Gift Buying: Thinking Outside the Box
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Gift Buying: Thinking Outside the Box

I know the frustration of trying to find a gift for somebody who seems to have everything. What finally helped me take the angst out of gift buying was starting to think outside the box. Since then, it seems to be easier to find something that my loved one will like, whatever the occasion. These days, I look in unusual places for gift ideas. Instead of retail shops, I see what is happening at local auction houses. I may look into getting my loved one something they've expressed an interest in recently, like taking guitar lessons. I may even surprise my friend with a visit from a chef who prepares a special meal just for him or her. If you have the gift buying blues, let me help. I'll provide some tips on how to get clues for wonderful presents that will delight and amaze your loved ones.


Gift Buying: Thinking Outside the Box

Decorating After The Divorce

Peggy Lee

It doesn't matter whether you have just gone through a gentle and understanding conscious uncoupling—a la Gwyneth Partlow and Chris Martin—or a nasty, vicious divorce, you will probably be in need of some new furniture. Perhaps, you've given up your old bedroom set because you no longer want to own anything that reminds you even slightly of your ex, or maybe you've split the entire household. Even if you're moving into a smaller place, you will probably be in need of some pieces to complete your new household.

According to the Chicago Tribune, if you're staying in your old abode, you will probably want to redecorate it, which can help you move on from your old relationship. Here are some tips to help you start fresh.

Your Master Bedroom 

One of the areas that many newly single people want to change is the master bedroom. This is not surprising, since this room typically holds the majority of the intimate memories of a marriage. The following are four things that you will want to change in your bedroom after a divorce:

  • Purchase a new bedroom set. This is easy if your spouse took your old one. If not, consider moving your old set into a guest bedroom or selling it, and then purchasing a new one that won't remind you of your ex.
  • Buy a new mattress. This is especially true if you've had your old one for a number of years, anyway. Replacing your old marital mattress is also a good idea if you plan on dating in the near future. Do you really want to start a new relationship on the mattress that you once shared with your ex? Probably not.
  • Purchase new bedding. Why? Because you deserve fresh, stain-free sheets for your newly single life.
  • Paint the walls. A fresh coat of paint can really change the way your room looks and also a way to express yourself in a way you might not have been able to during your marriage.

Don't Hold On

During the divorce proceedings, it's easy to get into a war with your ex about what furniture and artwork each one of you should get. Some pieces may hold sentimental value. Others may be items you just don't want to have to shop for after the separation.

However, it's important to step back and really think about how those old pieces are going to look in your new home, or how they will fit into your redecorating plans if you are going to keep the old house. Some of the items you should ditch include:

  • Cheap pieces that have seen better days. Is the laminated top of your coffee table chipped and peeling back? Then toss it. Old, junky pieces are depressing to have around and can really sully the look of your new home.
  • Anything that isn't really you. Did you always hate that art deco lamp that your spouse gave you as a Christmas gift? Then get rid of it. 

Find New Pieces

Before you go out and purchase furniture pieces to replace the ones your spouse took or that you decided to get rid of, take a little time to decide what your true decorating style is. This is especially important if your spouse was the one who always made the decorating choices in your marital home. Even if you were the main interior designer in your old home, you probably made concessions to please your spouse. Those days are now in the past.

While some consider divorce to be an end, others consider it to be the beginning. If possible, try to embrace the latter attitude as you decorate your home and start a new chapter. It could make it a little easier to get through this difficult period in your life. Talk to local furniture experts for more information and tips for redecorating your home.