The time has come for you and your partner to cohabitate or maybe you’re redesigning together, and you’re already freaking out over working together to map out a cohesive decor plan. They like to show off their hat collection and thinks the best place for it is on top of the entertainment center. On the other hand, you’d rather have photo frames and candles take the front stage there. Or they have a red leather recliner that doesn’t go well with your plush, Cindy Crawford-designed microfiber sectional. All of this has led you to dread co-decorating as a couple.
Now let me say, this life-altering event is not for the weakhearted. But I’ve learned it’s alllllll about balance. You can actually combine both of your styles and create a place that feels like home to you both, even if the hat collection has to be moved to the basement. Here are some ideas to get you started without feeling overwhelmed:
1. Determine your styles and preferences
Take the time to talk about what does and doesn’t work for you both. You can better understand and discover the design style that matches what you want your home to look like, and it gives you a good starting point. This also removes any of those ‘this doesn’t match my vision’ conflicts that may occur down the line because you have an idea of your end goal. If you’re struggling to find some aesthetic inspiration, you can create a Pinterest board where you can both dump any and all of your decorating ideas. You can even take an online design style quiz together! If you get the same style that’s a plus! If not, fret not. We can get through it (allegedly). Discuss what you like in each other’s inspirational images and build from there.
Having an clear idea if one of you is drawn to the mid-century modern aesthetic, while the other loves a Scandinavian-chic style, can help with finding a middle ground and coming to an agreement on the basic aspects such as texture, colors, and types of furnishings. Knowing each other’s style and deciding ahead of time what your objective is can serve as a guide throughout the process.
2. Make a list of the items you pick out together
Big-ticket purchases such as a dining room table or sofa should be joint decisions. Yeah, you might’ve saw something on sale and thought it was a must-have, but your partner might not be as head over heels for it. Take the additional time to search for pieces of furniture that speaks to you both. That way you can look at multiple options and decide on the best fit. Plus, it’ll make you both feel involved and no one will have any hard feelings about not liking what was bought (or you’ll never hear the end of it).
3. Purge what you don’t care about keeping
Take inventory of your items together, make note of any special keepsake pieces you’d never want to throw away. The sentimental pieces and their unique stories are what makes a house a home. But if you’re not feeling the dresser your partner has had since they were a kid, maybe it’s worth having a calm conversation with them about potentially repurposing or sprucing it up a bit. A new, fresh coat of paint can give it just the face lift it needs. You could even try using it in a different area of your home that is not the main living space but in a room where the piece makes sense. Remember: decorating as a couple needs to not be a reflection of not just one’s individual style but the style of two people collectively.
4. Create harmony through the colors you both choose
Often times it is not so much the furniture in the room that makes the space, but rather the color. Color can be a make or break the style of the room. While color preferences can change through the years with new trends that come along, nailing down the basic color scheme for your home is a must. The key is to stay within the same color tones and create a cohesive space which compliments you both.
Home designing and decorating as a couple is meant to be a fun experience. Make decisions with love and respect. Think of your home as an expression of how you want to spend your life together and what truly represents everyone who lives there. By maintaining open lines of communication, setting expectations and being willing to compromise, you can create a space not only you love when you walk through the door, but one that your partner loves just as much.