via Imperfectly Polished
It was no different for Justin and me. I have been on my own since college and have acquired furniture, art and decor over the past 8 years. Justin was a typical guy...a typical single guy. His furniture 'collection' (and I use this term loosely) consisted of hand me downs, Target purchases and whatever else made it back in his small moving truck when he relocated to KC after Colorado a few years ago.
Needless to say, we had different...tastes, to put it politely. My stuff was a bit too girly and formal for him. His stuff was a bit to masculine and frat-house for me.We have been able to create a comfortable home that reflects him, me and us.
Here's how to share a living space with a spouse/significant other:
1. Take Inventory. It's easy to forget what's stuffed in boxes and how many lamps you actually own. You never know how much stuff you have until you go to move. Go through those boxes you haven't looked at since college. Find out what's been hiding in your closet/basement and under the bed.
2. Pare Down. It's not worth the time or energy (and some cases, money) to move items that you don't use. Donate, give away or sell unused furniture/accessories. If your partner is moving into your place, make sure to offer ample space for their belongings.
3. Compare Notes. If both parties have coffee tables but neither has a kitchen table, than figure out which coffee table you are going to keep. Then, Craigslist the other one and use that money to purchase a kitchen table.
4. Be kind. Your partner may not see the appeal of the old quilt in your bedroom, the one that was passed down from grandma. You may not understand the beer bottle collection above his fridge.You don't want to start out a new living arrangement by making fun of or putting down someone else's things. We all have items that we are emotionally attached to, so find a way to compromise.
5. Keep the other person in mind. I'm a girly-girl. I love crystal chandeliers, champagne, the color pink and puppies. My boyfriend? Not so much. If you are living with a significant other, do your best to create a gender neutral environment that you both enjoy. I don't want to sleep in camo sheets. Justin doesn't want a floral bedspread. We have plain white sheets, neutral comforter and a few fun accent pillows. A perfect compromise for us.
6. Turn your home into our home. If your partner is moving into your place, make sure they feel comfortable there. This doesn't just mean giving them some closet space. This means allowing them to make some of their furniture work, hanging art and displaying photos. It also means that some of your stuff will need to be moved/removed/changed to make room for their stuff.
Here is an example of how Justin and I have compromised in our house:
I love Justin. I love music. I even love concerts. Somehow, this does not equate to me loving Justin's music concert posters. It just doesn't. I admit I quietly cringed when Justin carried those long canisters used to store rolled up posters into our house. I knew what they meant....those posters would be gracing the walls of
I also knew that they are his most prized possessions. They sat in the closet of our guest room for several months. I kept telling him that we'll get them framed one of these days, but it just didn't happen. So, this weekend I decided to surprise him. After Justin left for work, I headed to Michaels armed with coupons on my recently downloaded Michaels i-phone app. I picked up 6 11x17 frames that were on sale for 50% off.
I used a 15% off coupon off my entire purchase including sale items, so they came to just $8.49 each.
I carefully placed the vintage posters in the frames and hung them up.
Here they are on display in our great room:
You know what? I don't hate them. I actually kinda like them. I think the black frames help unite the group. I also like that they are can be seen in our great room, where we spend the majority of our time, but they don't dominate the space.
To see Justin smile like this-
How have you handled sharing a home with someone? Any funny stories or grand compromises?