What You Should Know Before You & Your S.O. Start Decorating

Photo: Courtesy of A Beautiful Mess.
Hi, friends! Today, I'm continuing my Home Decor 101 series with a reader question that really got me thinking.

@jessisrad36 said, "I would love to see a post about seamlessly mixing decor styles with your significant other...I just bought a house with my boyfriend, and let's just say we may have differing opinions about interior design. I'd love to hear about your experience!"

I want to say upfront that this topic isn't just for couples. It could apply to roommates, large families, or really anyone living in a home together. So if it seems like I am only discussing couples without kiddos, it's because that's what kind of household I live in — so please forgive me, okay? Maybe you have a really opinionated 8-year-old. I get that.
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So first, a little backstory about my experiences decorating with my husband, Jeremy. This summer, we started renovating and decorating the third house we've lived in together. He's the kind of person who selectively cares about decorating. I can make 10 big choices in a row and he will be happy with all of them, but on the eleventh choice, he will suddenly have a very strong opinion and it usually feels like it came out of nowhere. He keeps me on my toes.
Photo: Courtesy of A Beautiful Mess.
He has very good taste and I love that about him. But his range of what he likes is much, much, much smaller than mine. It's exactly like our taste in clothes, actually. He would be happy to wear a plaid shirt from J.Crew every day for the rest of his life. To mix it up, he wears gingham. Me? No way. I love J.Crew, but I also love about 1,000 other stores and styles, and I want to mix it up constantly. We're different.

So, let's dive in! Here are my thoughts on navigating the waters of co-decorating with your partner or roommate.

Related: Tips & Tricks For Finding Your Dream Home

Choosing A Theme Together
Choosing a general style we both love and creating a mood board is the single best thing we have done to simplify our process and nurture a shared vision. Our process started by talking about places we've traveled to, and hotels and cafes that left an impression on us. Then, we went through my overstuffed private pin board that I'd created. I asked Jeremy to pick out all the things that stood out to him (and I took notes).
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All you need are a few inspiration images you both love and a place you've both been to use as a reference for the vibe you are going for! Once you have that, it's much easier to choose colors you both love, wood stains, metals for hardware and fixtures, and trends you feel you'd like to embrace or skip.
Just by having a few conversations and going through some images, we picked a theme. It wasn't hard. It honestly came really naturally. Now, when we're shopping for a countertop, a floor tile, or a new couch, we have a unified vision to start from. It has really simplified the process for us!

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