Making the decision to build a home or redecorate an existing property with your partner can be an exciting time, providing you with an opportunity to create your ideal couple space. It’s also a time where you may discover just how different you really are; through choices in colours, styles and overall aesthetics.
These differences have the potential to create a tear in an otherwise strong relationship. In order to preserve your coupling and ensure a more stress-free decorating experience, the below tips can help guide you to a happier, more fulfilling process – without the arguments.
If you’re daunted by the task of redecorating an entire house, it can be a good idea to find a small project to work on together first. Not only will this give you good practice for collaborating on the much larger task, but it may also help you to learn how to interpret their style cues and influences in a more organic way.
A great way to start is to pick a piece of furniture or an item which is in need of some restoration and try to work together to reinvigorate it. Select finishes, upholstery fabric and embellishments which are amenable to both parties.
Before leaping into a large project, try building and creating a shared Pinterest (or a physical pinboard of influences and pieces you both like).
By creating a shared moodboard, you can begin to think as a unit, rather than as two disparate elements. You may also begin to see a new overall aesthetic emerge, which can help for picking items which are of mutual interest. It may also help with visualisation of the project, and may enable one or both parties to compromise on products or features which may otherwise have been vetoed.
Space Is The Place
Another way to ensure lasting harmony and happiness is to include room for spaces which pay homage to individual and non-shared interests. This can be as simple as having a study where one partner can conduct their business in the peace and style to which they’re accustomed, while the other has a cozy reading or crafting corner.
Making the space to encourage each other’s interests will also provide you with the necessary space to enjoy individual past-times, creating a happier, healthier environment in the future.
Find Your Mojo
If you’re really finding that you’re getting stuck in a decorating rut, it might be time to seek out adventure and influence!
Try undertaking a learning journey together. This can be in the form of travelling, attending garage sales or even visiting galleries. Partaking in new adventures can help build more shared memories, and can also reinforce any shared aesthetic preferences.
Don’t Take It Personally
This is a big and important bit of advice – don’t allow your taste differences to escalate into personal attacks on each other. It can surprisingly easy divulve from ad hoc attacks on one another’s aesthetic leanings into attacks on more personal, touchy issues. Resist this urge at all costs.
When you sense that the atmosphere is getting more tense, suggest taking a break and retreating to a neutral, more happy space. Get outside and talk about subjects which won’t pit you against one another. Grab a cup of coffee or a beverage and take a moment to get yourself back on even ground.
A Bigger Picture
Try to see it from the perspective of your partner. Understand that a home is to be lived in, and will in all likelihood not be judged on its ability to appear 100% styled and coordinated. It will most likely be a pastiche of objects and areas which make you happy as a couple, and provide a refuge for your bodies and your memories. If this means letting go of a must-have design object in order to preserve the balance of harmony – let it go.
Differences in taste among couples are very common, and can be worked through by a process of compromise, active listening and learning. Remember to step back and enjoy learning and listening to your partner’s idea – and ensure that your partner provides the same time and courtesy towards you.