Downsizing is a challenge for everyone. But as an interior designer, downsizing my own life and next home definitely brings its own unique pressures and challenges in my seeking joy in this huge life transition! Read why…

You see, sometimes knowing too much can be just that, too much knowledge. I rarely say this statement since I am a huge proponent of knowledge being a gateway to doing life on a higher level, especially for the O50s or the over 50 demographic.  In my own personal downsizing with our move to NE Ohio, these are the specifics of my mental, emotional, physical, and financial mountains to overcome. 

And these challenges have a name. The ultimate goals of downsizing are to be accomplished with function, safety, beauty, low maintenance, repurposing, lighting, privacy, and financial considerations.  No wonder my designer head is often spinning out of control.

The Kitchen Before

In the first part of my Designer Downsizing Journey, I will share what upgrades were made starting with the kitchen.  As you can see, 13 years ago this kitchen was nicely done, but I needed to update the most important room in the house.  I knew that I needed to paint the cabinets. However for costs, I decided to find a paint color to work with the existing counter top. Finding the right paint color proved to be one of the biggest challenges of this project. Finally, after trying many samples, Revere Pewter from Sherwin Williams was selected that worked perfectly! Joy

Kitchen After

Next to go was the backsplash tile which again, works but not for my need to have a brighter kitchen palette. I was thrilled to use my leftover custom tile from our present home due to incorrect measuring by our tile installer. I love this tile and the effect it gives! Joy

Kitchen Backsplash Before and Kitchen Backsplash After

The flooring in this home was carpeting throughout most areas with the exception of the kitchen. My really big challenging conundrum was to change the flooring due to costs involved. But thank goodness, my husband and my sister alleviated my guilt by reminding me that the flooring needed to be changed for the overall look and function plus for easier maintenance. And I am thrilled with the outcome! Joy

The floor before

The floor after

Many of you followed my microwave on the counter dilemma wanting to move it into the above cabinet for tons of reasons. This proved to be a bigger challenge due to finding a microwave that would fit in depth and could be wall mounted. Again, Bob to the rescue as he searched successfully to find this Sharp model that is perfect. My plan is put cookbooks or decorative platters on the shelf above to hide the electrical cord. This change made me very happy! Joy

The last challenge of the kitchen area was to replace the outdated albatross, the kitchen desk. Since I love to entertain whether a casual get together or hosting a meeting, I needed and wanted a lovely, functional serving area. It was actually my son’s suggestion to move up the upper cabinet and have a custom cabinet built. I then designed this cabinet to be 42” high for functional ergonomic needs. For cost purposes, we used the original kitchen desk counter top. This is one of my absolute favorite changes of our downsizing upgrades!  Joy

Before… during… and after sans hardware!

I hope you stay tuned for more posts on my Designer Downsizing Journey. There is much, much more to share with you that I believe will help you in your life transitional changes whether you are relocating or staying put.

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Living and Loving Life Together,

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  1. Kathysue

    Great transformation. Love thevcabinet color very soft look and feel. Warm and inviting

    • Mitzi

      Thank you so much for commenting and loving my next life kitchen!

  2. Janice Crabtree

    Love how you encourage a person to design with their specific needs and functions in mind. I have enjoyed learning about the importance of lighting in rooms and other helpful ideas for aging in place with grace and functionality. You make the downsizing journey joyful and something to embrace as a person moves forward in this life stage. Looking forward is always more effective vs looking backwards. Thank you for so many helpful ideas! Jan C

    • Mitzi

      Jan your comment is music to my ears becasue you totally expressed my entire philosophy not only for our homes, but defintiely for our entire lives. You are more than welcome and I so appreciate you taking the time to comment!

  3. Linda Wilson

    Your new kitchen is really pretty! I only wish it were in Denver. 🙂

    • Mitzi

      Hello Linda! Thank you for you sweet comment. Yes, I think having a pretty environment feeds our souls since we are definitely affected by our surroundings. And also yes, if I were, we would be connected!

  4. Connie Walden

    Love your kitenen changes! Your “before” so much like ours now.
    C. W ??

    • Mitzi

      Hello Connie! I want to encourage you to always move forward and never stay stuck, regardless of what area of life this pertains to. See, I used never and always in the same sentence! Really, anything is possible but first getting estimates can smash the strongholds of thinking this cannot be done for me…..so not true. I will be hopeful that you move forward in all and every areas of your home. xo

  5. Sharon Nelson

    Your downsizing journey is so interesting. Love the kitchen changes! But of course I think it is beautiful! You have great taste!

    • Mitzi

      thank you Sharon! I so appreciate your commenting and that you and I are connected on many levels. Let’s try to get lunch in April. Are you going to market?

  6. Beth Bond

    Love the transformation! As one with mid 80s orangish oak cabinets, did you paint or have a professional do it? I’ve never painted wood and scared to tackle such a huge project. Any advice welcome?

    • Mitzi

      Thank you Beth! I had a professional paint my cabinets and frankly, unless you get a ton of advice, I would not attempt it because this is not an easy project. The reasons are here are simply too many variables to deal with like removing the finish for starters. However, there are a ton of You tube videos that could teach you the DIY techniques. Or a reputable paint store could help you perhaps. Good luck!

  7. Reena Philpot

    Beautiful transformation!

    • Mitzi

      Thank you so much Reena!