Creating a unified home: How to decorate as a couple |
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Creating a unified home: How to decorate as a couple

by Jillian CariolaPublished: September 19, 2017Updated: September 29, 2017

When moving in with your significant other, your home design ideas will clash unless you know how to work together

Home interior design for couples MyProperty Philippines couple drilling photo to wall

A myriad of self-help dating books and reality TV shows will tell you that opposites attract, the idea being that people who have contrasting interests and views are more likely to be appealing to each other. Still, if the same is true for you and your current relationship, not everything can be perfect; it probably annoys you as a dog person that he is obsessed with cats, or that she is a vegetarian and you think cheeseburgers are a food group. On the other hand, should you find lasting love with someone who excites you because they don’t precisely mirror your preferences, you might eventually move in together or get married. This is where your opposing tastes will be put into another major test: how to decorate your new dwelling together.

As in many decisions that involve more than one person, decorating your new home with your significant other will require compromise. Blending your aesthetic tastes with that of your partner’s may not be easy, but there are a few techniques that will help create a unifying look that represents both of you.

Talk about what you both want

Keep in mind that since there are two of you living in your home, your opinion is not the only one that matters anymore. To be on the same page, you need to find out what interests you each have in terms of design. You might be surprised at the suggestions that the other person makes because you assumed you already know what they like after being with them for a while. Discussing openly and in detail also gets you down to the nitty-gritty, from exactly what kind of blue they want for the bedroom (yes, there is more than one) to the difference between antique and vintage (no, they are not the same).

Home interior design for couples MyProperty Philippines couple talking and having breakfast
Your new home design is one of the things you can discuss over breakfast. Photo via Depositphotos

Decide on a theme or motif

One of the best ways to go about a redecoration is to pick a theme or motif that will basically run through the entire home. As different as you two may be, this has to be something major for you to agree on, since this will be where your color, furniture, and accessory choices will revolve. If you are having a hard time deciding, look through home design magazines or websites. Or better yet, consider the big items you already have: if there is a similar look or feel among pieces like your living room set and the light fixture you inherited, start from there. If a theme is too much of a stretch, a nice color palette should be easier to work with.

Home interior design for couples MyProperty Philippines couple looking at paint color samples
A good color palette will effectively guide your home redesign. Photo via Depositphotos

Choose what to keep and what to get rid of

If you have both been living independently, there is a good chance you have each managed to amass personal items that you dressed your own apartments with. This means you’ll each likely bring something big into the new home, like a sofa, a dining table, and a bed, among other things. Sounds great, right? Not if you don’t have the space, and especially not if these pieces clash in style. What you do not want to do, though, is get rid of your or the other person’s stuff without consulting one another. If it’s something big that also costs quite a lot of money, make sure you are in agreement on what to do with it.

Home interior design for couples MyProperty Philippines couple opening boxes
What stays and what goes? Make the choice together. Photo via Depositphotos

Also, if it’s clutter you’re concerned about, be fair when it comes to doing away with things. If the other person is getting rid of something, you have to let go of something you own, too. This will ensure that you are both on equal footing and that the other doesn’t feel like they’re being overpowered in the decision-making.

Shop together

Not all guys are built for retail therapy, but for sure they will have something negative to say if you end up bringing home a piece they don’t like because you decided to go alone. There are many things to consider when choosing any furniture so you can’t rely on a statement like, “Just get a nice comfy couch.” Free up an entire day for you and your partner to go on a scavenger hunt online, or at home design stores, thrift shops, furniture warehouses, and department stores. When you both actually go out and see all of your options together, you can decide together the exact piece you want and avoid buyer’s remorse down the line.

Home interior design for couples MyProperty Philippines couple shopping
It’s easy to shop for your home if you do it together. Photo via Depositphotos

Keep big things unbiased

One of the best ways to meet halfway in design is going for neutral colors and style. Instead of lathering your walls with pink paint, use a safer color like beige or eggshell, or go for a simple patterned carpet instead of a loud cowhide rug. These are choices that are easier to agree upon, and besides, you can enhance these with a more feminine or masculine accent piece later on. Speaking of which, if you have pieces that look gender-specific, there are ways to make them look more neutral. For instance, if your husband is not entirely sold on a large white Victorian mirror, perhaps he would be more open to it if you paint the frame black. Or if he can’t part with his brown leather couch, you can soften it with a few printed throw pillows.

Home interior design for couples MyProperty Philippines couple painting a wall
Keep the wall color neutral but let your accent pieces stand out. Photo via Depositphotos

Enjoy the experience

You’re creating a safe and comfortable space that represents both of you, and this is where your creativity will come out, so you should have as much fun as you can. And who knows? The experience might teach you things about your partner that you didn’t already know, so it’s also a chance to deepen your relationship.

Home interior design for couples MyProperty Philippines couple relaxing with coffee
If the experience is stressing you out, take some time off. Photo via Depositphotos

On the other hand, working on a home can be tiring and tensions might run high as you go along, so you will get on each other’s nerves. One minute you’re painting a wall, the next you’re having a spat about your mother-in-law. You don’t want to make poor design choices while you’re angry, especially if you’re doing it just to spite the other person. If you’re on the verge of a full-blown argument, step away from the job and try to relax; you can live with your old home design for another day.



Main photo via Depositphotos

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