Wednesday 14 March 2018

How To Blend Styles Without Bickering!

Moving in together always comes with a unique set of challenges in a couple’s relationship. You learn about different habits and expectations you were previously unaware of, both in the other person and yourself. The experience may result in a drastic shift in the dynamic you were used to living in, especially if you previously lived by yourself.

A common issue that often arises is a differing style preference when it comes to home décor  While some people don’t care what adorns their walls, others can be quite opinionated. Rightfully so, considering your home is meant to be your private refuge.

So what happens if you and your significant other have vastly different design tastes? Here are some important tips to help you blend your styles without bickering.
Discuss Your Likes and Dislikes in Advance
If you are moving into a place together in which you have open options for decorating, you need to discuss what you like and dislike in advance. This can be a tough conversation since it might feel like an insult when someone dislikes your personal style. Be honest, calm, and use soft language. For example, “I hate your taste in ugly floral curtains” might start an argument. Rewording that to something like, “I am not a fan of floral patterns, but I really like when you incorporate stripes.” expresses your feelings without being aggressive or insulting.

Should it Stay or Go?
Have a talk in advance about what furniture, décor items, and treasures you will each be keeping and disposing of when you move in together. You might have an old battered couch that you love, but it probably makes more sense to keep your partner’s leather sectional that they purchased last year. Be selective on what aspects of your current home must be carried over.

Determine Who Will Be Working
If one person will be handling the majority of the decorating process and cost, it is fair to say that they should have greater influence over what décor elements are used. You may find that there is no black and white area and that each person might be doing more in different aspects of the décor process. Determine who is handling what, then allow them to be a majority shareholder in what happens for that décor aspect.

Have a Tiebreaker
If the work and budget are evenly split, or the shareholder approach doesn’t work for your relationship, create a tiebreaker. A silly game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, or a coin toss can end an argument and determine a path forward. Be sure to set up the rules of the tiebreaker in advance, and agree to adhere to whatever the tiebreaker determines.
Give Veto Power
Give each other the power to veto three things when decorating. Doing so will allow each partner to have some input on décor  without giving them absolute power over what happens in a space. Your partner might not like the curtains and paint you have chosen, but absolutely can’t live with your infamous pineapple chandelier. That décor element may get vetoed while your other preferences remain. The person using a veto will have to think carefully, as they only have a limited amount available.

Let’s be frank: if you’re mature enough to move in with a significant other, you should be mature enough to act like an adult. Compromise and work together. Your love of traditional rustic and your partner’s love of modern urban can come together in an eclectic fusion that appeals to both of you. Find elements from your diverse styles that complement each other, and create a room that is an unique depiction of your relationship.

Assign Rooms
It may be easiest to assign rooms that each can be in charge of decorating. You may end up with a modern, minimalist kitchen and dining room and a Victorian gothic living room and bathroom, but at least everyone is getting their say. Just remember to pull elements from each style into the different rooms to add some flow and cohesion throughout the house.

Research New Styles Together
Use this as an opportunity to explore new things together. Flip through magazines, scour Pinterest, surf the web, and visit home shows together and discuss what things you like and what you don’t. You may find that you do have some shared tastes after all. Even finding something as simple as a unique light fixture that you both love can be the foundation on which you build a room. If you’re getting married, research new styles of wedding dresses together like these, or add décor pieces you both love to your wedding registry or add them to your housewarming wish list. Identify and remember pieces you love so that if you don’t receive them as gifts, you can go back and buy them later.

But most importantly, remember not to sweat the small stuff. This is just one of the many challenges you will face upon moving in together and getting through it well will help set you up for future success as a couple.

Till next time... happy moving-in day!


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