Moving Tips: How to Move in with Someone without Compromising your Design Style
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Use these seven moving tips to ensure your styles blend seamlessly before the big move.
Moving in with someone and not sure you share the same design taste? Whether it’s a short term stay or a planned lifetime of living together, use these 7 moving tips to ensure that you both feel your new home reflects your design sensibilities and lifestyle.
1. Schedule up a “move night” with your new roomie
Make it a fun event, maybe cook a special meal or have a glass of wine and your favorite hors d’oeuvres. This will set the tone for a session that should be a celebration of your new life together. Bring a few file folders, graph paper and photos or plans of your new space if possible. This is one of the more important moving tips to follow as it sets the stage for your move and can help you to tackle any issues upfront.
2. Take Inventory
Sit down and make a list of all of the furnishing items you have and want to bring with you. Do this together so you can start to get a sense for what you have and where your furnishing needs are. Focus on furnishings and big accessories. The smaller stuff can wait for now. Talking through your items will also start to uncover which pieces you both feel strongly about keeping. Have two sofas and you each love them? Don’t debate it at this point or make a decision yet on which to keep-put them both on the list as possibilities. The right choice will become clearer when you start to plan your space and combined style.
3. Talk about Lifestyle and Pet Peeves
Discuss how you like to live in your space. Do you like a casual environment with lots of comfortable seating for lounging, or do you prefer a slightly more formal, structured setting? Does your partner prefer a very minimal, streamlined environment where you like lots of mementos and accessories around the house? How tidy are each of you? How much clutter do you want to live with? Understanding these preferences and needs upfront can help to identify any sticking points. When issues do come up (and they will!) talk about ways you can each compromise to find a solution you both can live with.
4. Develop a Combined Design Style
Here’s where the fun starts. Now that you have a list of all the furnishings you could bring, and a sense for how you both like to live, it’s time to develop a combined style. Get a sense for how strongly each of you feel about the look and style of your new home. If one of you is happy to cede style control, great then the other takes the driver’s seat. If you both feel strongly about the look and feel of your home, finding a combined style is important as it will serve as a guide for your new choices. Start to talk about your overall design aesthetics and then begin to look at design inspiration. Pinterest or Houzz are great places to start-create a board or idea book for your combined style—save room images and products, and you should both note which are the most compelling aspects of the room or look. You can also take fun design profiles together through online interior design sites like Decorist which will help you assess your combined design style.
5. Plan your Space
There are numerous room planning tools available online, but we often find that just sketching out your space on graph paper is just as easy and flexible (use pencil!). Develop a basic floor plan of where your key pieces of furniture will go. You can use professional plans of your home or simply measure and sketch out on graph paper. You don’t need to determine down to each accessory where everything will go, but you do want to have a plan for basic placement of the big items you want in your room. Now is the time to bring in your combined style and match it to your inventory list—piece the room(s) together based on what your overall design and lifestyle goals are. Give each other 1-2 vetoes of items so that neither of you is miserable with the choices. Respect the veto hand when it is played! This will help keep the peace and set the right tone for your move.
6. Enlist Professional Help
Stuck at the inspiration stage? Not sure how to make that room you both love on Pinterest fit your layout or budget? Don’t think your sofa will ever go with your partner’s coffee table? Using an online interior design service can help you to pull all of your design ideas together into a cohesive design for a fraction of what it would cost to hire an interior designer to come to your home. Typically, you simply add photos of your space, tell them about your design needs and budget and a designer will create a beautiful room design in your style and budget-all virtually. The services typically include a floor plan and detailed shopping list of any recommended new items. Some services like Decorist have several levels of designers, including Celebrity Designer levels, so you can have a well known designer create a room for you—all virtually.
7. Buy a Few Pieces Together
Once you have your style determined and your floor plan, you now can figure out what you need to fill in. Most likely, there will be gaps in your furnishings list, and this is where you get to start purchasing a few items together. Make this a fun process! Look at online retail stores to find items you love, and you can even visit a few retail stores together if you want to kick the tires on big purchases. Don’t feel like you need to find solutions for all of your space needs immediately-decorating a room or home is an ongoing, fun process.
Now that you have set the foundation for your design choices by following these moving tips, adding to your look will bring you both lots of enjoyment in the future. Happy decorating!
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