When couples move in together, it can be challenging to meld their design styles, particularly if they’ve been living on their own with their own decorative tastes . So here’s a look at some things to consider that might make the process a little smoother.
Divide and conquer
It’s can be a false generalization that women are the ones who care about how their homes look and men don’t give a whit, says interior designer Sarah Gallop .
“I’ve had clients where the men are way more communicative and involved than the women,” she says.
What is true, Gallop says, is that generally, men and women tend to care more about different parts of the home; with women often claiming the kitchen, ensuite and walk-in wardrobes, and men caring more about the basement and any entertainment rooms — like media rooms, wine cellars etc.
Gallop says this can be a good thing, as long as there’s some continuity in the overall design style of the home.
When couples move in with kids , they often like to include them in the design process, Gallop says. The key to success here is to narrow down the options, she says, so pre-select some colours and materials that work with the home’s interior and let the kids choose from these.
A new relationship, a new home and a new beginning represent an opportunity to let go of past baggage and furniture, say designers, because furniture that fit your old place won’t necessarily work in your new space. Some good advice is to chose the big furniture items together with your partner and bring with you more personal items like photos and artwork .
No one wants to live in a show home, and personal items make a home feel comfortable, which is what it’s all about, so don’t be afraid to mix things up with items from your previous life and your partner’s.
People are driven by emotions when it comes to decorating their homes, Gallop says, spending money on the areas they care about and cutting costs on items they’re not invested in. It’s kind of a generalization, she says, but single guys will often come with “big, bulky, overstuffed furniture” and the common sentiment from woman is “ew, get rid of that”.
Gallop says that what she’s found is it’s not the bulky furniture itself the guy is attached to, but lounging and watching the game in it. It’s not difficult to find a piece of furniture that works for this purpose, and that everyone is happy with.
Finding common ground
Communication is key, says Gallop, who has designed homes for couples where one is very traditional in tastes and the other incredibly modern. You can find common ground, she says, no matter how different peoples’ styles, by asking them to explain what it is they like when they look at a picture of a room; is it a particular colour, texture or material? And then draw from these.
Gallop says that if your budget allows for professional help, interior designers are great mediators and can help you smooth over home styling bumps in the road.
“Sometimes it’s a lot easier to hear it coming from not your partner,” Gallop says. “I might say the exact same thing as the wife is saying to the husband and yet it sounds different coming from me.”
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019