Is it time to take the big leap and move in to a new home with your partner? No doubt you’re excited about this milestone in your relationship. You’ll now have someone to share the ins and outs of your day-to-day life.
But have you stopped to consider what this means in terms of all the stuff you’ll now share – including all the items you use to decorate your space that makes it feel like home? If you and your partner have similar styles, that’s great. Moving in together and merging your belongings shouldn’t be too difficult. But if you and your partner have vastly different taste when it comes to decorations and furnishings, this can potentially cause some problems. Here’s what you can do to manage merging styles when you and your better half move into your new home.
While you may be hoping that your partner will miraculously and willingly give up most of their stuff so you can keep yours, that’s unrealistic. Moving in together means that if you keep everything, you’re going to have duplicates. Before taking the plunge, it’s time for each of you to purge some of these redundant items. If it isn’t something you love, need or use regularly, it’s time for that item to be sold or donated. If you’re at odds over which duplicated item to keep, choose the one that is newest or of the highest quality.
Choose new items together
When you’re moving in with someone, it’s an opportunity to start fresh. If you’ve been thinking about parting with your couch, and the other person has, too – why not shop for a new couch together? This will help you to find ways to negotiate and define what your new style will be as a couple.
Make a plan
Now that you’ve purged and acquired new items, make a game plan for the new space before moving in. What will go where? Which pieces of art will hang on the wall? Draw up a floor plan and have ideas about where all your stuff will live.
Maybe you’re shabby chic and he’s midcentury modern, and you’re worried those two styles will just not blend. While it’s easy to jump to that conclusion, there really are ways to combine even the most disparate styles. Perhaps you both like brass and the color red. Find details that you have in common and build the room around those. What you’ll create is an eclectic and refreshing new style all your own. You can even give it a name, maybe “Modern Rustic Chic” or “Exotic Elegance.” Who wants to live in a cookie cutter environment anyway? This is an opportunity for you and your partner to put a personal stamp on your home and think outside the box.
Hire a professional
When all else fails and you and your partner just can’t seem to reach an agreement, hire an expert. A professional designer has worked with dozens of clients in similar situations. They can function as a neutral third party and figure out the best way for both of you to be happy.
In the end, remember that it isn’t the space that’s important; it’s the people who occupy the space. Keeping things in perspective and having a willingness to compromise and negotiate is the key to sharing a space and having a healthy and happy relationship.