Design and DIY

How to Design After a Breakup

August 21, 2018

Breaking up is hard to do… or so they say. But do you know what’s even harder? The aftermath. The messy stuff. Divvying up belongings that you once owned together. Living civilly in the same house until it sells. Figuring out who gets to keep the dog. Compared to all of that, breaking up is a walk in the park. And to be honest, there were times when Brian and I considered staying together because it was so much easier. With that being said, here’s Tip #1 on How to Design After a Breakup: Get Out! Once the decision has been made to split, do yourself a favor and trust that it was the right decision. Don’t second guess. Don’t look back. And most importantly, don’t try to cohabit with your ex. One or both of you need to move out of your current place in order to start healing.

Tip #2 – Purge

The best advice I can ever give you after a breakup is: Get rid of all your stuff. (Okay, maybe not all of it!) But really – sell it, donate it, burn it. No matter how you dispose of it, dispose of it you must in order to move on. Which is exactly what I did. I sold it all: the bed, the office furniture, the rugs, the chairs. Anything that Brian didn’t want to bring to New York with him, I got rid of. Why? Because objects carry memories and those were the last thing I wanted to bring into my apartment. Nobody wants to look around their new place filled with furniture that they shared with their ex. So if you have the means to purge the things that no longer bring you joy, do it.

Tip #3 – Find Your Style

With the clutter gone and a new(ly single) lease on life, now is the perfect time for some self discovery. Find out who you are, what you really like, and how to translate that into home decor. Gone are the days when you need to design with someone else in mind! There aren’t many opportunities to start from scratch so take advantage of this clean slate. Buy that pink pillow or those velvet chairs that your ex would have hated. Do you, boo. You deserve it. In order to figure out how to design my new apartment, I hit up Pinterest and started making mood boards. I wanted my home to feel grown-up, coastal, and serene. So I kept my color palette neutral with pops of blue and added lots of wood for texture and warmth. The result? A calming oasis that felt 100% me. 

Tip #4 – Invest in Self Care

Go clean your bath tub. Seriously. I’m talking sparkling, pristine, hotel-esque clean. Then take baths every single night. You finally have the chance to do all things that seemed too selfish when you were in a relationship. So what are you waiting for? If bathing isn’t your thing, start a monthly subscription service like Book of the Month Club or Facetory. Or pull an Emilyeveryday and get eyelash extensions, microblading, and dye your hair. Nothing is better than revenge hair. Okay I lied, being a strong, confident woman after a breakup is better. (And that’s the goal here!) What else did I do? Bought a bunch of really expensive skincare products, installed a glass shelf, and put them out on display. And now every time I look at that shelf, I am reminded of my worth. Because damnit, I do deserve to slather $100 moisturizer on my face!

Tip #5 – Host a Party  

 It’s easy to close the curtains, lay in bed, and shut out the rest of the world after a breakup. Why didn’t I do that? Because I was focusing my energy on designing my new apartment. (And getting Opal proper training.) That’s the key: Keep busy! And when the decorating is done, invite over some friends. Surround yourself with people who care about you even if showing face is the last thing you want to do. Believe me, I’ve been there! But everyone loves an excuse to gather, share stories, and drink wine. Plus, it’s the perfect opportunity to reveal your newly designed space. 

The moral of the story is breakups suck and everyone handles them in their own way. My advice? Stay busy. Force yourself to leave the apartment. Call your friends. Go on adventures. Do a DIY project. And if all else fails, get yourself an Opal. 😉 

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  • Reply Christy August 21, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    Wow. So good. Emily, I love your openness. Thank you for all you do!

    • Reply emilyeveryday August 21, 2018 at 2:34 pm

      Me? Thank YOU! For reading and supporting. And commenting!!

  • Reply Vickie C August 21, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    Do you. Invest in self-care. Host a party. All words of wisdom for women who are newly single, long-time married, young, old… thanks for inspiring, as always, Em. ❤️

  • Reply Leigh August 21, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    Keep being you ?

  • Reply Lynsi Lea August 21, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Absolutely love this!!! Do you boo!

  • Reply Adriane August 21, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    But whyyyyy the breakup ? yes I’m being nosey AF but hey if you’re offering questions/answers, I’ll be the one to ask lol! Are you guys civil/staying friends or is that a hard pass?
    On the subject of the post, definitely good advice…and I love your new apartment and the style you’ve decorated it in! It doesn’t even feel like an apartment, and that seems like a total win to me. ♥️

    • Reply emilyeveryday August 21, 2018 at 2:24 pm

      Because breakups happen… 🙂 Also, I am a firm believer that you can’t stay friends with your ex!
      And thank you!! Such a great compliment!

