When couples decorate together you can be sure of one thing; the need to compromise.

Moving in with someone can be exciting, terrifying and confusing all at the same time! No longer will you wake up alone, be able to sing Disney tunes without an audience or use the spare wardrobe as an overflow area for your clothes because they need storage space too. We’re thrilled that you’ve let someone into your life, and apartment, but are you guys on the same page when it comes to color, style, and furniture? When couples decorate together there do need to be some rules, or at least some tips to consider.

couples decorate together

Equal Opportunities

Living with someone doesn’t just mean you have someone else to help you with the dishes, it also means that they get an equal say in how their home looks. You might like the rustic feel, i.e., wicker chairs, cozy blankets and intricately carved furniture while he prefers a modern, contemporary look that’s all about sharp edges, sleek finishes, and smooth lines. However, with a bit of thinking and compromise you can blend your two styles together, creating a space that truly represents the two of you as people.

Consider which aspects of your styles may go well together, such as the warmth of rustic wood with the coolness of modern metal. Choose things you just can’t live without – that ugly but heirloom chair or that painting with weird colour combinations. DON’T try to move out anything your partner really loves. Make things work together. And that’s a trick on interior decorating; your house really must reflect your personalities, not a stylist’s vision.

couples decorate together

Mix It Up

Believe it or not, when couples decorate together even masculine and feminine decor can suffer from stereotypes! You only have to watch the episode of The Big Bang Theory where Penny tries to ‘girlify’ Leonard’s room, to realize it’s ridiculous to suggest only boys love blue and girls go crazy for pink. Colors don’t have a gender so pick shades that you both like, choose materials that complement your color palette. For example, sea foam walls look gorgeous with cream furniture, a shag rug, a square glass table, and chairs with a beech base. Create a brand new story with much-loved pieces from both your homes and the results will be more amazing than you ever thought they could be.

Try white with navy and beige, orange with pink and lime green, mustard and charcoal with soft grey, or mint green with raspberry and blueberry. Consult a colour wheel and get creating.

couples decorate together

Go Shopping

The chances are you may not fall in love with your partner’s massive home entertainment unit. Which means you then hope to buy something a little less ‘gamey.’ When couples decorate together they do need to plan big purchases together. Look for items that will stand the test of time and will add a little something extra to your aesthetic instead of looking jarring or convoluted. Don’t forget you can always have multiple chairs, tables, mismatched sofa cushions,  and different lamps as long as it’s obvious it’s meant to look a bit quirky. You don’t want to lump all your custom furniture in a room together and hope for the best. Instead, talk about what you would be willing to put into storage and what you can’t imagine living without.

couples decorate together

What’s Yours Is Mine

Don’t be afraid to put your books, CDs, photos, and ornaments right beside his Lego models, never ending DVD collection or high school sports trophies. It doesn’t mean that you stop being you, becoming the dreaded ‘we,’ but more that you feel comfortable enough to share what’s precious to you with your other half. There’s also something undeniably romantic about the first time the two of you pick out a new bedspread and a set of curtains for ‘our place’ or when you catch a brief glimpse of your toothbrushes nestled together in the same pot or holder.

Relevant Podcast

Australia’s favourite celebrity Interior Designer, Judge on ‘The Block’, Author and Brand Ambassador, Darren Palmer, reveals his redecorating secrets… and a bit more in this exclusive interview on The Style Podcast.

You might like to read some other blog posts including how to keep your kitchen from looking kitsch, adding comfort to every room, and upcycling ideas for your dream bedroom.

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