Decorating Tips for Couples
I still remember my first apartment that I shared with my husband. It was small but it was ours and I was so excited to make it a home for us. While I really did have all good intentions to make it about “us”, the feminine side of me definitely did come through in my first attempt at decorating and it ended up being more of my style than anything. It can be hard, especially in your first home, to not let your decorating preferences outshine what your partner may like. It can get even worse years down the road if he’s never voiced complaints and you’ve had free reign so far to decorate how you please.
“But he doesn’t really care how I decorate.”
While some men claim to not really care about the decorating choices for your home, many men really do care but simply remain quiet because men aren’t supposed to care about those things. In other words, some men who claim that they don’t care…well, I have a sneaking suspicion they may still care a little bit. Just watch for the cringe when they walk into your bedroom that’s been decorated with floral comforters and 9 billion pink throw pillows. Trust me, they care.
It’s hard to work someone else’s preferences into your own likes and dislikes, but there absolutely is a way to do it that will create a perfectly balanced decorating style that will be loved by both of you. I’ve got several “decorating for couples” tips below that will help you learn to work together so that you can decorate your home to reflect both of your styles.
Take Inventory on What You Need and Want
Before you start purchasing furniture or even accessory items, it’s wise to determine up front what your needs are. What do each of you as a couple need and want? For example, typically living rooms are used for hanging out and watching TV. If you’re limited on space and one of you needs a small office but have no extra room for it, you may need to have a functioning workspace built into a corner of your living room. You may want include a space in your bedroom with a chaise and bookcase for cozying up to read a book on a lazy afternoon. These are all things you need to list out prior to shopping for items so you can make sure that you have a plan for all the pieces you will need to get. It will also ensure that both of you are on the same page as far as how your spaces will be utilized.
Don’t be Afraid of Having Differences
You may know exactly what your decorating style is and it is probably light years away from what his is. Maybe you like the shabby-chic look and he loves ultra-modern. How can you possibly choose which to go with? The answer is, don’t choose. There is nothing wrong with blending your styles to make your home a little bit of both of you. In fact, blending design styles can create some really cool and fun spaces. Don’t get caught up in everything matching and instead, work on creating a room that reflects both of your personalities and interests.
Learn to Compromise
While it’s perfectly fine to have differences, there are going to be certain things that you will have to compromise on or in some cases, concede. For example, he may make it an absolute that he will not sleep under a floral comforter (that was a big one in my house). That may be something you have to concede or make a compromise with such as agreeing to no floral comforter but you will instead be able to have a floral arrangement on the dresser. Finding a middle ground and making concessions for each other will not only help make the decorating process easier but will also show that you care about each other’s input.
Both of You Should Take Part in Deciding the Budget
While you may feel that decorating is a necessity, chances are, he doesn’t. That could possibly lead to some heated discussions. During the decorating process you may change your mind about things or want additional accessories than you originally planned for that lead to increased cost. It is absolutely critical that you determine your upfront budget on decorating ahead of time and together. This will decrease the changes of any financial arguments and will let you know how much you have to work. Working with a budget will also keep you from making those spontaneous decisions that don’t always work out and have to be replaced.
Shop for Home Decor Together
Alright, I will admit it, my husband fights me on shopping for home decor to this day. However, once we are there in the store and looking at stuff, he has plenty to say. While most men won’t admit to actually liking to shop, I have found that men actually have a pretty good eye for picking out the good stuff. This is especially important on major purchases like larger pieces of furniture. Including him in the purchase, not only gives him input on spending but includes him in on the decorating decisions so he feels a part of it.
Tackle DIY Projects Together
Many projects that you do to add decor to your home will be created using your own DIY skills. This is a great time to include both of you on something you make for your home and creates some awesome “together time”. You each have your own special strengths and talents that you can build on to finish a DIY project that’s perfect for your home. If he’s good at carpentry he would be perfect for sanding that tabletop down that you plan to refinish or repairing a cabinet door. At the same time, you may have talents in painting or stenciling detail work onto wood. Determine what strengths each of you have and then run with it.
Don’t Let Your Decorating Interfere with Your Relationship
Above all, remember that even though decorating can become an emotional experience, never let it become a problem within your relationship. Don’t let it cause big arguements or leave one of you sleeping on the couch. The decision for what color to the paint the walls or what rug to get in the living room isn’t worth hurt feelings. It’s just stuff and stuff doesn’t matter. Show each other love and respect above all else and everything else will fall into place.
Above all, when it comes to decorating your home together as a couple, value each other’s input and include the other in on as many decisions as possible. Remember, this is home to both of you and both of your styles should be reflected in it.