Two People + One Space = Relationship Decorating Disaster?

10 years ago

I'd probably been dating Hunky Actor Boyfriend for five minutes - OK, maybe five days - when I thought to myself, "I wonder if we ever live together if he'll want to hang that giant picture of Woody Allen's head in our bathroom." Now, however, I've solved that problem by deciding that I'll clearly need my own bathroom.

But now that I've solved that currently nonexistent problem, my brain gerbils continue to spin on various other potential conundrums of cohabitation.

Thankfully, we both have an affinity for movie posters. That's a small miracle, methinks, because my Shepard Fairey Walk the Line poster is clearly the coolest.

Because walls are the biggest battle ground, right?  Allison from Confessions of a Cohabitant knows what I'm talking about. Moving in with her boyfriend became Decorating...shabby chic vs. black and white:

Well the B.F. has black and white photos of James Dean, Marilyn, Audrey and Miles Davis which cost him a bundle with custom framing. When we first moved in, I really liked them and thought we could incorporate them into our new living space. I don't know what I think now. I'm thinking they are more rec-roomish than living areaish. I really don't like the one of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and he wants to hang it in the dining room. So, I tell the B.F. this and he offers to give me the Marilyn picture to put in my room to shut me up. It doesn't work.

Now, I'm voting for the black & white custom framed photos over the shabby chic, clearly. Perhaps they can solve their problem by just sending them to me?

Alex May calls this: Decor wars: interior desecration worth fighting about (interesting comment thread on this one,too):

Living on your own must be bliss. After all, it's hard to have a decor war with yourself.

Decor wars are a regular affliction in many households, particularly mine. My husband likes indigeneous art. I hate it. Husband also has a peculiar fondness for dusty Ganesha statues. I don't.

Now, she's in Australia. In Los Angeles, it's not Ganesha statutes you have to watch out for (although, btw, totally cool), it's action figures. You simply can't tell by looking at a person that they own every Transformer and multiple Buffy figurines. It's best to see someone's apartment as soon as possible to avoid any nasty surprises - wherever and whatever your line is.

It's like Nicole Spiridakis says on Decorating for Two; Moving in with someone means having to mesh your tastes.

One night, my boyfriend came home flushed and triumphant. He lugged a white bookshelf that had seen better days in an Ikea showroom long before being unceremoniously dumped on the streets of our Western Addition neighborhood.

"This will go perfectly against that bare wall!" he said happily, as I looked with disdain at its rickety shelves.

Or maybe you're not sure if you fit into your new co-habitation. And maybe you're struggling with what to take with you and what to get rid of. BlogHer's Kristy from She Just Walks Around With It recently moved into a new loft apartment with her boyfriend. While packing she blogged And So It Begins...

The problem is that I now have a stronger-than-is-maybe-psychologically-sound emotional attachment to some of the things that I do own. Especially those things that came from a long time ago. Thus, I tend to make very odd moving decisions. Ex: I have a great coffee machine, but it's not as great as Ish's and it's big and bulky and so I'm giving it away, even though it's in perfect condition. Whereas I have a navy blue sweatshirt that I got at the GAP for my 12th birthday that is all but un-wearable for its holes, etc. and I am 100% unwilling to part with it...

So how do I even start, knowing that I'm strangely sentimental about things like 20-year-old-sweatshirts and at the same time, too lazy to bother moving my "nice" things?

...And while we're at it, I'm happy to get advice on What To Do If Your Apartment Is Entirely Cooler Than You Are.

And finally, from Mary of The Odegaard baby: in progress blogs The Story of the Nursery:

Then came the decision: what would our theme be? As Matt bemoaned the fact that no one makes baby bedding in a snake or spider theme, I began the tedious process of weighing the options. After much internal deliberation that Matt probably has no idea I went through, I/we decided on farm animals.

[Disclaimer: The I/we construction used represents the fact that I made the decision and Matt agreed. In the realm of baby bedding decisions, I think we both prefer it that way!]

The tagline on her blog is, "Coming mid-summer 2008 to a family near you...Baby Girl Odegaard! Help us get ready to welcome her!"  So tune in now for all the baby prep action.

And remember, even after that initial step into cohabitation, the joy of joint decoration goes on and on and on and on...


Contributing editor Liz Rizzo also blogs at Everyday Goddess.

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