Make decisions together
Removing the words yours and mine from your vocabulary can be challenging, but when it comes to your home, always remember you'll share the space together. That means you'll face the task of merging design styles, preferences and ideas but you won't always see eye-to-eye. Even if one of you is less than design savvy, you'll each be happier with your home if you work together as a team. Combine personal styles when possible and create individual zones when not. For example, dedicate a man cave for sports memorabilia or a craft room for feminine colors -- that way, you'll each have a space truly dedicated to the things you love without stepping on each other's toes.
Second hand isn't second best
So now you've got some room to spread out, but stretching your small collection of decor only goes so far. Chances are, the process of buying a home has left you short on cash, which means it's the perfect time for a garage sale shopping spree! Just because something is second hand, doesn't mean it's second best. In fact, you'll likely find one-of-a-kind pieces from Craigslist, Ebay, thrift stores and yard sales that fit within your budget and can easily be refinished to fit your personal tastes.
As the budget allows, begin the process of upgrading your furniture to the pieces you've been eyeing. Because furniture is a large investment, look for timeless pieces that you both will enjoy for a very long time. The Besta media center from Ikea is a great example! Priced at around $580, this versatile piece will add style to your space that can easily be updated over time by changing out accessories.
Make some memories
No matter where life takes you, you'll always remember your very first home -- so be sure to enjoy the journey! Make bold design decisions that make you happy and don't be afraid to experiment with pattern, texture and color. You can even chronicle your decorating adventures through a blog, like John and Sherry Petersik from Young House Love. What began as a kitchen renovation in their first home soon became an extensive archive of decorating adventures they'll never forget!
Make it yours
The best tip for decorating your first place as a couple is to make the space your own. Take time to think about what makes you and your partner unique and incorporate decor that represents who you are. For example, take pictures of your favorite people, places and things to create a portrait gallery wall, or try a DIY art project that incorporates the date you first met. You can also use iron-on decals to create monogrammed pillows with your names or initials, or paint a room in your favorite color. Adding personalized touches throughout your home will remind you of the journey you've taken, and encourage you for the one that's yet to come!
More home decorating ideas for couples
Creating a cozy living room
Tips for merging design styles
Mattress shopping tips