So, you're moving in together. It's a wonderful, new chapter of your relationship. But when you combine your things along with your partner's things—let's just say those things can get a bit tricky. ("Um, where on earth did you get that sofa?!") Interior designers Kristen Buckingham and Sally Breer provide tips on how to integrate your belongings with your significant other's to create a style that resembles the both of you in a meaningful and presentable way.
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Re-think sentimental items
Say that chair from Grandma Esther—a family heirloom—is important to your partner, regardless of the way it looks. You could reupholster or refinish it into something compatible with your space, says Breer. "If Grandma Esther was into ornate, and your place is modern … neutralize it by upholstering it into something soft and effortless like a linen or canvas slip cover," she says.
Start a Pinterest board together
Before you get into an argument about the sofa at the furniture store—spend some time reviewing the tastes each of you possesses, Breer suggests. "You can create a shared board, and individually pin spaces you like to it. Then sit down together and go through the board. Ask your partner questions about what it is they like about each space that they pinned. This is one of the easiest and cheapest tools to get on the same page or better understand what spaces or furniture your partner is drawn to," she says.
Reframe your artwork
Chances are, you'll both have some artwork that reflects your personality and experiences that you will want to take with you. But instead of thinking of them as stand-alone pieces, think of how you can pull them together into a unique look, says Buckingham. "Choosing pieces that complement each other well, and reframing them to tie a story together, is a great way to represent each other," she says. "Also, let's be honest, it's time for some of those rock posters to be in floating frames anyway."
Remember window treatments and rugs
If your taste and your partner's taste are different, these elements can help tie styles into a complete look, Buckingham says. "Roman shades, drapes, and blinds come in any variety of weight, texture, pattern, and finish—and rug options are endless," she adds. "Choosing the right option will really help an electric room feel more cohesive."
Be open to change
Chances are, if there is an item or two that your partner is set on, there's likely a reason—and it will be the right thing to compromise. "At first sight, you may not be able to imagine it in your new space, but you could be surprised how its relationship to the owner—and with your things—could really work," Buckingham says. Additionally, you may have to give up some items that may not work well in your new digs. "It's change for both people involved, so learn to let it go and let in the new," she adds.
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