Interior design when moving in together

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4 tips to combining your stuff without driving each other crazy

Once you take the big leap of moving in together - how do you possibly jump into the right combination of stuff without fighting? It can be hard to decorate your place in a way that makes you both as happy as this fabulous relationship.

I find it fascinating that 2 humans - any 2 humans - can join together all their quirks and expectations and decide to cohabitate. I mean, we're all so strange, how can we find another who's just the right amount of strange to watch you clip your toenails and share the leftover pizza? And then there's the combining of STUFF. Both people bring baggage with them - no, not that kind of baggage - I'm talking about the literal kind. 

Don't worry, I've got you covered. Here are my top 4 tips for combining stuff when you move in with that wonderful person in your life - and have to figure out what to do with all that {maybe less}wonderful stuff that moves in with them. 

1. Don't take it personally:

This is much easier said than done but keep in mind that each of you is trying your best to find the best combination of what you have (and what you will need to purchase) that suits your new 'couple-ness'.

2. Ask These 2 questions:

Have an open discussion with your partner that starts with 1. Do you really like this? 2. Why? It's important to understand the significance of piece your partner wants to keep. Some things that may be less than ideal visually can have a lot of important sentiment behind them - and what a great opportunity to take that relationship to the next level by sharing those stories with each other. It might even make that 'thing' start to look a little less horrendous...

3. Be willing to compromise:

Just because you've had that dish towel since your Nana died, that doesn't mean it needs to stick around. Bringing things along 'because you already own them' is only a good idea if you need something for the function. For example, no one really cares what your toaster looks like, but it may be time to retire that dorm room sofa. This is your chance to really dive into whether you love something being in your life or if you're simply used to it (and forgot you never really liked it to begin with).

4. Remember why you fell in love:

As you're working to define a style that fits you both, go back to what you have in common both in life and in your design styles. There's always a common thread that you share - start there. If your styles are super different from each other and you're having trouble finding that, get out a piece of paper (or google doc) for each of you and

Try this activity:
-Describe your design style on a piece of paper. Don't worry about using the right labels, just write it in your own words. 
-Write why you like this style. How does it feel to you? What attracts you to the lines and the colors? What memories or associations do you have with this type of look? 
-List 3-5 words describing how you like to feel in your home

Now compare answers with your partner. Focus on the similarities and voila! That's the goal for your new home. Make sure to include a little bit of each of your differences as well, it will give you a much more interesting, complex result that's a great reflection of the two of you.

It's a tricky process to navigate through combining households. With a little patience and a lot of communication, you can find a way to make beautiful music in your new shared home {both with each other and in your decor}.

Congratulations on your new adventure!