  • Reply Karen Kazarian August 21, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    BEST advise, girl!!! Every bit of this post was super helpful. I just got divorced and kept the family home as my kids and I love it but I think I’m going to sell the contents!! I’m so happy you and Opal are doing well! Btw, I’m not selling the great finds you’ve sent me from your thrifting days xx

    • Reply emilyeveryday August 21, 2018 at 2:51 pm

      Yes, Karen – sell anything that will make you sad and that has emotional attachment to your ex. ESPECIALLY THE BED AND THE SHEETS! I kept my blue couch and coffee table because those two things always felt like me and I don’t seen Brian in them ever. Also, if you’re staying in the house – rearranging and even painting can help make it feel fresh and new! Love you and thinking of you. <3

  • Reply Nina August 21, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Love your outlook and the new space! Do tell about the new skincare products, always looking for new goodies!

    • Reply emilyeveryday August 21, 2018 at 8:36 pm

      You’re such a beauty junkie Nina! Also got you text… and love you so much!

  • Reply Angela Martinez August 21, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Emily you are so incredibly strong and resilient. I admire you so much. I could have never handled this situation they way you did at your age. I hope that when the time is right you meet someone who deserving of you and Opal. Not that you need someone but if you so choose……talk about total package. I mean does it get any better than an Emily??? I think not. Smart, funny, witty, animal lover, DIY genius oh and a girl who can EAT!!! Best of luck sweetheart!

    • Reply emilyeveryday August 21, 2018 at 8:34 pm

      Wow Angela – I am blown away by this comment and so lucky to have you as a friend in my journey. Thank you times a million!

  • Reply Lynne August 21, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    Emily, as a fond follower, I love the way you look at your “break up” and moving forward….as painful as it may be we grow from every relationship we have! Keeping busy, doing you and spoiling yourself a bit is a great way to move forward. The one word of wisdom I will share is….an Ex can be a wonderful part of your life…not right away but for me, I’ve found a way to build a new relationship with my ex…..time heals many heartache and growing opens your heart?

    • Reply emilyeveryday August 21, 2018 at 8:34 pm

      Thank you so much Lynne for always having such sweet words of encouragement and support!

  • Reply Haley August 21, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    I love this post so much! It’s good advice even for women and men who weren’t living with their partner. Your apartment looks amazing! So happy to hear that it feels like you and makes you happy. Sending love to you and Opal.

    • Reply emilyeveryday August 21, 2018 at 8:33 pm

      You are totally right Haley! It’s great advice just after a breakup in general!

  • Reply LeAnne August 21, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    This is gonna go viral. It’s just that good!!! Glad you’re felt inspired to write on a topic that I’m sure stung a bit. You’re new place is beautiful and I’m so proud of your skin care collection!??

    • Reply emilyeveryday August 21, 2018 at 8:33 pm

      Aw LeAnne! You are the sweetest and best! I’ve got to do an updated skincare post ASAP!

  • Reply Thekwendyhome August 21, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    You’re the best Emily. Thanks for sharing something so personal and for letting us in even when you didn’t have to.

    • Reply emilyeveryday August 21, 2018 at 8:32 pm

      Thank you for making me understand that sharing equates to “letting you in”. I’ve never really looked at it in that way before. ❤️

  • Reply Thea August 21, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    So proud of this post, Emily. Way to talk about things on your terms!

    • Reply emilyeveryday August 21, 2018 at 8:32 pm

      Ah something about the word proud that makes me feel all teary-eyed! Thank you Thea!

  • Reply Michelle August 21, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    How are you dealing now? Moved, new furniture etc. but you have an entire IG full of pics of your old place and old memories. Are you ok with that? I don’t think I could do that…keep the old IG posts up and not think about everything ( aside from the design part )

    Ps. I love the new apartment and design!!

    • Reply emilyeveryday August 21, 2018 at 5:00 pm

      Ah this is a great question! Instagram is “my space” and those photos of the old house are my ideas, my designs, and my content. When I see those past IG posts, I only see me. I don’t see Brian. And that’s probably because he wasn’t always supportive of my social media presence. I’m sure if he played a bigger role, it’d be a lot harder for me.

  • Reply Liz August 21, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    Love your page and your insta stories!!! Great blog post ?

    • Reply emilyeveryday August 21, 2018 at 8:31 pm

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment Liz!

  • Reply Catalina Jones August 21, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    I have been there! Best advice get rid of the bed , sheets and anything that brings up memories! I couldn’t agree more! Thank you for opening up to your followers, and keep doing you! That’s my best lesson, even now that I am just married …I do take the time for some ME time! I am in North Carolina but I was born and raised in Costa Rica. So, you have a latin friend and follower!

  • Reply Linda Flores August 21, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    Thank you for sharing! Wishing you and Opal all the best! BTW; your new place is gorgeous!

  • Reply Christina August 21, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    Excellent advice ….. good luck Emily I enjoy your inspiration very much


    • Reply emilyeveryday August 21, 2018 at 8:30 pm

      Aw Christina you are so sweet! Thank you!

  • Reply Catalina Jones August 21, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with you! When I went through it, I did not take any furniture with me. That was the best advice!!!
    I was born and raised in Costa Rica ??, and I have been in the US for 12 years now! You have now a latin friend and a follower!! You share great energy and I love your work!

