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One Couple, Two Very Different Design Aesthetics

Congratulations! You’ve done it! Finally moved in together and made it to that relationship milestone. It should be a cause for celebration…so why is it that you’re tearing your hair out trying to find a compromise on how to decorate your home?! I mean c’mon...They really want to buy those plates? Those curtains?

Don’t worry we’ve all been there, here are a few decorating tips for couples and ideas on how to mix and match two very different styles into one:


Listen

When you're decorating with your partner, it's important to show willingness to collaborate rather than criticising their style or the lack thereof. It might be a difficult task, but just try to listen and collaborate as much as you can. Don’t be alarmed if it gets stressful, that’s totally understandable! After all, you and your partner are going to have to figure out a way that works for you in order to get your home to reflect both of your personalities. It can be far too easy to get caught up in it all, so make sure you don’t ostracise your partner.

While you’re doing this it might be an idea to keep in mind the different needs for each person. For example: If Annabelle is shorter than John, she might be unaware that John, who is taller than her, needs a slightly bigger bed. In the same way John doesn’t wear makeup, so he doesn’t know how important storage and cleanable surfaces are for Annable...this could cause some conflict, so it’s important to communicate to your partner what you expect and make it possible for each other to understand what you realistically need. Basically, the important point is that it should be an equal agreement, so no bickering, you love birds.



Create a “Me Space”

When are you talking about your interior design, plan to create your own personal alone space away from your partner. You can create your “me space” with something as small as a vanity space for peaceful mornings doing hair and makeup or go as big as a garden shed as a (wo)man-cave for weekend hobbies. This is the time that you’re allowed to be a little selfish when you’re decorating with your companion. You need to create time and space by yourself so you’re able to regenerate and recharge batteries after a long week without any interruptions.

All About Compromising (Just Let It Go…)

It’s difficult to do it, but sometimes the best way of solving an issue is just by letting it go man. There are only so many battles worth fighting for, occasionally, compromising is indeed the best answer. Don’t think of compromising as a lost battle, in some cases, compromising makes the other half consider if they’re really into the object that they were fighting about in the first place. The best fruit is the forbidden one, I’m I right?

Compromising relies on both of you prioritising what matters the most, and what makes the biggest impact on you. The tiny little object in the corner that goes unnoticed by you but your partner swears by, how much does it bother you? If not that much, it’s time to let it go…

Why not be the adult first and compromise? You’ll be amazed by how the situation switches around.


You shouldn't be dictating what you can or cannot keep, but for extreme cases we do have an extreme solution to decide what stays and what goes: the Veto Method! (yes, it’s from “Friends”, and yes it works!).

It’s an alternative way to decide on the decor for your new home, and this is how it works:

  • You each have three things that you can veto.
  • If you veto the item then it’s not allowed in the house. (Caution, you only have three vetoes, so choose wisely!)
  • You and your partner choose what stays and what goes!

This can be great method to really allow yourself to compromise. Feel free to increase the number of vetos proportionally to how many items you have, but don’t give yourself too much power, wink-wink.




Pick Your Battles

When deciding what really matters why not start with one large piece, like for instance, a sofa and then building up from there. Because a sofa is quite a big investment you both need to agree on it….Trust me: can you imagine settling down one evening to binge watch a series with your significant other and you just can’t get comfy because he insisted on the leather sofa that you keep sliding off of. You’re both going to be using the sofa or the kitchen tops, so those items are an investment and it’s worth your time to get it right.

When it comes to small things, most people aren't really that observant. Will they genuinely be stressed if you change the tablecloth from beige to white? Or a few of the cushions from a dull single colour to ones with some floral imagery? It’s all about priorities. Find out what is important and looks good to each of you, and then help each other bring a piece that resembles yourselves to your shared home. And remember: try to be open minded, you guys are not exactly the same person, so why should your decor be? Allow your companion to have a voice in the matter as well.


The Time

You’ve just moved in during the weekend and now it’s Monday and it’s time to get to work. You want to stay behind to decorate, furnish and style your new place but unfortunately there's no time because work awaits…

Finding time to get situated and make your house into a home can be stressful. Just like with the rest of life; planning is key in getting a sense of direction for the task you’re about to undertake. So get the difficult decisions out of the way first and hopefully everything else should fall into place!

If you and your partner settle on a colour palette first (instead of a style) that should jump-start the whole process. Eliminating what colours you both dislike, or settling on the go-to ones, can help set the tone for the apartment and make it easier to leiway into a style. Since you both are on the same page on the overall look, choosing a style you both like comes more naturally and avoids those little conflicts that really hold up the decorating process. Once all of that is sorted you can finally buy something. Yay, shopping!


It’s important to remember to not just jump straight in, these things do take time and it’s good to keep in mind that it’s not all meant to be done in a day! Communication is key, talk to your partner and keep an open dialog before agreeing on a purchase. If you and your new housemate find it difficult to decorate together due to the lack of time, why not keep it fun and light with a little game:

First talk to you better half and agree on a colour palette/style and overall feel. Then, you can both take turns decorating! One object at a time where you alternate between each other. By completing your home in sections, you can hopefully really enjoy the process and not get too stressed out. Also, it’s a fun and exciting game to see what your partner is going to bring home this time. After all, both of you have different lives and schedules so by turning decorating into a fun game, you implement taking care of your home into a routine.

The Budget (eek money...)

Money is a big hassle when it comes to decorating; especially, when you’ve just moved into a new place! From the get-go, make sure you and your partner on are on the same page. Communicate, communicate, communicate. You seriously cannot over communicate. I wouldn’t stress too much if you don’t feel like you have enough to splash out on lavish things there are a lot of small budgeting, easy solutions.




As an easy solution for budgeting you can go vintage shopping, visit flea markets, second-hand stores... not only will you get good bargains for your home, you’ll also have an original looking home that no one will be able to replicate. Win,win. You can also do some IKEA shopping, or why not work on some D.I.Y.s project together? This will create a great couples-bonding opportunity! Keep in mind D.I.Y. does not mean you need to be to build something from scratch, but maybe just upgrade the look of something you already have. Like for instance, you could line the back of a bookshelf with a wall mural for a unexpected pop of colour like we did in our previous blog: 8 Creative Ways to Decorate With Wall Murals. You could also polish or paint that desk you had since you were a kid. It’s all about creativity and budgeting together.



So Who Has The Say In The House Design?

Well, neither of you has a total say. Unfortunately. Remember, it's ok if you find it difficult to decorate with your partner, it's common and no couple is perfect. Just be patient, listen and trust the process- you'll get there!

To get started and see what style each of you lean towards, see which of the four most popular home decor styles speak to you. Hopefully, opposites don’t attract in this case.



Good luck xx


The PopWalls Team


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