Five Tips on Merging Design Styles With Your Partner

You’re about to move in with your significant other, which is exciting until you realize you have to merge your two entirely different design styles. He loves classic rock posters; you prefer old photographs. You’re drawn to bright colors; he likes a muted approach. All of a sudden, moving in together is starting to sound like a recipe for disaster.

When people talk about the conflicts that arise when moving in with their significant others, they often focus on dirty dishes and clothes being everywhere but the hamper — a clashing of design styles is rarely considered. So what do you do when you both have years’ worth of furniture and decor, and neither wants to give anything up? Read on to see how to merge two divergent design styles.

1. Pick Your Favorites

One of the first rules of moving in with someone and merging your lives is the “big C”: compromise. You’ll have to compromise on a lot of things, and decor is no exception. Each of you should gather your most sentimental and favored objects, and toss the rest.

By paring down your items, you’ll be left only with the pieces you really want to stick around. Then, you can both go through the curated selections and pick the least objectionable items that your partner has. You might actually find a few things you like, and just like that, you have a home you can both stand to be in.

2. Pick New Things Together

Getting rid of old furniture and decor can be hard, and one way to ease the pain is looking for new pieces with your partner. It’ll feel like you’re creating a home together, and your new digs will be a symbol of the unified life you now share.

To make the most out of the experience, don’t just go to the typical department stores and plazas. Check out your local flea markets, antique stores and vintage shops. When you search through a variety of styles, you might discover a new type that you both love.

3. Look for Inspiration

If you’re not sure what kind of design you both could get into, look for inspiration outside your home. Buy design magazines, look on Pinterest and scour style blogs for inspiration for your new home’s look.

You can do this individually and then come together to see what you’ve both picked out. Doing this as a unit will feel more like you’re creating a meal together instead of eating separately at the same table.

4. Have Separate Spaces

If you’re lucky and are moving into a spacious home or apartment, you can pick some corner of the house to make your own. You and your partner can decorate your own spaces however you choose so you have some semblance of independence within a common space. Plus, it’ll give you a go-to place to escape after a fight over who forgot to buy toothpaste.

5. Hire a Professional

Sometimes, you need an outside perspective to make merging your styles possible. If you’re struggling to make your design styles more compatible, you might consider hiring a professional to help you. A third party can figure out what type of style you and your partner could enjoy and merge your perspectives into one space. There’ll be an upfront fee, but interior decorators can often get you discounts if you purchase furniture and decor through them.

Building a house together is like building a relationship. It won’t be easy, but if you do it with love and respect, it’ll be a home that lasts a lifetime. So don’t let your differing design styles scare you — you might actually have fun merging your aesthetics.

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