Moving In Together? Here’s How to Marry Your Styles

published Apr 23, 2019
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If you clicked on this story, there’s a good chance you’re about to move in with your significant other. Congratulations!  Gone are the days when you have to schlep your toothbrush, pajamas, and next day’s clothes to each other’s places. When you choose to share a space with your partner, you’re committing to spending the foreseeable future with each other—and maybe even ramping yourselves up for some other big milestones. Marriage! Babies! Owning a pet!

But moving in together isn’t always as glamorous as it seems. It’s not easy to find an apartment or house in a neighborhood you both like—and at a price that works with both of your budgets. And then, of course, there’s meshing your two design styles together.

As a self-proclaimed design enthusiast, you know you have good taste, but what are you supposed to do if your partner also cares about design—but has an aesthetic that doesn’t fit well with yours?

Don’t worry, it’s going to be okay.

Below, two design-world couples share their top tips for meshing styles with your significant other

1. Mix and Match

At Apartment Therapy, we firmly believe that your home is a reflection of your style, so that means your new place should reflect both of your tastes. However, that can be easier said than done when you have conflicting tastes. The solution? Try to bring small elements of each others’ aesthetics into each room.

“Consider how you both want to feel when you are inside each room, and try to find the common ground between your feelings,” Payton Cosell Turner, who co-founded Flat Vernacular with her partner,  Brian Kaspr. “Maybe it’s a sense of calm you’re after, but your partner prefers to feel invigorated. What about using calm colors in the room alongside books about travel or art? Simple solutions can be found if you exercise patience and a little bit of creative thinking.”

Moving in with a minimalist when you’re a maximalist at heart? Let them have their mid-century couch, but add your own touch with a fun accent wall. That way, you’ll both have elements you’re proud to show off.

The good news is some of your pieces might go together way better than you’d think. Check out these unlikely, but expert-approved, combinations.

2. Edit Your Inventory

Unless you’re making a serious real estate upgrade and moving into a multi-room mansion, your new home probably won’t have enough space for everything you both own. Before you make the big move, channel your inner Marie Kondo and purge your stock.

“There is nothing worse than one person taking over the house with all of their things everywhere,” says Jade Joyner of Metal + Petal, a firm she co-founded with her husband, Graham. “I suggest that couples edit down their own collection of things with the most value, the most loved, and the most functional.”

Plan to purchase a king-sized bed? You can donate the sheets you used on your old, full-sized bed. Never use that vase you once bought on sale? Chances are, you’re not going to use it at your new place, either. And, of course, there are some items that you should always replace when you move somewhere new.

Editing down your stuff will make the physical move a little less overwhelming, plus you’ll be able to focus on the pieces that you really care about.

3.  A Fresh Start

Is it just us, or is there something kind of romantic about getting rid of all your stuff and starting anew? If you’re moving across the country or settling down in a different-sized space, it might be the most practical decision.

“Have a major sale, let go of your old furniture, and start collecting new pieces that you both love,” Metal + Petal’s Graham Joyner suggests. “There’s nothing better than eating at the dining table you found together at an antique market or seeing a chest you painted together in the hall. Decorating your home should be a joint effort and can be really fun.”

Perusing the decor shops in your new neighborhood or hitting up the weekend flea market are great ways to piece together your place.

4. A Professional Perspective

Super stumped on how to merge your styles? Are you bickering over the smallest details? It might be time to enlist a professional.

“Hiring a designer is a great way to find middle ground,” Jade says. “A designer can help you blend styles beautifully and work with you as a couple to create a cohesive look. They also don’t have a dog in the fight, so they will naturally be a little more unbiased!”

We know what you’re thinking: Interior designers are expensive, right? Fortunately, there are several companies that offer their expertise without the sticker shock. Check out some of our favorites here.

5. Patience Is Key

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your new home won’t be either. Instead of rushing through the fun, take your time decorating your new space.

“A calm approach to a design timeline serves two purposes: feelings are less likely to get hurt and you might discover that something originally deemed ugly actually looks excellent when paired with something one of you loves,” Cosell Turner notes. “It’s an ever-evolving process. Be patient.”

Who knows? The two of you may grow to love each other’s design taste or shift gears with a brand-new aesthetic.

6. Compromise, Compromise, Compromise!

Like any other facet of your relationship, compromise and communication are key. After all, it’s not worth getting into an argument over where to place the side table or which couch to bring to the new space.

“You won’t agree with everything the other person suggests or wants,” Cosell Turner says. “Be kind to the other person by looking at the tussle from their perspective, but don’t ever be afraid to put your foot down if they refuse to extend the same kindness to you.”

It’s important to have a beautiful space, but creating lifelong memories and filling your house with happy memories trumps everything.