Hints for couple merging styles

There's plenty to discuss, besides decor, when deciding to move in together. Call in a professional interior designer or decorator as a neutral third party if you both have strong ideas.
There's plenty to discuss, besides decor, when deciding to move in together. Call in a professional interior designer or decorator as a neutral third party if you both have strong ideas. (iStockphoto)
Posted: September 28, 2013

Q: My boyfriend and I just got engaged. We are so excited to move in together, but we have very different styles and neither of us will budge. How can we merge our styles without killing each other first?

- Sarah D.

A: Sharing a household is a big step in any long-term relationship. Open communications and learning to compromise will strengthen your love as well as build a mutually respectful foundation for a rewarding relationship.

There will be plenty to discuss besides the decor. Talk about splitting finances, chores, child care, pet responsibilities, and errands. You may want to talk to a lawyer to work out logistics. Throw a little party to celebrate your commitment before you move in, even if you'll have a formal event later.

You don't say what your decor styles are, but chances are good no matter how different they seem, you'll successfully blend them into a new sense of style. But, it's going to require some give and take from you both so neither feels overpowered. Call in a professional interior designer or decorator as a neutral third party, even if you both have strong ideas - actually, especially if you both have strong ideas!

Choose a new home together so you'll start fresh as equal partners. If, financially, this isn't possible, pretend it's a new house. Then create a neutral backdrop. Clean out clutter, and start fresh. Paint the walls warm white, tan or brownish yellow and anything will go nicely.

Find similarities among your furnishings such as wood tones and color. Extremely opposite styles such as ornamental gold- framed mirrors look great when paired with sleek sofas. Rustic and Asian pieces pair well with contemporary.

Do you each have a dining table that you won't part with? Be creative - use one as a desk. Balance one partner's collection with art chosen by the other. Choose the furniture that is the most functional for the main spaces. If fabrics don't match, re-cover or add a coordinating throw for a cohesive look.

I know you'll figure it out. Enjoy your journey together.


Jennifer Adams is a designer, author, and TV personality. AskJennifer@JenniferAdams.com

@JenniferAdams

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