@jessisrad36 asked, "I would LOVE to see a post about seamlessly mixing decor styles with your significant other… I just bought a house with my boyfriend and let's just say we may have differing opinions about interior design. I'd love to hear about your experience!"
I want to say upfront that this topic isn't just for couples. It could apply to roommates, large families or really anyone living in a home together. So if it seems like I am only discussing couples without kiddos, it's because that's what kind of household I live in–so please forgive me, k? Maybe you have a really opinionated eight-year-old. I get that.
So first, a little back story about my experiences decorating with my husband, Jeremy. This summer we started renovating and decorating our third house we've lived in together. He's the kind of dude who selectively cares about decorating. I can make ten big choices in a row and he will be happy with all of them, but on the eleventh choice, he will suddenly have a VERY strong opinion, and it usually feels like it came out of nowhere. He keeps me on my toes.
He has very good taste, and I love that about him. But his range of what he likes is much, much, much smaller than mine. It's exactly like our taste in clothes actually. He would be happy to wear a plaid shirt from J.Crew every day for the rest of his life. To mix it up, he wears gingham. Me, no way. I love J.Crew, but I also love about 1,000 other stores and styles and I want to mix it up constantly. So we're different.
So, let's dive in! Here are my thoughts on navigating the waters of co-decorating with your partner or roommate.
1. Choosing a theme together.
Choosing a general style we both love, and creating a mood board is the single best thing we have done to simplify our process and nurture a shared vision. Our process started by talking about places we've traveled to, hotels and cafes that left an impression on us. Then we went through my overstuffed private pin board that I'd created. I asked Jeremy to pick out all the things that stood out to him (and I took notes).
All you need are a few inspiration images you both love, and a place you've both been to use as a reference for the vibe you are going for! Once you have that, it's MUCH EASIER to choose colors you both love, wood stains, metals for hardware and fixtures and trends you feel you'd like to embrace or skip.
Just by having a few conversations and going through some images, we picked a theme. It wasn't hard. It honestly came really naturally. Now when we're shopping for a countertop, a floor tile or a new couch, we have a unified vision to start from. It has really simplified the process for us!
2. Mixing two styles.
It's important to represent each member of your family/household in the decor. The best way to do this is to imagine how the house would look if each person had it 100% in their style, then mix those different elements together.
For us, it's a mixture of color (me) and some rustic elements (him). Our styles are good on their own, but even better together.
The good news is that mixing styles always makes a space more interesting! So don't be afraid to really incorporate different perspectives, even if you feel like complete opposites.
3. Mastering give + take.
Decorating a house is a personal thing. Especially when you first move in. Two people might be envisioning the "perfect space" very differently.
It's important to really listen to your partner, ask questions and try to get inside their head. If you are genuinely trying to understand their vision, then you're already on the right track!
It sucks, but you're not always going to agree on every little detail. One of you loves penny tile, one of you hates it. One of you thinks wallpaper should be a priority in the budget, but the other would rather put that money toward a new sofa. This is real life.
Learn to be a master of compromise and always keep an open mind! In our new space we have already shifted our priorities countless times. And I'm not going to lie–it's overwhelming sometimes. The thing that has made us rock solid is compromise. I am putting Jeremy's studio at a very high priority in our budget (and that renovation is real spensive!). He knows that and appreciates that, and in return, he's been a real sweetheart about all the brass I want to do (all about that brass, you guys!). #giveandtake #compromise #soulmates yep!
OK–so, my favorite part! Your turn! Please tell me all your stories about decorating with your partner-in-crime, whether it be a roomie, a husband or a whole family! I am super excited to hear your tips. xx- Elsie
Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.