A book to help those who are merging their hearts, lives, and homes. When merging households, one plus one needs to equal . . . one. The path toward that fundamental fact, however, is not so easy. Since something’s got to give—and you don’t want it to be the relationship—Downsizing the Blended Home is here to help you meet the challenge of figuring out what to keep, what to let go of, and what to create together. With the same warm, narrative tone that made Downsizing the Family Home such a success—and using her own story of marriage and merger in midlife as a backdrop—Marni Jameson guides you through the turf wars and transitions, so you understand what matters and what doesn’t, and can discover a style that suits you both. Along the way she interviews psychologists, designers, and couples who’ve made it through the process, passing along tips, tricks, and marriage-bolstering advice.The wise advice includes:
- If you want to transform a space from me to we, the fastest, cheapest way is with paint.
- Look around you for the five or so nonnegotiable items that ground you, items that tether you so you’re not adrift. Give those a place in your remodeled space and build on them.
- The old marital bed is a charged item, as are family photos of the former spouse or partner. A new bed is ideal, and new bedding is a must.
- Injecting a contemporary rug or piece of art, or a modern lamp or sculpture is a safe way to start moving toward modern in a room full of traditional furnishings.
- A blend in the master bedroom is especially important. If her bedroom is pink and purple, and his is burgundy and tan, a new gender-neutral color scheme is in order.
- Buying furniture together is a great way to invest in your look and your future. Start with something big in your combined style.
About the Author
Marni Jameson is one of America’s most-loved home and lifestyle columnists. Her humorous and helpful column appears in 25 papers nationwide, reaching million of readers each week. Jameson is the author of four critically acclaimed books: Downsizing the Family Home, the companion book Downsizing the Family Home: A Workbook, The House Always Wins, and House of Havoc. She has written for many magazines, including Woman’s Day, Family Circle, and Forbes, and major metropolitan newspapers. A frequent guest on local and national TV and radio, Jameson has appeared on NBC Nightly News, Martha Stewart Living, and Fox and Friends. She lives with her husband and three dogs in Winter Park, FL. You can find her at marnijameson.com, and on Twitter @marniathome.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Hearts May Become One, but Houses Collide ix
Part 1 Merger Math: 1 House + 1 House Must = 1 House
1 I've Got This 2
2 House Hunting in the Hypothetical 7
3 When Redesigning Your Life, Redesign Your Home 23
Part 2 Moving Out
4 To Sell Fast at Top Price, Stage Like a Pro 40
5 Ouch! But It Hurts to Let Go 56
Part 3 Moving In
6 Downsizing to Upsize 64
7 Find Your Beautifully Blended Style 81
8 Opposites Attract 89
9 A Break from Tradition 100
10 Big Stuff First 109
11 Color, the Great Unifier 118
12 Make a Great Upholsterer Part of Your Transition Team 129
13 When Art Tastes Collide 138
14 Accessorizing Shelves to Blend 147
15 What's in a Name? 151
16 The Kids Are All Right 157
Part 4 How They Did It
17 Sara and Austin: Letting Go and Holding On 164
18 Elaine and Mike: Uptown Girl Meets Downtown Guy 172
19 Sherry, Rachel, and Michael: All in the Family 178
20 Rebecca and Dean, Kristin and Rich, Jason and John 186
Part 5 The Crazy Quilt Family
21 Redefining "Home for the Holidays" 198
22 From Downsized to Right-sized, Goodbye Happy Yellow House 207