Whether you’re moving into a new space together, or simply refreshing the one you already share, designing a space as a couple isn’t always easy. Maybe you and boo have completely different styles, cleaning habits, or even ideas about budget.
To help you avoid spending a miserable afternoon in IKEA (aka a “relationship death-trap”), read these 5 couples design tips to help you combine styles peacefully and create a space you both love.
1. Hash out the Details
A great place to start designing a shared space with your significant other is with a conversation.
And before you get to talking about your design tastes, a more helpful place to start is with a general chat about what you value in your home. Consider addressing questions like:
- What do you want to use the space for?
- What are your must-haves and your hard-nos?
- Where are you willing to compromise?
- What is your design budget and how will you divvy up costs?
The point is to establish some common ground on the big-picture questions before you start making purchases. Once you have a shared vision for your space, it will be much easier to layer style choices on top of that, and create a space you both love.
2. Talk Style
Once again, we find it can be helpful to talk about the bigger picture before getting lost in the details. Have a more style-focused conversation where you zero in on what you like, don’t like, and want to see in your space. Some helpful questions might be:
- What styles of furniture do you gravitate towards?
- What colors do you like (and want to live with)?
- Are there any materials you love?
Your answers should be somewhat influenced by what you established as your shared goal for your space. For example, you want to be able to eat meals in the living room? Maybe skip the white sofa.
3. Find Ways to Merge Your Tastes
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.
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.
4. Ask Who Cares More?
It might not come as a surprise that, more often than not, one person in the relationship takes on the “lead designer” role. And while this might not be the case for every couple, there certainly is something to be said about the divide-and-conquer method.
Consider taking a piece-by-piece approach, and looking at the individual items you need to purchase, and ask “Who cares more?” While this might seem silly, it can be a great way to conserve your energy for the things you care more about and not sweat the little stuff.
For example, your sofa or bed frame are fairly high-stake pieces, so both of you will likely be more invested in finding the right ones. For things one of you cares less about, consider making your S.O. happy and letting them make the call. Sounds like a win-win situation.
5. Show, Don’t Tell
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.
Many Modsy customers gush about finally being able to try something new in their homes after showing their partner a Modsy design plan 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.