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November 12, 2009

Cohabitation and Relationship – Part Two: Décor style: Decisions, decisions!

So you’re faced with the prospect of an empty space; how do you decide what to do with it? Vintage, minimalist, modern, country … there are so many different ways to decorate a living space, and the chances of the two of you absolutely loving the exact same style are slim to none. It may sound obvious, but the answer is to compromise, compromise, compromise!  Maybe you don’t want a foosball table in the living room, and maybe your partner doesn’t want pink curtains in the bedroom; find a way to compromise. Perhaps the foosball table could go in the recreation room instead of the living room? Maybe pink could be the “accent” colour in the bedroom, with something a bit more neutral as a main colour?

The thing to remember about décor is that it’s temporary. Unless you’re talking about cutting down walls or adding a second floor, there’s really nothing you can do to a living space that can’t be changed another time. If your partner has his or her heart set on a colour for the bathroom that isn’t your first choice, but it’s liveable, then pick your battles and move on. In a few years when it’s time to redo the bathroom, offer your opinion and see what happens. You both have to live there, so there has to be some gray areas. More than some.

What did we do? Our decision to live together came about in two stages, so it was a little different. I had decided I was moving, and then after some of the work on the new place had been done, my BF and I decided he would move in as well. So for us, some of the décor (paint colours, mainly) had already been decided. However, there are still lots of things we’ve been deciding on together and have to still decide together. It’s safe to say that, to a degree, we have different tastes in furniture and décor; he prefers the very modern, minimalist style, where I tend to lean toward the vintage and vintage-inspired. Believe it or not, it’s possible to blend the two, if you’re willing to be flexible. We haven’t made any major decisions without lots of discussions and looking around, and we keep an open dialogue about what’s being done and what we’d like to do. For example, I compromised on the colour of the living room furniture (I wanted brown, he wanted black), and I got to keep my grandmother’s (beautiful, antique) china hutch upstairs in the dining room. Pick your battles.

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