Everyone has their likes and dislikes when it comes to decorating styles.
Perhaps you grew up in a house that was furnished very traditionally and you find yourself wanting to emulate that in your new home. Or you might want to create your own look, not just produce a carbon copy of your parents’ place.
That’s all well and good when you live by yourself as you are the only one making decisions. But things change when you move in with someone whose tastes are at the other end of the interior design spectrum – so how can you find a style solution that you’re both happy with?
The answer, of course, is compromise – but there are plenty of ways you can both inject your personality into the design and decor of your home.
If you’ve both lived in your own place, it’s likely that you’ll need to merge two sets of belongings. If one of you is a minimalist and the other loves tradition, you can still fuse your styles together by keeping a few special items.
For example, an ornate gilded frame mirror can still work with minimalist decor and its detail will be highlighted in a clean and simple setting.
A helpful editing tool is the ‘power of veto’. If one of you has a piece that the other really dislikes, they should be able to banish it. According to a poll of more than 3,000 homeowners by Terry’s Fabrics in 2015, the average spend on a UK home’s furnishings was over £15,000, the most expensive item often being the sofa.
Any funds you get from the vetoed items being sold at a car boot sale or online auction site can go towards new, jointly chosen items.
Find a shared look together
Deciding what goes into your new home can be fun, not a chore. Spend time together browsing home magazines for inspiration and have some window shopping trips – either on the high street or online – to find furniture and decorative pieces that you both like.
Moving in together is a great excuse to start again with some smaller furniture like a coffee table and have it as a centrepiece for your living room. Many furniture designers now combine traditional materials with contemporary styling.
For instance, the Lago table available at Vivendo.com could satisfy one person’s love for the warmth of woods such as walnut with another’s fondness for the contemporary feel that glass and metal can bring to a home.
There are other ways of mixing styles to keep you both happy. For instance, if you want a formal dining room set in dark wood, but your partner’s after a more contemporary feel, go for the dark wood, but lighten the effect with a bright colour or white on the walls of the room.
Not everything has to last forever
You probably don’t want to change your large furniture every couple of months. On the other hand, paint and accessories can be swapped much more frequently. If you and your partner have wildly differing ideas on interior décor and can’t settle on a shared style, then experimenting with accessorising can keep you both happy.
Your partner might love a room that is all neutral shades and whites while you love the exotic colour palette of Indian bedspreads and cushions with bold patterns. With linens, drapes and cushions, these different looks can easily be achieved and swapped over once in a while.
Show the love
As well as thinking about colour schemes and furniture styles, don’t forget that what makes a house a home is the personal touches – like family photographs and mementos from trips you’ve made together.
Gradually, you and your partner will decorate and furnish your home in a way that you both love – just take time to make the right choices on the more permanent items.