Well, it’s finally happened and you’re ready to take the next big step in your relationship – moving in together. You’ve told your parents, you’ve texted your friends and you posted an adorable photo of the two of you announcing the big decision. All you need to do now is pack up your boxes and set up all your stuff in your new space. Right? Wrong! You’re going to want to pump the brakes, take a beat and first have that important conversation with your S.O. about your approach to decor.
Whether you’re moving into your partners’ space, they’re moving into yours or you’re starting your life together with a blank slate in a brand new place, chances are you are not going to agree on every design choice the other makes. You may have to find a creative way to display their Star Wars figurines and they most likely will need to live with less closet space. But, if they’ve got straight-off-the set Mad Men mid-century modern decor dreams and you’re all about cottagecore, where do you find the middle ground?
#1 Don’t Compromise On Everything
Before the boxes arrive, make sure you have those conversations so you’re working together as a team. Each of you needs to feel like you’re living in a personalized space and you’ve had a voice in its creation. Compromise is not always the best plan of attack with design. If you love breezy coastal and your partner is into woodsy lodge style, don’t choose a style neither of you love just because you can’t settle on each other’s style.
#2 Take Turns
While you don’t want to compromise on everything, you should take turns making some of those big decisions. That 60” TV taking over the living room may not be your ideal situation but maybe you get to pick the sofa and the twelve decorative pillows that will really give the room the personality you envisioned. Perhaps you’re S.O. prefers the upholstered headboard look but you can’t live without your fair-trade hand carved Boho platform bed. Let them dress the bed with a comforter and quilt combo that would make a designer weep (don’t forget the twelve throw pillows)!
#3 Opposites Attract
The fun part about combining your styles is that your overall decor becomes more interesting and will feel more curated rather than looking like you picked everything out of a catalog spread in mad haste to furnish the space. Make a list of your most favorite pieces in your partner’s design collection (yes, if you try hard, you’ll find something!) and talk about how you can best combine those top favs for a layered look. Those that found their way in (and out of) the box will make perfectly ironic bookends for your collection of Edward Gorey picture books.
#4 Shop Together
I know… it’s pretty likely one of you hates to shop, but you’re more apt to agree on a style if you’re seeing it in the same place at the same time. Take a drive and do some antiquing. Or if that’s not your thing, do the leg work online and show your partner some options. That’s a great way to get a feel for how you each think about design and how you approach the space in question. You can eliminate deal breakers and broaden your search for look alike items that you’ll both love.
#5 Set Priorities
Your number one priority is each other. Whether you paint a wall blush or midnight will never be as important as how happy you are together in that room. Once you’ve got that in perspective, you’re on your way to happily ever decor bliss!