So you’re moving in together? Great! But while your personalities might be a great match, your personal tastes can clash. Whether he’s into clean lines and she digs floral patterns, don’t let your style issues spoil the thrill of finally being under one roof. Here are our tips for keeping your new place a totally zen environment.

Embrace The Challenge

Moving is always a drag, what with the planning, packing, painting and schlepping. Worst of all, you are forced to confront the excess of belongings you have each managed to accumulate in your former abodes – and to figure out how they will fit into a new, shared home. Instead of seeing it as a hassle, consider it an opportunity to give your living space an amazing makeover – and get creative.

Fair Shares

Under no circumstances at all should the words “…but I have better taste/nicer things” ever cross your lips (even if that were a verifiably true statement). When two people move in together, negotiations must begin at 50-50 decorating input. In an ideal give and take, if he agrees to lose the leather couch, she’ll have to wave goodbye to that ornate ceiling lamp. No one party can force their entire household furnishings on the other, no matter how good the reason.

Bring A Trend To Life

Luckily, mismatched furniture has been de rigeur ever since homestory blogs have enabled us to peek inside the digs of designers, stylists and other creative types who refuse to do cookie-cutter interior design. You may just be trying to find a practical solution to a common relationship dilemma, but your solution is quite likely to be bang-on trend! Head to said blogs for inspiration.

Stick To Basics

When choosing which big, expensive items of furniture you want to keep, pay attention to quality and versatility. It makes sense to keep a plain, solid wooden bed frame, a sturdy dining table and a classically elegant couch rather than any number of fun items that you bought on a whim and may tire of soon. If the sensible investment pieces seem boring to you, then spice them up with accessories. Bonus: you can change those accessories as trends come and go.

Two Become One

If you can’t possibly agree on, say, which wardrobe to keep and which one to ditch, the final resort is to keep neither! Sell up, pool your resources and buy a bigger, better wardrobe… problem solved! That way, you can both agree on a model you like and (at least in this particular example) you can get more wardrobe space, so you don’t have to get rid of half your clothes, too.

Find A Theme

The key to creating a compelling look out of mismatched items is to find a common theme. You can group together furniture that is made of the same material or that features a certain pattern or texture, but the easiest way to make items harmonise is through colour. Don’t restrict yourself by trying to combine items in specific rooms. Maybe your old office chair will work better within the new colour scheme for your shared bedroom? And isn’t that bedside table made from the same type of wood as the chest of drawers in the hallway?

Remake, Remodel And Upcycle

When two separate households become one, some things will probably have to go. However, rather than dispose of a beloved piece just because it doesn’t fit in, you can try to make it fit. Some makeovers – such as a lick of paint on a set of mismatched chairs – are easy to DIY, others – such as reupholstering a comfy armchair to blend in with its new surroundings – are more challenging. If in doubt, enlist the help of an expert.

Article by Fiona Brutscher

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