I’m a newlywed. My new partner-in-crime and handsome +1 is quite a catch if I can say so myself. We are happy lovebirds who are blissfully enjoying the “honeymoon stage”… together.
Engagement Party, a few bridal showers, a large wedding, a new home- we’ve had a lot of celebration in the past year and have been on the same page for the planning of almost all of these momentous events. Now that I think about it, we’re on the same page for most important life issues. Religion, family tradition, finances, budgets, wedding cake flavors… yup, we’re spot on!
However, there is one life-changing issue that we just can’t seem to get on the same page about. This make-or-break topic? Decorating.
We are complete opposites when it comes to the philosophy of Home Décor. When I say complete, I mean absolutely, 100%, not even close, don’t even try, wow-you-like-that-thing-for-our-house? kind of opposites. I’m sure (well really, I hope) we’re not the only couple out there that doesn’t always see eye-to-eye when it comes to decorating decisions.
So how do you make it work? How do you cohabitate and win back that honeymooning bliss while trying to decorate your new pad? I’m no relationship guru , but I do have a few tips to conquer those décor differences and get back on track to that happily-ever-after you spent so long chasing.
Establish HER space (my favorite)
Yes ladies, you deserve a designated space just for YOU to decorate! Establish what area (or areas… wink, wink) in the house will be completely up to HER. Once you’ve established what areas are her blank canvas, expect her to do her thing and create an amazing masterspace. Pastels, polka dots, maybe even a splash of glitter… go girl, go!
Establish HIS space
And because we have given a space all for HER, it just seems fair to do the same for HIM. Gentleman, as much as it is hard for me to say this, you get a space free for your décor of choice. Man cave, anyone? Once you both have established that space, there are no boundaries and it’s up to HIM to bring the bobble heads, neon signs, and sports memorabilia.
Ditch His vs Hers – Create OUR space
She’s happy with her space, he’s happy with his space, now what to do with the rest of the place? The goal for the remainder of your home is to create a space that both can be proud of and happy with. This doesn’t necessarily mean bringing in her style on this shelf and his style on that shelf. It means filling those shelves and walls with new treasures and pieces that reflect a new style that is considered to be his AND hers, together. The creation of “our” space looks more like creating a NEW, fresh style that doesn’t necessarily reflect hers specifically or his specifically. This “neutral” style will help establish a new life together, one both feel a part of. Take this homemade sign for example, it’s not his vs hers, but theirs. It is a snapshot of their new home, was made by the loving couple TOGETHER, and is a snapshot of their new life together.
Downsize & Donate
He already had a toaster, she already had a toaster, and now you both received a brand spankin’ new toaster for your bridal shower… three toasters too many if you ask me. What do you do with all of this extra stuff that comes with two newlyweds combining two homes into one? DOWNSIZE and DONATE. Your local thrift stores, habitat for humanity restores or non-profit organizations would LOVE your gently used kitchen appliances, utensils, home décor extras or anything else you have laying around! (Here’s a thorough list of surprising places to donate.)
What a wonderful way to not only reduce clutter in your new home, but also give these gently used items a place they will be appreciated. So instead of jamming all 3 toasters in the cabinet to deal with them another day, cut to the chase and donate what you don’t need right off the bat. There’s nothing more rewarding than paying it forward while also starting fresh.
Make it memorable
Creating a space that is “ours” is not always easy! To start creating a style that is unique to you as a couple and not just an individual will be easier when you focus on keeping it meaningful and memorable. Vacations, favorite date nights, photos, ticket stubs are all great starting points to create a springboard of things you love together and will start to reflect a style you built together.
It’s all about the journey
Make the experience of picking out new furniture, décor, paint colors or the perfect vase for that table FUN and exciting (yup, that is possible… I promise). Don’t make going to pick out wall art as miserable as it may sound to either party. Add that mission as a pit-stop on a road trip, date night, or day out together. As long as the journey in finding these treasures is unique, exciting and unpredictable, creating a décor compromise will be filled with a lot more smiling and a lot less bickering.
And before you know it, the place will be decorated in a way you both LOVE and you two lovebirds will quickly be back on track to happily ever after, while cuddling on a fabulous new couch you picked out together. #awwwww