It has to happen sooner or later, doesn’t it?
Unless you’re Helena Bonham-Carter and Tim Burton, you have to move in with your other half and make the difficult decision to chuck some of your stuff out.
It’s a hard fact that not all of your things will be seen by your new roomie as a synergy to what is essentially their home too. Helena and Tim, who clearly don’t like to compromise, have gone to extremes only movie stars and crazy directors can.
They’ve bought two houses next to each other and have knocked through at the entrance hall. The adjoining London terraces house each of the couple’s own particular interiors preferences.
Most of us don’t have the wealth, opportunity or interest in living like this, so we have to deal with the hardship of combining our lives with our beloved.
Here are our top five tips for making this situation work for you both:
1. Plan before you move in together
Draw up 3 plans of the space. You sketch where you’d put your stuff, your partner fills their plan with theirs, then complete the third plan together. You can fill in any gaps in each other’s plans, and agree on what goes together and what doesn’t. It’s important to do this before you move actual belongings so you don’t end up playing furniture chess.
2. Find the meeting point of your interiors styles
If his favourite colour is blue and yours is red, find a way for those two to mix – navy and orange for example. By comparison, the Bonham Carter-Burton scenario has no meeting point. Her house has a vintage Victorian doll’s house feel while his is full of macabre skeletons, floor lights and ‘weird things’.
3. Invest in your sofa
Make sure you’re both comfortable and it has to be snuggle-worthy – even if this means getting an entirely new one. If you’re anything like us, we like to watch TV together and send a bit of time on our sofa. For colours, go neutral – you can always add colour with cushions.
4. Allow your partner little victories
Whoever is dominant in decorating, make sure the other person’s given some input into what each room looks like. This way they feel like it’s their place too and not just somewhere they live.
5. Compromise to negotiate
Mrs R gets very annoyed with me keeping my Playstation. I rarely have time to play it these days but she’s allowed it to stay. I get the impression she feels the same way about my cigar humidor and my guitars. She hasn’t demanded their immediate removal because she knows these are bargaining chips. She can use these to either keep something she’s got I don’t like or change something in the future.
Also, here’s our post on sharing wardrobe space – a battle of attrition and territory.
So whether you’re moving in with someone, moving to a new place or just doing a bit of a change around, good luck! We hope these tips help.
What’s your top tip for sharing furniture space and negotiating the interiors minefield? Tell us in the comments below!
Mr Smaggle has been a major influence on my style both at home and in the way I dress. I used to look like Alannah Hill threw up on me but I’ve slowly adopted a simpler, more streamlined style. It is interesting… I wonder if I was with someone different if I’d still be wearing lace dresses every day and fighting for a pink bedspread!
Ha ha! I’m trying not to imagine Alannah Hill throwing up on you, Smags… I’m not doing a very good job at it! You’re right – I also wonder what my dress sense would have turned out like if Mrs R hadn’t been there to rescue me from the leftover scruffiness of the ’90s. Perhaps I too would still be wearing lace every day! 😉
Sonia from Sonia Styling
Mr Styling and I have kind of merged into virtually the same person – I’ve influenced his hair and clothes and he has influenced my personality (as in not to stress out so much and has added several “interesting” words/terms to my vocab). We’ve both had input into the design of our renovation, extension and decorating at home. Sounds like a match made in heaven, right? HAHAHA!
I know exactly what you mean, Sonia. It’s weird how that merging happens, isn’t it? Like you say, even the way we talk seems to homogenise. Mrs R has started using English slang her friends and family have know idea what it means. I have too and when I speak to my folks back home they just laugh and take the piss.
We don’t own our place but if we did, I do wonder how much input I’d be allowed into any renos or decorating. I get the impression it would be all down to Mrs R and her sister. That’s fine by me – I’m rubbish at that kind of stuff!