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. 😉