Home Life

Cohabiting tips: how to decorate after moving in with your partner

September 7, 2018

So the time has come for you to move in together. You have spoken about it and considered carefully where you will be living, and the excitement is building. But, you are concerned about how you will decorate your new home or apartment.

This can be a tricky subject to broach with your partner, especially if you both have very different styles. You should set aside time to speak about how you both want your home to look and spend time online looking at living room and bedroom furniture that suits both of your tastes. Still not sure how to move forward? Below are some top tips on how to decorate after moving in with your partner.

Decide what stays… and what goes

This is the most important first step to take when decorating together. You will need to each make an inventory of all of your belongings and decide on what stays and what goes. You likely do not want (or need) two couches, two beds and four nightstands.

Set up a time when you can get together and go through each piece of furniture and decide on which ones you both prefer out of the options. Try not to be offensive about your partner’s choices (after all, you are one of them) but also be practical. You can compromise by keeping their bed but your end tables, your couch but their coffee table and so on. Be prepared to keep an open mind when it comes to making decisions.

Get on the same page financially

Once you have looked at your inventories and decided on what you are keeping (your antique dresser) and getting rid of (their soccer posters from high school) you will need to make sure you are both on the same page financially.

This means you will need to set up a budget together and ensure that you both stick to it. Moving in with your partner can be financially difficult, so be sure that you both have realistic goals. For example, if your dream lounge suite is too expensive, compromise by buying an affordable one for the time being and aiming to save up for it and purchase it next year.

Make sure you each have a “personal spot”

One of the mistakes that many couples make when moving in together is not giving themselves each their own personal spot. We all need our own space to refresh and be by ourselves, so it is important that you establish one zone for each of you to call your “personal spot”.

For example, this could be a study, office or even a special chair in the bedroom where you curl up to read each night. Having your own personal spot does not mean that you do not enjoy being around your partner or spending time with them, simply that you both understand that you need time alone with your thoughts sometimes.

Determine your style mix

With hundreds of decorating styles literally at your fingertips, it can be daunting to decide on what your “mix” is. Do you want bedroom furniture that is shabby chic or sleek and modern? Do you want your lounge to have French flair or Scandinavian minimalism?

You will need to decide on a style mix that brings out your best individual selves but is still cohesive as a mix. You can do this by picking and choosing pieces that are complementary rather than clashing. For example, your partner might want to have a leather armchair in the lounge, and you can counter this masculine look by adding in a velvet footrest in a pastel colour. Be sure that the items you choose complement one another rather than clash.

Show respect to their belongings

Your partner might have a specific belonging that you particularly dislike (such as those action figures from their childhood) but they most likely attach great value to these items. It is best to let your feelings go and respect their feelings. Living with a keepsake from their past is much easier than living with an unhappy partner.

The fact is that there are items that you cherish that your partner might not particularly like, so it is better to be respectful of their belongings rather than asking them to get rid of them. It also shows your partner that you are willing to accept their quirkiness and their taste. Be sure that you let them know that you do not mind their choice but that you will need to compromise on bigger purchases, such as couches and bedroom furniture.

Remember to have fun

Moving in together is an exciting experience. And decorating your home should be equally as fun. Remember to go through a full list of each of your belongings and decide on what stays and what goes, and be sure that you are both on the same page financially. Having your own personal spot is important, as it will allow you both to relax when you need to. Decide on a style mix that works for you both and you will soon have a home that represents you and your partner perfectly.

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