Keep, Toss, or Store–The Art of Decorating Compromise

The Art of Decorating Compromise

He has a black leather love seat with a glass-topped coffee table in the living room of his ultra-modern condo; you have a velvet Chesterfield sofa and an antique trunk in your cozy classic bungalow—when you marry the love of your life and move in together, how do you merge your décor, and more importantly, your tastes? Although it might be difficult to agree on how to create a home that easily melds both your style and his, avoid the inevitable fights and follow these tips to peacefully co-exist in the home of your dreams.

Purchasing a new home together

Purchasing a new home together
  • If you have purchased a new home to move into together, first make an assessment of how much furniture you each have in your respective homes and consider how many rooms you have to furnish. If you’ve bought a home larger than either of your current homes, such circumstances make it easier to combine items from both homes, more info.
  • After you’ve made your assessment, decide individually what you are willing to part with and what you absolutely can’t live without.
  • Discuss with your spouse-to-be how you plan to decorate overall—will you choose his contemporary style, your traditional one, or artfully combine elements of both?
  • Once you’ve decided on a style, peruse decorating magazines for ideas on how to create the look you want. To make things equitable, choose the rooms you want to be responsible for decorating, and but try to stick to a coordinated theme.
  • If you don’t mind a more eclectic style for your home, choose different styles (one per room) that reflect your individual tastes. For example, your zebra print chair would be great in your family room/den, and his larger-than-life Trojan horse painting is the perfect addition to his home office.

Moving into your spouse’s current home

  • If you are moving into your spouse’s home, or vice versa, it will be harder to relocate one fully furnished home into another. This will require more compromise (and diplomacy) then starting over in a new home.
  • Decide what rooms you will refurnish fully or partially refurnish (most women probably want to completely redo their husband’s formerly “single” bedroom—that’s usually non-negotiable). You may agree to keep some rooms as is, or make minor changes to suit both your tastes; i.e., fresh paint color, new window treatments, etc.
  • Discuss what pieces will stay and what will be given away, or stored if you are planning eventually to purchase a new home together.
  • If you are combining furniture for any room, try to blend items so that the décor appears seamless; for example, don’t put blond-wood furniture in the same room as espresso-colored furniture.
  • Use things like slip covers to help blend fabric-covered furniture in rooms such as the living room. If you have a floral armchair that you love and want to keep, but your husband has a striped sofa that you also like, buy slip covers in solid colors for each, or one print and one solid cover. This is a great way to change the look of your living room occasionally, if you want.

These ideas will help you both keep your sense of style and your marriage blissful.

Keep, Toss, or Store–The Art of Decorating Compromise
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