For our family, this has been the summer of weddings. When we haven’t been on camping trips or working on a project around the house, we’ve been watching friends (or the children of friends) say, “I do.” And it’s been wonderful.
Marriage is such a blissful time full of love, promises, and hope of things yet to come. There is so much excitement and so much newness to it all. Sure, there may be some challenges, but overall, marriage offers the opportunity to grow and learn together–even when it comes to something as simple as home decorating.
If you’re newly married or soon to be, it’s important that you focus on making a home that feels as though it belongs to both of you. Successfully merging color preferences, furniture choices, and decorating styles of two unique individuals into a unified look can be quite a task. But, it’s not an impossible one. Yes, there may be some conflict, and yes, there will a little stumbling along the way–but if you maintain respect, keep an open mind, and aim to compromise, you can create a style that will encompass the best of both of you.
Whether you’re kicking off your marriage with an apartment, starter home, or forever home, here are some simple guidelines to get you started.
Look it over and talk it through
During some downtime together, look through magazines or websites (Pinterest and Houzz are great online tools to utilize), noting each of your likes and dislikes. If it helps, create an online idea board, write out a list, or compile a folder of pictures and clippings of items that stand out, and then take it from there. Don’t be afraid to [respectfully] speak up if there’s a space that’s extra important for you to have more control of when there’s decorating involved.
Use the space wisely
Design a floor plan that will accommodate both of you. For example, if one of you works at home, delegate a room or create a nook specifically for that purpose. As newlyweds, you’ll want to soak up lots of time together, so create intimate seating areas in your living room by positioning furniture to face windows or a fireplace (if you have one). Make the bedroom a sanctuary where you can relax and unwind after a long day. Think about future parties you might host and create a layout that will allow you to entertain friends and family.
If you’re fortunate enough to have outdoor space, take advantage of that as well. Invest in whatever outdoor furniture you can and create a space that is an extension of your interior. There is an abundance of indoor-outdoor fabric available that can hold up to the weather elements no matter where you live.
Introduce color slowly
The word “color” can make even some of the toughest people shudder. I love color, but I’ll admit that even I can be really cautious about it. It’s not color itself, but rather the thought of putting the wrong colors together or simply making a disastrous choice. If you can relate, begin with a neutral base and then build on it. This doesn’t mean that you have to be surrounded in beige or gray forever–but keep in mind a neutral base opens the door wide open to splashes of color that can be changed out regularly depending on seasons, holidays or moods. And, when neutrals are done right, they are far from boring.
In the beginning, be selective with color, incorporating it through your home with pillows, window treatments, chair cushions, a small piece of painted furniture, or a single accent wall (paint or paper). When you do introduce color for bigger things, do it together and whittle down the choices until you find a happy balance you can both agree on.
To make the correct choices, be sure to become acquainted with the color wheel, including what colors are considered cool and what colors are considered warm. Doing so will save you a lot of headaches. In addition to that, seek out some of our past posts about classic colors and color combinations that you can’t go wrong with.
Furniture size matters
Men usually have larger body frames than women, so it’s really important to keep that in mind when you purchase furniture. In most cases, women look at style, while men look at function. There are plenty of options out there that can work, so it is possible to find attractive pieces that will be a comfortable fit. You can always add a decorative chair or ottoman for color, style, and personality.
If finances allow, consider a custom piece, which will ensure a proper fit. Additionally, a custom piece of furniture allows you to have something of higher quality that is customized to fit your preferences in regards to colors, patterns, and fabric.
Add personal touches
Personal touches around the house are important. Accents like greenery, colorful pottery, wall art, and framed photographs are all great ways to make your place feel complete. Make a cool gallery wall with those wedding or honeymoon pictures. Get that authentic painting from that vacation and hang it as a reminder of the fun you’ve had together.
Remember, a cohesive look won’t happen overnight and that’s okay. Start small and find your way together. Be sure to stop into one of our showrooms or browse online to see great deals on discount designer fabrics. You will find something for every home interior project from gorgeous drapery fabrics to lightweight cottons and luxurious Dupioni Silks.