear up all dinner invites, live near restaurants with cheaper ethnic delicious foods and wives who will cook for you. (In Tunisia the fisherman, who brings in the fresh catch every day, wife cooks it all for me)
You won’t have many doors in a smaller home but I am a great believer of taking them off. If you are alone you don’t need anything but a toilet door.
Gone are the days when the cold is so bad each room needs to be hermetically sealed to keep you alive. If its thats cold- move. DONT BUY OR RENT FACING NORTH. Try to face south-west and warm up all day and sip a cocktail when the sunsets. You are poor now and you need to fill the time:)
Use hallways. Pile up ALL the best LV, Gucci, RL, Fendi, Dunhill luggage including whicker picnic baskets, old leather suitcases and old school duffle/fishing bags. THESE ARE your new wardrobe. Shoes, boots, handbags, ski gear, cruise, tennis, golf,jumpers, hats. Each suitcase holds a different category or season. I have a pile of luggage 4 ft high in my hallway and no one even knows its all my clothes as the bags are just great to look at!
Get a tall plant in next to them, some large coffee table books, a couple of very large silver sports school trophies/cups and top with a scented candle.
If you cannot even imagine what I am saying. Get into furniture stores and look at room settings, Bloomingdales, Ikea, Habitat, Heals, Ralph Lauren. Go online and look at Italain kitchens, furniture, store layouts and save the details that you like and will fit your rooms.
They create an ambiance and are brave and bold with colours and sizes.
Get a theme going either hunting shooting, fishing, tennis and build around it. No theme, no style.
No theme, no ambience, No theme, no colour palate. No theme it will look like a bric a brack shop!
Ralph Lauren creates room settings in his Bond Street UK shops that are totally inspirational. Each one is joy and a loss when they are replaced seasonally. His principles are the same and the space his design team uses are not large. Its all about scale and planning and a theme. He draws on the natural surroundings, beaches, alpine, cities, countryside and he creates a theatre stage, or a film set. Its nothing to do with money, its a style he offers.
I covered a very small ski apartment in a blue and red tartan fabric and actually padded every wall. I bought the whole roll from a dressmaker who couldn’t believe it was going on walls. I drove it to the French Alps from London and padded the walls with foam, glue, staples and large headed brass tacks. It looked amazing, warm, classical, never marked, never faded, long after we finished all the whiskeys, in cut glass decanters.
The list goes on, and I will go on, but not right now.