First Home Decorating: From His and Hers to Theirs

First Home Decorating: From His and Hers to Theirs

By Kate Smith, CMG, CfYH

He loves contemporary style and dark woods. She loves lime green with an artistic edge. As a newly married couple this can either be a design nightmare or the first major fight in your shared space. So, how do the bride and groom mesh design preferences, express themselves and avoid too much conflict? Following these simple tips you can avoid clashing styles and create peaceful harmony in your new home.

Discover your style

Before you and your new spouse start picking out items for your bridal registry, consider this important discussion: What is your style as a couple? Each of you has a personal style to bring to the table. How do your two differing design ideas mesh into a look you will both be happy with in your home? It is important that you get a sense of your colour and style preferences before choosing items for your home.

One way to identify the pattern, colours and styles you both like is to create a home decorating file. There are even websites designed for this purpose to help you start to see things come together and keep all of your ideas in one shared location.

For instance, he may love a gray, mod leather chair that would look wonderful with that pop of yellow throw you’ve always wanted in your space. Let the design file become a way for you to figure out the patterns, colours or styles you both like and begin thinking about how you might combine them.

Get in the mood

Before you bring in furniture, layout or functionality in your spaces, you may want to focus on colour. Colour combinations do more than bring visual appeal to a room – colours elicit emotions, and that’s why it’s important to consider the vibe you want the room to have before you choose your colour palette.

Colours, if chosen correctly, can help give your room the feeling it needs to suit the purpose of that space. Let’s say you’re designing and choosing colours for your master bathroom. If you are going for a spa-like feel, then soothing and tranquil colours are going to work best. For a game room, you may want colours that are more playful and fun.

With the emotion-evoking aspect of colours in mind, think not about just how you want your space to function but also how you want it to feel. By thinking about the mood you want to evoke in each space, you’ll be able to pick colours and design elements with greater confidence, knowing that you are setting the right tone in your home.

Take a good, long look at your space

Once you have identified your colour and style preferences, it’s time to take a closer look at the space you will call home before you fill it with furniture or accessories. There are a few actions you can take while just getting to know your new space that will help you move forward with the design process.

First, look around the room and determine – is this a small, standard, or large space? Room size is a key consideration in the design process, as you may want to make a small room feel larger or a big room feel cozier.

Then, take out some paper and draw a floor plan for the space. You will want to determine the actual measurements of the room – checking the length and width of each wall and record it for future reference. You will use these measurements to calculate how much paint you will need, check for furniture size, etc.

Now before you put away that fantastic floor plan you just drew, take a look around the room and notice all of its little quirks. Any architectural and structural features will eventually be downplayed or accentuated in the design plan – depending on how much you both like them. So, draw in those fireplaces, built-in bookshelves, plumbing fixtures, or awkward niches to the floor plan, noting any additional measurements as you go along.

Next, it’s time to make decisions about what furnishings and personal items each of you will bring into your new home. This will be your first attempt to agree on what goes and what stays. This is also the time to carefully consider your budget.

Even if you don’t love one of the items your future spouse wants to keep, replacing it may not be in the budget right away. Better to work in his large eyesore of a leather sofa or her faux painted kitchen table, than to have nowhere to sit or eat.

Now that you both share a good understanding of your new home and what each of you has in mind for the look and style, you can begin the process of filling your spaces. You are both well prepared with your design plan, measurements and vision as you go shopping for furniture, paint, rugs, and everything else to design your space.

If you keep these tips in mind, you’ll be off to a great start decorating a place that will feel truly like home that represents both of you. Coming this far in the design process together is a great beginning. Next time, I’ll show you how to create a harmonious colour scheme in your spaces that you can both live with for years to come.


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