5 Ways a Couple Can Design & Decorate Their Apartment in Harmony

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The home is a private and relaxing sanctuary, and all members of the household want to feel comfortable and happy in their personal space. But whether it’s color scheme or style of furniture, not every design element or decorative piece will be mutually agreed upon. Here are five tips for how you and your loved one can create a beautiful home by harmoniously working together.

Come Together with a Modus Operandi

The best way to mitigate heated disagreements and stress while co-decorating is to plan and communicate in advance. For major home improvement and design projects, decide on your objective and make sure you're both on the same page. Is this a complete remodel or an aesthetic refresher? Set a project scope and budget. Also, create a list of priorities, necessities, and wants, along with approved price ranges. Is new furniture a priority? How much will you spend on wall art or fun room accents like candles and decorative accents? With established expectations, there's no room for surprise purchases or spontaneous arguments.

Create an Aesthetic Story

If you can't agree on a modern minimalist or vintage chic interior-design theme, use your shared experiences as inspiration. A personal touch or sentimental value can drive the aesthetics of your space. What furnishings, color palettes or artwork represent you both as a couple?

Sometimes it’s best to find an apartment you pick out together, rather than one person moving into the other’s place. This way one partner doesn’t feel overshadowed when it comes to decorating decisions, or like the space doesn’t reflect both individuals’ styles. Browse Rent.com and find a blank slate where you can develop your style together.

Divide & Conquer

Decide what you're both willing to concede, recommends Houzz, and figure out who is best to contribute to what. For example, if you're more creative, put together a striking color palette. If your partner has more DIY expertise, leave the craftsmanship to those hands. Perhaps, he wants a “man cave” outfitted with a leather couch, dark wood flooring and a and mini bar. Maybe she yearns for a reading nook with oversized pillows, antique flooring and a chaise lounge sofa. Based on individual interests and strengths, take ownership for a particular space or type of project. This strategy invites compromise. Then take turns picking pieces for more neutral spaces like the living room or bedroom.

Mix & Match

Sometimes, bold contrast can create the best results. Bring a touch of feminine color to a masculine-style piece of furniture. Are you drawn to a vintage look, whereas your partner prefers modern simplicity? Collaborate, blend both styles and explore the beauty of a mixed-style space. Also, open up to decor and design inspiration. Home decorating Instagram accounts, magazines, Pinterest and HGTV can inspire different ideas for a complimentary look. Explore the design and decor at trendy bars, restaurants, hotels, cafes and coffee shops. (You can call it research if you want.) What do you both like or dislike? How can you replicate aspects of a space you both love?

Grow Closer Together

While many couples may bicker over design decisions, use this as an opportunity to build your relationship, spend time together shopping for kitchen cabinets and perusing wood flooring samples to find just the right look and have fun! Approach a project by creating something as a team. It's a reflection of your relationship and an aesthetic representation of your connection. 

“Today” featured Julie and Andrew Puckett who converted a 25-year-old 1990 Blue Bird bus into their home. The Pucketts sewed all the curtains and cushions and designed custom cabinets, creating a quaint and charming living space. The significant downsize represents the traveling musicians' whimsical way of life. The “amount of love and attention to detail” emanates, symbolizing their loving journey together.

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