When Jeremy and I first moved in together, we were faced with a major challenge: combining our individual furniture and decor to create a shared space. Creating a home you love is important. This is your sanctuary, your detox zone, your safe space, and making it reflect you both is difficult when you have two separate individuals with separate styles, opinions and rooms of furniture. We are here to help. Here are some of our best tips when it comes to what to keep and what to kick to the curb.
THE YES TEST
My primary method for deciding what to keep when combining furniture is by creating the YES TEST. First, sit down with your roommate and write down all the rooms in your house. You will both look at each piece of furniture and ask yourself a list of questions. If you answer YES to each question, then write down what room you will put the piece in— otherwise, set it aside. Here are the questions:
If you and your roommate cannot answer YES to all those questions, it might be time to sell, store or change that item. Make sure you both can agree on each piece and where it will go. Remember that sometimes it is wise to keep things in storage that are priceless to you instead of slapping a coat of paint on it just to appease a roommate. We would say that things you can easily replace are great candidates for makeovers while heirloom pieces are not. The last thing you would want is to ruin a piece that you cannot fix or find again because your current place doesn’t have a spot for it. Think things through very carefully and make small tweaks that go a long way if you lack the finances or confidence for a complete makeover.
MAKE A STYLE BOARD
One method of finding your style is by sharing pictures that you like with each other. Flipping through catalogs, magazines or looking up pictures online can be really helpful when figuring out your personal style. Cut out pictures that you love and create a YOU board and have your partner do the same. Then compare the similarities or note the ways that things go well with each other. Your man could love the industrial vibe while you like more crisp, clean and modern. Blending those two things will mean clean and simple with lots of metal and thick wood. The style of your home can then reflect you both instead of just one person. There are also plenty of style quizzes online that can help people figure out their individual style. This would be a fun and easy way to understand your partner in decorating! Then you can search that style name (industrial, cottage, traditional, etc.) to find items that you could use in your home.
COMPROMISE & CREATE
Don’t be afraid of compromise! Say you hate his sofa but he can’t imagine watching his favorite game without his tush firmly planted on it. It might be time for a slipcover! Maybe you like light and bright spaces but he said that he thinks white shows too much dirt. A good compromise would be a white accent wall or lots of white accessories Maybe you could even trade off: you get to put your favorite chair in the dining room and he gets to pick out the TV. Or perhaps you need to compromise on specific items. He wants a recliner; you hate those faux leather puff creatures so compromise by saying that it can’t have those marshmallow arms. Giving items a makeover with paint, fabric or a stencil is also really easy and inexpensive. A makeover goes a long way! Building is also a great way to compromise because you can make things exactly how you want them.
FILL THE GAPS
Once all your agreed-upon items are in your home, you will definitely have gaps in the style or decor. Fill those gaps by buying or building things you both love. Both options can look great and fulfill your style needs. Since you have already identified your styles, bridge them together with the newer items. And remember that shopping or DIY-ing together is great bonding time!
We hope that after you choose your place to stay, these quick suggestions will help make that place reflect you! Good luck and happy combining!