Whether you’ve just tied the knot or simply chosen to cohabit, you and your sweetie now have the fun task of decorating your new abode together. But while one partner dreams of a farmhouse-themed decor replete with chicken sculptures, the other may envision a minimalist theme featuring sharp lines and sleek black accents.
How can you decorate together if you’re a little bit country and your partner’s a little bit rock and roll?
Decorating with your partner may not make or break your relationship, but it may cause arguments, disappointment and hurt feelings.
To avoid starting WWIII while you feather your new love nest, keep these hints in mind.
1. Compromise on a theme
Working as a partnership means compromising in many areas, including in home decor. Effective compromise starts by holding your partner’s needs and desires as important as your own.
Successful compromise does not require demanding an even 50/50 split in everything. Sometimes, one partner may request a bit more in one area but care less about other things. For example, one partner may value creating a romantic and relaxing bedroom atmosphere, but lack much interest in what the home office space looks like. Or, one partner may insist upon a gas stove instead of an electric model in the kitchen, but may not have a particular preference as to flooring.
2. Create private spaces
Even the closest couples sometimes require time alone, and assuming space permits, creating a space that you consider your personal retreat maintains a sense of individuality. Couples sharing a studio can still create private spaces by using decorative folding room dividers to separate their space from the rest of the living area.
If one partner goes gonzo for all things related to their favorite sports team, creating a man cave — or woman cave! — allows them to display beloved memorabilia without cluttering up the family room.
Likewise, one partner may enjoy nothing more than relaxing in a nice, hot bath, so allowing that partner to select the color scheme and accessories for the master bath makes perfect sense. Whatever the form you want your private space to take, make sure you have a room — or at least part of one — of your own when the inevitable lover’s quarrel strikes.
3. Arrange furniture around traffic flow
When it comes to decor, furniture provides the canvas on which you paint the story of your home life with your partner. Whenever possible, invest in quality pieces that will last for years to come.
Keep the purpose of each room in mind when deciding where to place your furniture. Many homes contain fireplaces as focal points in living areas, so if this holds true in your case, investing in a flat-screen TV you can mount above the hearth allows you to snuggle by the fire while watching your favorite Friends reruns.
Whatever decoration theme you adopt, be sure to provide ample end table space in living areas. You don’t want to have to set your glass of Cabernet on the carpet and have it spill!
4. Take tips from feng shui
Feng shui refers to the art of arranging your home in a way that allows energy, or chi, to flow through your living space. Using feng shui principles in your home decor creates a harmonious feel to your abode.
Use water features such as aquariums and fountains in living areas, but keep them out of the bedroom. Water stimulates the flow of chi, which you don’t need before resting your weary head. Mirrors create an illusion of more space and reflect energy back into the room, so consider placing a favorite decorative object opposite your looking glass to create a feeling of peace.
5. Add creative accents
You’ve picked your color palette and arranged your furniture. Now you can have some fun adding accents such as paintings, sculptures and treasured items that reflect your personality as a couple.
Houseplants accent just about any room perfectly and also improve indoor air quality by breathing in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. If you and your partner treasure fine art, consider adding accent lights to highlight favorite paintings. Knickknacks showcase your personality but take care not to create too much clutter — if nothing else, covering every square inch with baubles makes dusting even more of a chore.
Once you’ve finished decorating your new pad with your partner, it’s time to celebrate! Break out the champagne and toast each other to your love and to the home you now adore.