Home Decorating for Divorced Dads

Are you staying in the marital home while your spouse moves out? It can be challenging, but not impossible, to pursue a new chapter in an old space. 

Or perhaps you are moving to a new home. If so, you may be starting from scratch. We can help you liven up that blank canvas with some simple and inexpensive DIYs.

Here are some ideas for a home design you’ll be happy with yet won't scream "bachelor pad" – and will be inviting to your children.

Declutter and organize

If you’re staying in your home, you may be wondering how you could possibly “remodel” it into something new and exciting. A recently divorced dad's home can be a difficult place to feel comfortable, especially if the current interior design was crafted by someone else. It can be helpful to start by decluttering and organizing. It’s amazing how much more at ease a person can feel with less stuff cluttering up their space. 

What to do with marital reminders and mementos

Displaying items associated with your marriage could hold your energy back. This may include old photos, gifts, knickknacks, and keepsakes that remind you of the marriage. If you can’t part with something but also can’t bear to look at it, tuck it into storage for now.

Take stock of what you have. Create two piles: One for items that evoke strong positive emotions and another for everything else. Consider the items in the latter pile carefully. If it doesn’t bring you joy, as Marie Kondo would say, let it go.

If certain items evoke good memories but no longer fit into your lifestyle, consider repurposing them in a creative way. For instance, wine glasses from an anniversary dinner could become candle holders or vases. Old photographs could be printed on canvas. By transforming these pieces into something new, you can create a sense of closure while preserving cherished memories.

Visualize your home in a new way

A great way to figure out what to do and where to start is by creating a vision board. This can be done physically by cutting out magazine clippings or digitally using Pinterest or Canva. A visual representation of what you want your home to look like can help you move forward.

Make simple changes first

There are plenty of ways to breathe new life into your home without spending out on a complete home renovation. Incorporate items that remind you of who you are. A few simple changes, including accent pieces like pillows and throw blankets, can brighten up your living space without breaking the bank. Consider investing in houseplants like succulents that require minimal maintenance or framed photos of loved ones. Display artwork or collections of books you have read. You could even repurpose old furniture by giving it a fresh coat of paint or sanding down surfaces for an interesting weathered look.

Invest in versatility

Something to consider when furnishing on a budget is choosing pieces that serve multiple purposes. For instance, an ottoman could provide extra seating while also offering storage space for books, controllers, blankets, or whatever else you might need to be tucked away. Similarly, an extendable table would be suitable for hosting guests while easily packing away on your solo living days.

Add color to reenergize your space

One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to update your space is to add color. You don’t have to repaint all the walls; just adding some bright accents can quickly change the feel of a room. Think about what colors you want throughout your home. Don’t be afraid to add bold colors like red or yellow – if you’re worried about overwhelming the space, temper them with some neutral hues.

Incorporate art

Another great way to make your house feel like home is by adding art pieces to your home. We're not just talking about the living room, either – the dining room, bedroom, bathroom, and hallway could all benefit from some fresh home decor. All sorts of artwork, whether it’s a framed photograph or sculptural art, can liven up your blank canvas. 

Rearrange the furniture

Your dream home makeover could simply involve a new furniture arrangement. This can be especially helpful if you have kids staying with you, as it may open up more play space. Try bringing in pieces from other rooms or even investing in new items such as bookshelves or low-slung seating that won’t take up too much valuable floor space.

Don’t forget the little things

Small, meaningful touches of high quality can truly make a home feel like your own. Think of scented candles, cozy throw rugs and blankets, pictures of your children, and a logo of your favorite sports team.

Tips for setting up your child’s room 

As a recently divorced dad, your kids may be splitting time between you and their other parent. Wherever you live, you want to make life beautiful for your child, and this includes setting their room up just right. It needs to be a safe and comfortable space that is both inviting and inspiring.


Choose furniture pieces that are suitable for the age of your child and provide storage space for toys, books, or other items. Think about incorporating items that can grow with your child, such as a loft or bunk bed with adjustable height settings and an adjustable desk. 


As for color scheme, you may want to get your child’s input. Generally speaking, a paint color that is calming yet playful is great for a younger kid’s room.


Add decorations that will inspire creativity and coziness, such as string lights wrapped around the headboard of the bed or art supplies on open shelving so they can access them quickly when inspiration strikes.

What if you’re nesting?

If you and your ex are nesting – sharing the home you lived in as a married couple while taking turns spending time with the kids there – you’ll want to create your own separate space within the home, if possible. This can be done through small changes such as new paint colors in one or more rooms or rearranged furniture. Anything you can do to create a distinct living area for yourself in this shared house may be helpful.

To keep things neutral, agree with your former spouse to focus common areas on the children. Keep pictures of them, their favorite art and sports teams, and their school work in these areas. This can help both of you feel at home in the same space.

At Hello Divorce, we know the process of starting over after divorce isn’t easy. And with the price of real estate these days, we understand that you can’t necessarily go out and just buy or rent a new home – yet you want and need to create a new and meaningful living space for yourself and your kids.


For more inspiration, we suggest these articles:

Divorce Content Specialist & Lawyer
Divorce Strategy, Divorce Process, Legal Insights

Bryan is a non-practicing lawyer, HR consultant, and legal content writer. With nearly 20 years of experience in the legal field, he has a deep understanding of family and employment laws. His goal is to provide readers with clear and accessible information about the law, and to help people succeed by providing them with the knowledge and tools they need to navigate the legal landscape. Bryan lives in Orlando, Florida.