Sunday, January 20, 2019

Budget Friendly Decorating Advice for Couples Taking the Cohabitation Leap

Moving in together is a major step in your relationship, and when your personal tastes clash it can be tough deciding on how to blend your lives and styles at the same time. Things can get even more complicated if you’re watching your spending. Thankfully, there are smart ways to pull from both sides of your equation without either of you getting lost in the shuffle, and without doing damage to your wallet or your relationship.

Separate but Equal

How you begin your life living together will set a tone for your future, and chances are there are things you like and don’t like about each other’s sense of style. With that in mind, it’s important to make communication a top priority. Leedy Interiors recommends discussing your decorating opinions together so you can coordinate options and find grounds for compromise. Talk through the musts and maybes, and be ready to negotiate.

Too Much Stuff

If you’re combining two established households and space is limited, figuring out what to keep and what to part with can be particularly difficult. One option is to go through your belongings before the move, purging items you haven’t actually used within the past year. You can also sort out decor items you simply don’t love, and either put them in a “maybe” pile or part with them altogether. Another option is to put in storage any items in question while you contemplate what will work in the new space. This gives you extra space and time to think about what you really want to keep. Plus, it can be an inexpensive solution to a temporary problem. Rentals in Corona, California, over the past six months only averaged $89.95 per month.

Create an idea board

You can facilitate meshing your different tastes more easily by creating idea boards. Create your own separately and then view them together, looking for areas of common ground. Clip photos from magazines, bits of fabric you love, and paint chips that inspire you. You can even create virtual design boards using websites like Pinterest to share your ideas, and with that in mind, there are wonderful decorating apps you can use for things like deciding on color schemes, laying out furniture, and learning how to DIY projects.

Evaluate the New Digs

When deciding what will work best in your new space, it helps to take into account the architectural style. Even though you will each bring your own elements, every house or apartment has a structure that will dictate the look to some extent. Weigh the size of the space and the basic bones, such as the cabinetry, hardware and molding. You can flesh it out with your own furniture and accessories in accordance with what works best. For items you can’t afford to replace now but just don’t work, paint and furniture covers can go a long way in the meantime.

Two-Part Harmony

There are often areas of contention when two people are blending very different tastes, so be prepared for some give and take. You might have to put up with items you dislike, but with a little ingenuity you can both be satisfied. The Chicago Tribune suggests finding a way to coordinate those items you aren’t so crazy about, such as through the colors you use and the accents you incorporate. Keep in mind paint is an inexpensive way to apply color, whether on your walls, cabinetry, or on pieces of furniture, and it can quickly help an item go from standing out as an eyesore to blending comfortably into the scenery.

Breathe in New Life

Accessories can sometimes make or break whether your design styles mesh. One way to pull things together is to incorporate plants into your decor. It’s a way to bring nature inside, refreshing and invigorating your home. No green thumbs between the two of you? Thankfully there are inexpensive, high quality silk plants that look fantastic and require no maintenance.

This is a new chapter in your relationship, and it can set the tone for down the road. Look for areas of similarity and grounds for compromise. You’re taking a big step, and with good planning and an open mind, you can do so gracefully.

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