It can be emotional and difficult to look around your home and realize it’s an empty nest. However, this new phase in your life can be an exciting opportunity to change things up, including your home and lifestyle.

Before diving into your home improvements, take your time and create a plan. Start by considering what parts of your home you’d most like to renovate, and use the following list of home renovation ideas to inspire you as you make your plans.

Consider Any Problems First

There is no use in renovating your home and ignoring existing problems, which may lead to much more expensive and time-consuming renovations in the future.

Look around your home first and consider any areas that need to be fixed. Do you have any broken appliances, water damage, or heating issues? Take this time to thoroughly assess your property — inside and out and hire a professional to address any serious problems, like plumbing or roofing issues. Don’t forget to reference your home warranty or appliance warranties to see if any of these problems are covered under your plan.

Read also: Guide to Fixing Leaking Roof

Change Up Your Style

Understandably, you may have had to sacrifice some of your stylistic preferences in favor of functionality when you had kids at home. Whether this was avoiding delicate, fragile pieces or not having the white couch of your dreams, now is the time to reassess your home and determine what matches your style and what doesn’t.

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Use Pinterest to inspire you with new home design ideas and create a color scheme and mood board to help you visualize changes to your space. This can also be a great way to show your partner what these updates may look like, rather than relying on abstract interior design terms.

After determining your style, make a floor plan to change areas of your home that don’t correspond with it. This may include finally painting your walls a fresh white or pastel blue, personalizing your curtains, and purchasing that pink reading chair you’ve always wanted.

Redo Your Kids’ Bedrooms

Now that your kids have moved out, it’s time for the big question — what are you doing with the extra spare bedroom or two?

While it may seem unfair to your kids to change up their rooms, remember that they are no longer living with you and don’t need their empty bedrooms anymore. Here are some great ideas for what you can do with your kids’ bedrooms:

  • Craft your perfect art studio or craft room
  • Build a fun game room
  • Create a personal movie theater complete with comfy chairs, beanbags, and a popcorn machine
  • Build your dream home office
  • Create a hobby room
  • Redo the bedroom and make it a stylish guest bedroom suitable for your kids or anyone staying with you

Remember that you can always shop around for furniture that can double as a bed, like a folding couch. If you want the space to remain a guest room, consider making half of the room into your office or art studio and the other half into a guest bedroom. This will leave you with the best of both worlds, so you can easily accommodate guests staying with you while enjoying the extra space for your own hobbies or work.

Level Up Your Hosting Game

When you had kids around, you may have settled for a kitchen table with the most seats to accommodate everyone. However, you may not be hosting as many large events at this point in your life. Consider choosing a sophisticated, smaller dining room table and adding touches that are great for formal or holiday entertaining, such as a tablecloth, luxurious fabrics, or a great new rug.

Take your dining room to the next level with fancy wallpaper or beautiful, updated artwork, and consider finer furniture, like velvet chairs, which wouldn’t have been possible with kids around.

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If you enjoy making cocktails, consider building your own cocktail bar or purchasing a sleek cart and stocking it with your favorites. Your guests will love creating their own cocktails at the bar or watching you craft interesting cocktails from your cart.

Plan for a Growing Family and Your Own Future

While making plenty of changes to your home that suit your needs is priority number one, consider what you may need in the future when your kids may start their own families.

Do you want to be the go-to grandparent with a great guest bedroom and nursery space? Will you still have room to accommodate all your kids if they come back for the holidays?

You’ll also want to consider what changes will continue to work for you as you age. You may love that handcrafted bed frame now, but if it’s very high off the ground, that may not be a practical choice for you as you age and your risk of falling increases.

Take Advantage of Small Spaces

Did your kids take that desk in the living room with them when they moved out? Do you have a small space in their old bedroom you want to revamp?

You can transform even small living spaces into beautiful, valuable spots. Take a corner of a room that is now empty and create your perfect library or reading nook. Fill the space with a gorgeous bookshelf, cozy chair, and floor lamp to update this space.

A small space can make a great “man cave” or “woman cave” for you or your spouse to decorate to your personal preferences.

You could change part of a room into a workout room or at-home gym. Small workout equipment, like hand weights and yoga mats, can be stored here. Large equipment, such as treadmills, even come in versions that take up little space when folded up against the wall.

Upgrade Your Master Bedroom

We spend a lot of time in our bedroom, so make it a place where you feel relaxed and love going to each night.

Splurge on that new comforter and luxurious sheets and linens for your bed. Change out the light fixtures and give your bedroom new flooring, which will completely upgrade the feel of your room. Take a look at your closet and consider expanding it into a walk-in closet and installing those perfect shelves so you can finally see all of your shoes, handbags, and clothing displayed.

A personal organizer is an excellent investment that can help you finally get your clothing and accessories under control and organized so that you’ll use everything.

Expand Your Master Bathroom

Consider expanding your master bathroom and adding spa features like double sinks, a jetted tub, or a walk-in shower. Heated floors are a fantastic upgrade that can make your bathroom cozier during the wintertime.

Simple additions, like a new rug or candles around your bathtub, can add an easy, luxurious feel to your space. If you haven’t gotten new towels or a silky robe recently, upgrade these too. You’ll feel like a completely new person when you wrap yourself in soft, fresh towels after your hot bath.

Repurpose Storage Space

If you find yourself with extra storage space in your basement or attic after your kids move out, make a plan for the space so that clutter doesn’t take it over unnecessarily.

A wine cellar with specialty shelves or a wine fridge can be stored in a basement. Depending on your basement or attic, you may be able to renovate part of it into a game room or man cave. A wet bar is another great addition to these areas. Some people also like converting the extra space into an informal living room or den.

Closing Thoughts

Whatever you choose to do with your space is sure to be marvelous and can help you adjust to this new phase in your life. Take your time, create a budget, and plan for what areas of your home you want to tackle. Don’t forget to consider how these home remodeling projects may benefit or hinder you as you age and if they will be suitable for future grandkids coming to visit.

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Elisabeth Beauchamp

Elisabeth Beauchamp

Senior Staff Writer

Elisabeth Beauchamp is a content producer for Today’s Homeowner’s Lawn and Windows categories. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with degrees in Journalism and Linguistics. When Elisabeth isn’t writing about flowers, foliage, and fertilizer, she’s researching landscaping trends and current events in the agricultural space. Elisabeth aims to educate and equip readers with the tools they need to create a home they love.

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Lora Novak

Senior Editor

Lora Novak meticulously proofreads and edits all commercial content for Today’s Homeowner to guarantee that it contains the most up-to-date information. Lora brings over 12 years of writing, editing, and digital marketing expertise. She’s worked on thousands of articles related to heating, air conditioning, ventilation, roofing, plumbing, lawn/garden, pest control, insurance, and other general homeownership topics.

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