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Moving in Together? 4 Decorating Tips for Cohabitating Couples

Dear Modsy,

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?

Please help,
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 tips on how to combine design styles peacefully and create a space you both love.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

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A Marriage of Styles: Creating a ‘His & Hers’ Bedroom

Designing a home for you and your partner can be a challenge, especially if you have different tastes. What happens when one person’s love of Mid-century modern furnishings clashes with the other’s preference for eclectic glam?

Luckily, this is one of the most common Modsy design requests. Our style quiz uses an algorithm that sorts through the nuances of your personal tastes and blends them into one cohesive look. It’s a couple’s home design dream come true.

Here we break down the steps to combining different styles into one bedroom for a look that he and she can both agree on.

 

His Idea for the Bedroom

The Style: Mid-century and Minimal

On one end of the design spectrum, he harbors a love for simple design with a modern edge.

Mid-century style pieces combined with a simple black-and-white color scheme create a livable room with a modern finish. He’s a fan of a stark palette, which keeps the look minimal, so the vibe is crisp and collected; but there’s also room to bring in a little bold graphic punch, as seen in the hanging quilt, geometric pillows, and chevron rug. It all adds up to a space that’s cool, easy on the eyes, and decidedly modern.

His idea for the room also incorporates simple shapes and materials, like a leather bench and wooden nightstands with tapered legs – which reiterate the clean lines and overall minimalist vibe.

 

His Room’s Defining Design Details:

  • Modern designs with slender silhouettes
  • Black-and-white art and accents that ground that room
  • Natural tones, like wood, tan leather, and woven fibers, that add to the streamlined look
  • Graphic elements (but not too many) for just the right bold impact

 

Her Idea for the Bedroom

The Style: Glam and Minimal

Her ideal design for the bedroom involves a dash more color along with richer textures and finishes.  

A mix of plush upholstery, bright colors, and metallic accents result in a room that’s equally eclectic and glamorous. Here, the drama lies in the details, from tight tufting and bold art to gleaming finishes that captivate the eye, such as the turquoise bench, the polished dresser, and the floor mirror and lampshades.

Her dream room also incorporates graphic elements, such as the black-and-white art and the notes of yellow found in the pillows and window-side chair. The result is a space that’s simple and composed but still modern.

 

Her Room’s Defining Design Details:

  • Polished designs with curvy silhouettes and glamorous appeal
  • Accents in solid bright colors that punch up the drama
  • Reflective finishes and metallic touches that give the space some extra sparkle
  • Sharp details, such as geometric patterns, tufting, and sculptural lamps and vases, that add graphic appeal

 

The Modsy Take: A Bedroom That Marries Both Styles

The Combined Style: Mid-century Chic

The final look combines both the rooms’ modern aesthetics, touches of black and white, and mix of Mid-century design and posh furnishings. It’s the perfect union of retro pieces with a bit of old-school Hollywood glamour and sparkle.

The Bedside

Look to pieces that combine design details you both love to inform your decisions.

The nightstands have a Mid-century look with the warm wood and tapered legs, but rendered in a polished metal adds a pop of glam to the space.  A simple table lamp keeps with his aesthetic, while its sculptural form satisfies her love of  luxe details.

 

The Reading Corner

When it comes to choosing seating, let shape and materials lead the conversation.

This chair features the simple, straightforward lines of mid-century furnishings, but gets a glamorous facelift with the black velvet upholstery and brass detailing. The bench at the foot of the bed also strikes the perfect balance between simple and sumptuous. Clean lines and tapered legs capped in gold – something for him and something for her.

These pieces come together to create a window nook that harmoniously blends minimalist style and glamorous touches.

 

The Dresser and Vanity

This is a part of your space that needs to be highly functional, so balance finding a piece that looks good with a piece that is practical for everyday needs.

Keeping the essential design preferences of each person in mind, this dresser combines a simple silhouette and tapered legs with an unusual wood finish that adds a bit of personality. It also has plenty of storage so there’s room for her and him to stash their belongings. That’s something we can all agree on.

 

 

The takeaway? You both have great style.
Now let Modsy help merge your tastes into a look you both can love.