We’ve all dreamed of having a pintrest worthy house. You know the ones, I am talking about, they are decorated perfectly in pure white, with pink and sparkly accents. But what happens when your feminine style moves-in with a masculine man who doesn’t share the same vision? Is your couple style cramping your home decor? Cue 80’s movie record scratch…the reality is that as much as I could have filled our home with gorgeous dreamy ideas, I knew it was best to include him in the design.
It doesn’t matter if your couple make up is he/she, she/she, or he/he, mixing couple styles will only work if you communicate, compromise and create your “our style”. Relationships are complicated but home decor can stay care-free with a few tweaks and conversations.
For us moving in together and starting our home decor from scratch was the moment I knew I had no choice but to create “our style”. As I previously mentioned, my husband’s home decor style did not exist. Not one picture or a pillow. But his personality is that he likes traditional and some modern things. He appreciates nice designs. But more importantly when I asked him, what he pictured for our home, he said that it was important for him that our home would feel comfortable and functional. Comfortable? Functional? Not exactly the decor words of my dreams but I wanted him feel a part of our home.
My style is light & airy and modern but I also really love to host as well, so having spaces that feel natural and inviting are my design needs. I also like to change with the season so having classic pieces that be added to for various occasions is important. And I like fancy accents that play up style and light.
What does masculine style mean? I set out to research masculine styles in magazines, online and in stores. Almost all of them included a stereotype of some sort of cowhide, animal bones, sports memorabilia and all in black & brown tones. It was just not what I wanted. I decided to go in a more neutral direction for our main living spaces for furniture and keep the decor classic. But I did add modern accents and masculine textures. Modern accents in lamps or textiles and masculine textures like concrete, metal and wood.
My advice is start a collection of things you like. Either in your mind or actually start collecting ideas somewhere. I take pictures or screen shots of items I like in stores and online. My phone is full of deals and pieces I am thinking about for various projects. I also use my iphone notes section for three categories: need, want and someday. What I need immediately (for example, a mattress), what I want in the near future (for example, teak end tables) and someday , is basically dream items (for example, update chandelier).
I sat my husband down and showed him a few ideas (not prices, that is a separate talk) of the design and pieces I was thinking about for each space. I know him well enough to know that I have about a 10 minute window before he gets bored. I walked him through the looks and options for each space and where I can get each item. To my joy, he really liked everything I had selected – simply because I kept his preferences as well as mine, in mind when I created each look. Take the time to plan ahead and it will be worth it.
It was time to have the budget talk. With my husband, he will always choose the cheapest option. So instead of presenting the budget individually for each piece in a room, I present him with the overall budget for each room. This works best for us. You will need to figure out what works best in your relationships. Because agreeing on a budget will eliminate unnecessary tension and promote more excitement for the project.
“Our style” turned out to be shades of creams and woods with metallic accents. I picked a very comfortable bed and added lots of functional seating. For me, I kept my mirrors and small details like cake plates and pretty accents. I learned to compromise, there are no pinks in our home but there are shades of sea-foam throughout or main living area. And even though, I love gold accents for example, I paired mercury glass with each area of gold, to create a feminine/masculine balance. Balance is the key word.
After finally setting up our living room, just the way I hoped, my husband walked in and said it felt like home. The best compliment I could have hoped for! ♥
For every couple out there, ask each other allot questions on style preferences, budget and what feel you want for your home. Your home is what you make it – make it awesome!