Moving in together: How to combine design styles

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Swoon editions moving in together

Moving in together is an exciting time in any relationship, but when it comes to choosing the decor, conflicts can arise. That’s why we asked our friends at Swoon to share their expert advice on combining design styles 

Whether it’s deciding who does the washing up or who gets to choose the Friday night takeaway, moving in together is rife with potential challenges. And deciding how to decorate your new home can be one of the biggest. How do you decide on duplicates? Which pieces are sentimental treasures, and which are ready for the scrap heap? And how do you combine two individual interior design styles? We asked our friends at Swoon to share their top tips:

1. Keep talking

When it comes to making difficult decisions, it’s all about communication. Assuming that you know what your partner is thinking is a recipe for disaster. Make time to talk through logistics before moving in together. Choose a neutral space and try not to bring any other relationship issues into the conversation. It’ll also be useful to keep in mind why you’re excited to be moving in together; keep sight of all the things you’ll gain, rather than the items you might need to give up.

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2. Identify your keepsakes

Whether it’s your Grandmother’s jewellery box or your beloved desk, you’ll likely own several sentimental items that you would keep no matter what. Make sure that your partner knows that these are the pieces that you can’t compromise on. Consider creating a limit, perhaps five items each, that will be part of your new home no matter what. These pieces can be large or small and of any style, but they will form the basis of your home’s design. You may need to be ruthless; list only items that you really couldn’t bear to give away on this list to help avoid unnecessary arguments.

3. Embrace contrast and compromise

Relationships need compromise. While you and your partner should share similar core values and personality traits, you could have very different tastes. If you’re a minimalist and your partner loves chintz, try to find a compromise that works for you both. Perhaps take one room each; agree on a pared-back living room and a more traditional bedroom, for example. Or embrace contrasting styles to creating a décor that is unique to you. Try pairing a muted wall colour with a sofa in sunshine yellow or choose a piece of furniture with a modern shape in a traditional fabric like velvet.

4. Opt for smart storage

Two people moving in together means twice the stuff. Hopefully, you’ll be able to discard most of your duplicates but investing in smart storage is sure to make things easier. Think about space creatively; can you fit an extra shelf under the stairs or turn your TV stand into a cabinet? There are several sideboards available that are perfect for smaller spaces and hide a multitude of sins! Consider adding a table to an otherwise empty entranceway, looking into under-bed storage, and purchasing a keepsake box for all those bits and pieces without an obvious home.

5. Shop together

Whether you’re moving in to a completely new place together or not, make it your own by shopping together. You don’t have to hit the shops, thanks to online furniture shops, you can determine your décor without leaving the comfort of your sofa. Buying new items that you both love will make your new space feel like it belongs to both of you. Choose pieces that define you as a couple and reflect the design styles that you do share. This can then act as a focal point that your individual items can revolve around.

Looking for more interior design advice? Head over to Swoon to check out their guide to making clashing styles work here

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