I recently noticed the arrival of ads featuring microwaves and mini refrigerators in a rainbow of color. Who would’ve guessed our best and brightest need a comforter that matches their fridge which was designed to coordinate with their calculator to achieve the optimum college experience? Amid the colorful temptations, the last minute frenzy of packing and repacking, one can’t help but notice the undercurrent of sentiment and emotions ready to surface.

When the car pulls away from campus, students can distract themselves from being homesick with a myriad of activities. Learning their way around campus, getting to know their dorm mates, buying books and decorating their new rooms all help occupy our scholars as they settle in to a new environment.

Parents, on the other hand, have nothing other than the box the purple fridge came in to distract them. Many empty nesters get really emotional as they experience the quiet of a house once filled with the music, shouts, and laughter associated with teens.

Rather than pacing the floor, missing your child, I advise reinventing the space that is empty in your nest. A little retail therapy can inspire you to create a reading nook, spa like guest bedroom, luxury suite, media room, or craft room to suit your wildest dreams.

Does the thought make you smile, but feel a little guilty? Keep in mind, the changes you make to update the space are not only an investment in your home, they will also show your scholar that you too, are always learning and growing. By the time Christmas break rolls around, a new and more sophisticated space welcomes them home.

The photos show the changes I made in my daughters room during her first year of college. She still had a place to sleep when she comes home, but what was once a shrine to all things teen was updated to welcome guests of any age and features a cozy reading and office nook.

Reinventing your space, can help ease those empty nest blues whether you simply rearrange the existing furniture, buy luxury bedding, or make a drastic change like installing a media room. Either way, I assure you the time will pass quicker with a project and you’ll be ready to welcome your co-ed home with all her friends by Christmas.

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