My partner and I are finally moving in together and I couldn’t be happier! We are both so excited, but the other day we were boxing up all of our belongings and it dawned on me that I absolutely can’t stand his taste in furniture, and he said the same about mine…
How can we somehow stuff our two very different styles into one space? Is it possible to design our home together without one of us hating it or both of us going insane?
Couple of Sofas
Dear Couple of Sofas,
First, congratulations! Second, know that you are not alone with this struggle!
While the hardest part of moving in with your significant other might seem like sharing a bathroom, for many couples the greatest – and most unanticipated – challenge is actually designing their new shared space.
Moving in with a significant other is a big life event, so it’s understandable that it might stir up some anxiety. Couple that with the stress of purchasing furniture that meets both of your styles and budgets, and you really have a recipe for potential conflict.
Before you spend a miserable afternoon fighting over a rug in IKEA, read these 4 steps to help you combine design styles peacefully and create a space you both love.
Step 1: Make a Game Plan
Before you get caught up in the design details, have a conversation with your partner about what each of you value in your home.
What do you want to use the space for? What are your must-haves and your hard-nos? And where are you willing to compromise?
Hash out these details before you talk specifics, and find the points that you both agree on. Then begin to make style choices together that lead you toward this common goal for your home.
Step 2: Plan to Purge Equally
Upon moving in together you will likely have double the furniture that you can fit and will need to decide what to keep and what to toss. And while you might have better taste than your partner, they likely think the same things about your choice of furniture as well.
Instead of hashing out whose stuff moves into the new place and whose gets left on the side of the road, agree to purge equally and only take the good stuff.
This can mean going through items piece-by-piece and deciding whose is in better condition or will work better in your new place. Take a critical look at knick knacks as well, and consider only displaying the ones that are meaningful to both of you. Or, consider scrapping it all and only taking what you absolutely need to furnish your new place for the short-term.
This is your opportunity for a fresh start, so the goal of your purge should be to take what works, and leave the rest behind so you can begin to design a space that both of you love.
Step 3: Explore Your Styles
Once you’ve cleared away your old furniture, you can begin to explore styles that speak to both of you for your new home together.
The first thing we recommend to couples is that they take the Modsy Style Quiz together. Understanding each other’s tastes can help you think about how to merge them together into one look (yes, we promise it is possible!).
She likes mid-century modern but he likes industrial? Try looking for pieces with a modern shape but in raw materials, like leather and metals, to satisfy you both. His style is glamorous but his is minimal? Maybe stick to a minimal color palette but play with more glam materials like velvet and gold.
There are so many ways to mix and match even the most opposite of styles. Find what you both like and where you can start to merge your tastes together.
Step 4: Show off Your Ideas
Sometimes the best way to convince your partner that a certain style or piece of furniture will look good in your space, is to show them.
Create a visual representation of your ideas to show your partner, be that a Modsy rendering of your actual home, a moodboard, or ordering fabric samples and paint swatches.
Many customers tell us that they were able to try something new after showing their significant other a Modsy rendering of how a new coffee table, bold sofa, or different layout would look in their space.
Visualizing your ideas can help you both feel more confident about your design choices, which in turn helps relieve the stress of making big-ticket purchases.