How to merge design styles when you can’t agree on a concept with your partner

So you decided to link up with another human and now y’all are having a hard time determining how to arrange your design aesthetic so that it’s pleasing to everyone involved. My advice to you? Save yourself the headache and just end the relationship now. 😒 Like I’d actually ever say that. Lol. Not now, not ever. It’s totally doable, you just need a little guidance. And that’s my cue! 

I briefly touched on this topic a few months back in my post, Stop Procrastinating and Pull the Trigger on a Design Concept. It’s a struggle that lots of people go through. Designing a home is extremely personal and when you are merging two styles – the nuances of design matter. Just to be crystal clear it probably won’t be easy, but you’ll most likely find a way to make it work. Compromising can be challenging, but take comfort in knowing that there is most likely a way to marry your design styles in a way that leaves everyone happy. So let’s break it down. 


Mind Matters 

My first piece of advice is not design related at all. What fun would that be? On a serious note, your mindset as you enter this journey is the biggest indicator of whether or not you and your partner can successfully find common ground. If you are under the impression that your home should mirror only your priorities and desires – it might be best to just stop this process now. No jokes here.  

A home should make all inhabitants feel welcomed and at ease. If you truly are going into this process with mutual joy being the end goal, then you should start the process knowing that you will have to compromise. That’s the name of the game. Learn to compromise on aesthetic decisions without sacrificing joy. In my opinion, the best way to go about this mindset shift is to really keep in mind the why behind marrying your design aesthetic. If you have no idea what I’m talking about when I say your “why” check this video out. Regardless of if you think your partner’s suggestion is completely off, treat each idea that’s been brought to the table with respect.


Functionality First 

After you’ve scratched the surface on why you want to merge design aesthetics, then you can start to look into how to go about it. There is another thing to consider before looking for a compromise on style and that’s functionality. Determine how your space is to be used so that you can have a clear vision of what is needed in order to make it work. I hear so many people immediately hop on Pinterest in an attempt to find a style that speaks to them. As swoon-worthy as Pinterest can be, every picture that speaks to us might not be right for our space. I’ve talked about this before, but everyone in my household has different needs in a space. Joachim needs space to train, Camille needs space to run about and generally be a toddler, and Violet & I need quiet space to work (in Violet’s case, she’s a professional lazy cat). 

Once you all have identified your non-negotiables, make a list for what is needed to make this space work. For example, I need office space and Jo & Camille need space to be active. These are non-negotiables. A space that does not address our collective needs just doesn’t work for us. With a clear vision of how the space is to be used then you can successfully move on to design.


Tie the Knot

There are many ways to go about marrying design styles. I like to start with listing out adjectives that describe how you and your partner want the space to feel. When you start tossing around the names of design styles, it might get a little murky. In order to keep the water clear, stick with feelings first. What’s the vibe you want to experience when you turn your key to your place? 

Since interior design is an art that is primarily visual, I suggest sussing out your common design aesthetic using resources that are also visual. We all are familiar with Pinterest and IG, so maybe start there. It should come as no surprise that I am a big fan of hiring professionals to help iron out the kinks. If you choose not to go down this route, know that communication is an invaluable tool to help you determine as space that is as unique and personal as your relationship. Take your time, respectfully express what works and what doesn’t and know that it will not happen overnight. These things take time.  


Happy designing!  


Interested in reading more interior design posts? No no further! 



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