Elegant Mayhem | The Ups and Downs of Downsizing
Elegant Mayhem blog, Lee Prince, Leland Prince, home lifestyle inspiration
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The Ups and Downs of Downsizing

If you enjoy feeling all the highs and lows of every emotion, why not move from a big house in the suburbs with 25 years of marital accumulation and squeeze into a tiny rowhouse downtown? Oh, and don’t forget to bring the husband, the 2 kids and a couple of dogs – it will be fun!


The kitchen in my new house (before we landed there & covered the counters with appliances & condiments!:)

Our ingenious builder, Linda Battalia, designed the kitchen with a ladder that can be moved all around the room to reach the pretty mirrored upper cabinets for extra storage.

No time to prune and deaccession your belongings before the Big Move Day? No problem! You can figure that out when you get there….right??…maybe???


Yes, this is a true story of how I moved my family & all our worldly possessions into the rowhouse below, a mere 4 weeks ago. It has been an epic adventure and completely worth the effort….but  moving is truly NOT for the faint hearted!


Mid-progress move-in to new house….what once belonged in separate living room & dining room in our old house are now essentially one shared room, in about 1/3 the overall space. Lots of decisions to make about what stays vs. what goes…

This is how the dining room in our new house looked when we bought it, all pretty & staged:

I’m an eternal optimist and I ADORE our new house, so as customary, I downplayed how hard it would be to in fact, downsize. The actual move was pretty straightforward, but the MOVE IN was really hard because we couldn’t figure out what would work in the new space — and we might have had a few dozen too many chairs, tables, lamps & random boxes….


Below – our trash on the curb in front of our neighbor’s house (she must love us!:(

However, when you move to a smaller place, you end up using the space differently than you think you will, so in some ways I’m glad we took more than we needed because it gave us options to make adjustments. We’ve become a familiar face A Wider Circle, an incredible DC-based charity that helps families in need get established in new housing, as I’ve made literally dozens of drop-off of furniture/household items.


So there you have it – a snapshot of my past 6 weeks! I will be back to writing you 2x weekly blog reports from now on and have so much new material to share. A trip to London sandwiched in between the move-in date was a great visual feast of great design inspiration — stay tuned & hope you all are taking good care of yourself during the Holidays!


At the end of the day, we do what we can and that’s ENOUGH.


(Where I put my head down at the end of hard day of unpacking:)

  • Virginia Onufer
    Posted at 01:21h, 13 December Reply

    Mary Clare beside herself with envy. (Not with the epic move-in adventure, but the end result). Sounds smart – options, but in the end had no choice but to prune! And wider circle is the best.

  • William West Hopper
    Posted at 12:58h, 19 December Reply

    Looking forward to finding an open headboard for the bed in front of the window.

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