    • Reply emilyeveryday August 21, 2018 at 8:30 pm

      Yes – I only took a couple things that didn’t remind me of Brian! Thanks for all the love Catalina!!

  • Reply Noelle August 21, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    Awesome!!!! Love your new space!!

  • Reply Shae August 21, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    Go girl! Your apartment is awesome as are you! I love seeing your style evolve and your daily rug changes :)) Keep inspiring and doing YOUR thing!

    • Reply emilyeveryday August 21, 2018 at 8:29 pm

      Seriously these rug changes are the bane of my existence! ? Thank you for your support always!

  • Reply Emily August 21, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    I love that you can feel your strength coming through these words at a difficult time. Very inspiring Emily! ❤️

    • Reply emilyeveryday August 22, 2018 at 9:47 am

      Hi Em! It’s actually been about three months since the breakup so I’ve definitely had time to heal, collect my thoughts, and move forward! Thank you for your love and support. 🙂

  • Reply Jillian August 21, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    You are a strong boss lady! And it takes a lot to put your personal life out there for the world! But I’m telling you, this will inspire and help so many girls who may be in the same place!
    Thank you for putting this out into the world and impowering other women!

    • Reply emilyeveryday August 22, 2018 at 9:47 am

      You are the best Jillian. Thank you so much for reading!

  • Reply Emily August 22, 2018 at 10:09 am

    I loved this post Em! Although I haven’t been thru that, it still spoke to me and the message was “always be yourself!” Which is so important regardless of relationship status. I’m sorry to hear of your breakup, but admire you for your grace, determination and self love moving forward from it. Sending you all the love ?

    • Reply emilyeveryday August 23, 2018 at 9:44 am

      Yes! I think these tips are just great to apply to life in general. Thank you for your amazingly kind words Em! I am so humbled. <3

  • Reply Joetta August 22, 2018 at 11:11 am

    I am so glad I took time to read this! With tears in my eyes and a boost of energy knowing I will be OK! Thank you! I always look for your IG stories first, because I love hearing about your day and life adventures! Keep being YOU! ?

    • Reply emilyeveryday August 23, 2018 at 9:44 am

      You will 100% be okay, no matter what you are going through. This sounds so silly… but time really does heal. Thank you for sticking with my stories!!

  • Reply Erin August 22, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    Good read and excellent tips. Breakups suck but you rock!

  • Reply Kacey August 22, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    I know you mentioned Brian’s parents around the time the house was selling. How has it been, navigating that change in relationship, too? This post was awesome to read, for someone to speak honestly about after-break-up times. I think you’re a really interesting person and have enjoyed following you for about 6 months or so.

    Also another question as a homeowner. A lot of my friends decide to get rid of everything and buy all new stuff when they move, regardless of break up or even single, married with kids status, or what have you. I’ve always wondered how they work the financing to replace everything like that? If they roll the financing into the home mortgage or maybe just pay forever on a credit card? We’ve always moved our stuff in and replaced things here and there, so I’ve never had the experience of getting to start fresh! But I’d love to do it!

    • Reply emilyeveryday August 23, 2018 at 9:43 am

      It was honestly kind of awkward because I’m not sure that Brian even told his family that we were no longer together. But I had to cut all ties and communication in order to move on. Also, save your money! That’s how I replaced a lot of my things. I also used some money that I made from selling the house.

  • Reply Shaina August 22, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    Beautifully mature and evolved way to work through a tough and painful situation – especially at your age! A clean slate is the best way to restart. Love following you and Opal. You’ve become one of my favorite design inspirations, I’m equally obsessed with Home Goods, and I’m still bummed that smallish pink rug didn’t quite work anywhere.

    • Reply emilyeveryday August 23, 2018 at 9:41 am

      I think I’m older than people think I am!! 😉 But you are so right – a clean slate it best. Thank you for following along on my journey and I am so sad it didn’t work either but it went to such a great home!

  • Reply Ann McFarland August 22, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Em, you make me a better person. You are so real and have great advice, and although I know your heart was hurting, you are truly a warrior the strong way you handle these things show so much strength and character. I know I love you cuz you are a true beautiful soul who really wants the best for people. I am happy you are doing so many lovely self care things.. proud to be your friend ❤️ Ann

    • Reply emilyeveryday August 23, 2018 at 9:41 am

      Aw Ann! You just made my day. Thank you for being such an amazing follower and friend. I always look forward to chatting with you! <3

  • Reply Jenifer August 22, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    So very glad that you are doing so well!! Life is hard sometimes, but yours is looking way, way up!! Kisses to Opal! Have a great rest of the summer! ?

    • Reply emilyeveryday August 23, 2018 at 9:40 am

      Thank you so much Jen! You’re kind words are much appreciated. 🙂

  • Reply Jamie August 24, 2018 at 10:17 am

    What a great post! Your openness is so refreshing! You are such an inspiration for anyone going through a similar situation, and of course with your keen styling. Wishing you only the best!

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