How to Combine Styles When You Live Together

By: Sarah Beaumont

March 28, 2017

Living with a significant other isn’t always a walk in the park. Whether you’ve just taken the plunge into cohabitation or you’ve lived together for years, it’s not uncommon to secretly loathe your lover’s design tastes. But if one of you is crazy for color and the other prefers stark, minimal spaces, striking a balance between styles can be difficult. So how can you combine your tastes and create a home that makes you both happy? Read on for our secrets to cohabitation bliss.


Make Agreements

The key to happy cohabitation is definitely communication. Open up those lines right away by talking through the furniture in your respective homes. What do you want to keep? What can you ditch? You might be surprised to find that your partner is totally okay with your blush-colored sheets or that wacky Elvis lamp you thrifted in college. By hashing it out room by room, you’ll discover pieces that you both like and begin to recognize similarities in your styles.

Prepare to Purge

My mama always told me that you can’t make room for great new things if you’re holding onto the old. Embrace this chance to purge. When it comes to duplicates like beds or sofas, decide with your partner which you’d like to keep. Can’t decide? Then base your decision on the quality of the piece, its condition and how it fits into your new pad.

Choose Your Non-Negotiables

We all have pieces that we just can’t bare to let go of. Allow one another to pick a few of those non-negotiable items and compromise over where they’ll go in your new place.

Shop Together

Stop thinking about “yours” and “mine” and starting thinking as an “us.” The best way to do that? Go shopping together. Hit up a flea market and splurge on a great antique rug or a large piece of art that reflects both of you. Or pick a quirky piece that reflects an inside joke or shared interest.

Find Beauty in Contrast

Maybe you love bold color and your partner prefers black and white. Don’t fret, differences in color preferences can work out better than you think. Opt for a neutral palette in terms of paint and furniture and bring in color through art and accessories. Blue is an excellent unifying shade because it can feel both subdued and neutral, as well as bold and bright. You may have to forfeit that jewel-toned velvet sofa, but a neutral couch will work better in the long run and you can easily swap out fun pillows over time.

Shop the Look:

Opt for Gender Neutral
How to Combine Styles When You Live Together, Laurel & Wolf,

via Domino

Gender neutral doesn’t have to mean boring. Opting for muted shades allows you to play with textures and finishes. And that means bringing a cozy vibe to your love nest. Consider keeping the colors neutral and layering natural elements like burl wood and rattan against sleek metallics and enamel pieces.

Shop the Look:

Better Together

One lone industrial lamp can look strange in a room filled with boho textures. So make sure individual pieces of decor have counterparts in the room that shares its style, color, or finish.

Shop the Look:

Don’t Part Ways
How to Combine Styles When You Live Together, Laurel & Wolf,

via Target

Your first instinct may be to put one partner’s things in one room and the other partner’s stuff in another room. But have the courage to blend your styles. If you collect funky textiles and art from your world travels and they’re avowed minimalists, just remember that opposites attract for a reason. Instead of doing one room in one style and one in another, come together. The combination of unexpected elements gives rise to beautiful  design.

Shop the Look:

Consider a Referee
How to Combine Styles When You Live Together, Laurel & Wolf,

via HGTV

Sometimes a neutral party can be a great way to resolve home design disputes. If you want to let someone else figure out your design dilemmas while you Netflix and chill with your boo, consider an interior designer. Check out our couple-pleasing rooms here.

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