Designing Your Way Out of a Breakup

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Breaking up is hard to do. There’s so much left behind; both physical and emotional. I started a business called Never Liked It Anyway to help people move on after a breakup — the idea was simple. Sell all the stuff you’re left with after a breakup and buy some new things with the money you make that will help catapult you out of breakup land. It seems obvious to say, but a big part of moving on is clearing out the old to make way for the new. I sat down with the unstoppable Leura Spielman – a designer and brains behind the amazing operation Laurelandwolfe.com to get some inspiration on how to freshen up your space after a breakup, and why it’s so important.

Bella: Why is clearing out a space important?

Leura: The other day, we had a team brainstorm to discuss all the times when we’ve felt inspired to design — we all stuck our hands up and said “after a breakup”! Things have memories and stories attached to them — and every time you use them, you’re reminded of those times. When you’ve gone through a breakup, it’s incredibly important to remove yourself from those memories. You don’t want to see them everyday, so why would you want to see the memories?

Bella: What can design do to your mood and outlook?

Leura: Design is everything. We don’t go to fancy restaurants because of the fancy linen, or price tags, we go because of the ambiance and how they make us feel. It’s an elevated experience that feels magical and important. Whether it’s from putting together a beautifully crafted space or getting dressed each day, design impacts you psychologically everyday, in every way.

Bella: It is about the everyday things, isn’t it? Often, they’re so subtle…

Leura: Absolutely – it’s the little things. Each morning, I always take time to sit and enjoy my coffee in a real mug. It makes me feel like I’m starting the day in an important and meaningful way. And I never eat off paper plates!

Bella: Can surrounding yourself with beautifully designed things help you move on?

Leura: I think so. Design, colors and imagery give a certain effect on the way you feel. It can make you feel calm, happy, excited and everything in between. People say “dress for the job you want’ and in our world, we say ‘design for the life you deserve.’ And that’s never more important than after a breakup.

Bella: I think a big part of design after a breakup is sending a message to yourself that you’re going to be OK and that your life is moving forward.

Leura: Exactly. You’re saying to yourself “I’m not in chaos and I’m moving up.” Having a well-designed space gives you a feeling like it’s going to be ok.

Bella: Ok, so when redesigning a space, where do you start?

Leura: The first step is to start with what you’re keeping and what you’re getting rid of. Then assess what you need or what you’d like and build from there.

Bella: Are there any quick fixes that can instantly transform a space?

Leura: If you want a drastic impact in a small amount of time, paint your walls! I’m a big fan of shaking it up like that. It will change your space and your mood in a flash.

Bella: Anything else?

Leura: People never invest in bedding, but there’s nothing better than good bedding and a sexy robe. Some cashmere is always good.

Bella: I can attest to that! I bought some kick ass bedding after a breakup! What other tips would you have for someone looking to change up their space after a breakup?

Leura: People often think about the BIG pieces, but the small things count too — like a beautiful simple candle or pillows. There are so many small, sexy and sumptuous things that can help make you feel great about yourself again. Things that instantly transform your mood — just like buying a new dress. That instant gratification can be achieved through nice, meaningful small things.

Bella: Sometimes, the idea of redesigning a space can feel daunting. How do you get your clients excited about the project?

Leura: I just remind them that they have the opportunity to do what they want again — if you’ve always wanted a sexy boudoir, go for it! Now’s the time to make it feels like your space again; it’s time to leverage the opportunity that you don’t really have to compromise.

Bella: It’s an interesting thought, but makes sense; redesigning your space is a way to reaffirm your own style, taste and identity. Can you tell us about a time you changed up your space?

Leura: I just moved into my own apartment, so a lot of this advice is very personal. I had a lot of fun and got girly things and arranged things just the way I like them. It’s wonderful to be with someone, but it’s a lot of comprises — when you don’t have to make them, just go for it!