So you and your partner are ready to take the next step in your relationship: moving in together. Whether you’re getting married or merely testing the waters, there will be some challenges ahead. One of them is combining your respective design styles. Fear not! We have a few tips that can help ease the transition and make your home a happy, stylish one.
And we don’t just mean your closets. The simple fact is you’re combining households, and there’s no way you’ll want or need two of everything. Take inventory of your home and decide what you’re willing to donate, sell or trash. The key is to be willing to let go of as much as your partner does. By all means, keep the things of sentimental value or those investment purchases you’ve made. It doesn’t make sense to jettison that great sofa or headboard you recently purchased, even if it’s not exactly his cup of tea. The first step may be to start a list together of what you’d both like to keep.
Look on the bright side: once you’ve amassed a “go” pile, you can have a yard sale and use the cash to buy a new piece you both love.
2. Find Middle Ground
He likes dark; you love light. You can’t resist bright splashes of colors; he prefers gray. Whatever your decorating preferences may be, there is a way to combine your styles. For example, in the space above, we combined a dark, moody wall color and a mod lamp (his choices) with a whitewashed console table and a hot pink orchid (her choices) to find common ground.
Need a little inspiration? We suggest starting with a Pinterest board. Pin items and spaces you both like, and chances are, you’ll find a common thread running through all of them. For example, you might discover that you’re both drawn to predominantly black-and-white interiors with pops of color or that you both kind of love mid-century modern. You’ll also pick up some great ideas on how to showcase both of your design styles in a single space.
One other thought: the architecture of your home, such as a loft or cottage, can often influence your decorating style. Let that be your guide (and neutral party) as you explore ways to decorate your home.
3. Go Shopping Together
The couple that shops together, stays together. Okay, no one has ever said that. But now’s the best time to take what you’ve learned from all of that pinning and apply it to finding something that really defines your combined styles. It may be a beautiful mirror or a piece of art for your entry, a dining room table or a rug. And it just may represent your ability to compromise, such as a gray sofa with rolled arms. Whatever it is, you’ll love it, because you picked it out together.
4. Give Him His Space
Let’s face it: even after you compromise on the big stuff, you’ll probably end up making most of the design decisions. And while your collection of antique jars will make the cut, his sports memorabilia will not. If you’ve got the extra room, why not give him his “man cave”? Let him carve out his own space in an office, basement or media room where he can display the things he couldn’t bring himself to purge. You just may find it’s a great idea in more ways than one!