How to design your first couple’s home together
So you’ve taken the plunge, either asking your beloved to marry you, or simply moving in with each other. If you thought that was the biggest step, you weren’t entirely wrong, but there’s another equally important step that will creep up on you. Now that you’ve moved in together, who gets the final say in decorating the place, converting the house or apartment into the home as it were.
Control is a difficult thing to cede, especially if you’ve been living by yourself, making all the important decisions by yourself. What you need to understand now, is that your significant other is going to be an equal partner in the decision making process. It isn’t so much about ceding control as it is about finding a way that works for the both of you and eventually, over time brings your signature style to the space you both call home.
Step 1: Agree that you’re going to disagree.
She likes her coffee brown; he’s more of a navy blue kind of guy. He’s more into sports, and she loves her ‘Gossip Girl’. He’d rather have a recliner smack in the middle of the living room; she wants that gorgeous coffee table in that exact same spot. People, agree that you are going to disagree about elements that may seem inconsequential, but hold the key between a great looking room and an interior designer’s worst nightmare. Agree to make allowances for each other’s interests and tastes, and most importantly, enjoy the selection process!
Step 2: Now that you’ve agreed to make allowances, shop together.
The best starting point is to sit down and consider the best interior design trends to find neutral grounds for potential choices and moving forward. This way you’ll avoid constant arguments and nagging spats when you starting shop together. Pick a store, a website or even an antique shop and indulge in some retail therapy, together! This way you won’t be unpleasantly surprised when your spouse or significant other walks in the door with a chandelier that you just can’t stand. Besides shopping together you can also spend some quality time together, and get to know each other’s tastes, likes and dislikes.
Step 3: Make a budget and stick to it
Sure you’d love an expensive Ming vase in the living room, or a super expensive LED TV on the show wall of your bedroom, but you need to realise that a budget needs to be made and diligently followed. It is after all your home and your future that needs securing. Make allowances for impulse purchases, but by and large the figure on your budget needs to be sacrosanct.
Step 4: Follow a schedule, plan your rooms and life accordingly
Trying to decorate a home without a schedule is both chaotic and a waste of time. A little planning can save you precious time. Move from one room of your home to another in a systematic manner and you will find that decorating your home is actually a lot of fun.
Step 5: Infuse your couple’s personality into the living room
A living room is the first room your guests will experience in your new home. You want to awe and not overwhelm them. It should act as an aperitif that leaves your guests wanting more, and not an assault of excesses on the senses. Light colours, ample lighting, thoughtful, if quirky curios and well framed artwork are all elements that will make your living room a space where ‘living’ takes top priority.
Step 6: Make your bedroom a temple of your memories
The time you spend together yield precious memories which will act as a great asset in planning your bedroom. Photographs, gifts from each other, framed artwork, all can find a place in your bedroom. The room needs to reflect your love and warmth, with a tinge of naughtiness and romance. Sheets and draperies in colours you love, a cornice or niche with your favourite knick knacks and other sentimental objects will help convert your bedroom into a temple of your memories.
Step 7: Cuisine city central, make your kitchen a haven of fine dining
The kitchen is the heart of every home. And yours is no different, remember that a kitchen serves as both the prep room and in many cases the dining room as well. A modular, well organized kitchen is both a boon for times when you are under pressure to deliver piping hot food, and is extremely beautiful to look at. Remember to plan plenty of storage space in easily accessible areas, make provisions for your cooking area and sink and you are good to go, to be the masterchef you want to be!
Step 8: We know its just a passageway, but why let it be just that?
Access passages that lead from the living room to the bedroom and kitchens are a utility feature in any home. There’s no reason why though that they need to be just that! Jazz up the space, make it a photo gallery, make it pop with graffiti art, and decorate it with your favourite records on the walls. Use your imagination and change the way people perceive access passages for good!