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Tips for merging design styles

Kelli Uhrich is a busy writer and active career woman from Phoenix, Arizona. When she's not writing, she enjoys diving into hands-on projects, reading and blogging. To connect with Kelli, visit her blog, A Happy Place Called Home or Tw...

Home decorating tips for couples

You’re a traditional girl, he’s a modern guy, and when it comes to your home you rarely see eye-to-eye. Before you turn your differences into a full-blown design battle, consider merging your preferences to create a style that’s all your own. Need help? These five tips will get you on your way to an eclectic look you both will love!

Couple with paint samples

Talk it out

First, each of you should understand what it is about your design style that you really love. Is it the curvy lines, or the deep color-tones from the traditional style that suits your fancy? Or perhaps, the exposed brick and concrete floors of urban-style design make you giddy. Whatever it is, talk it out with one another. Take some time to browse through magazines and discuss why you like the images you point out. Understanding your own design preferences, as well as your partners, will give you clear direction when it comes time to plan your space.

Plan before you buy

Just because you've learned exactly what your preferences are, doesn't mean it's time to run to the nearest retailer. Before you invest your dollars into your space, make a design plan. Since most retailers have the option for online browsing, visit the websites of your favorite stores for some virtual window shopping. Clip images of items you love and group them together to create a collage. This will help you visualize what the space will look like; plus, you'll find it's much easier to exchange items in-and-out to create a look that speaks to both your tastes.

Seen here:

  1. Homedecorators.com, Argonne Rug, 5'x8', $199.00
  2. Ikea, Karlstad Corner Sofa, Sivik Beige,  $899.00
  3. World Market, Jolie Candlestick Floor Lamp, $99.99
  4. Crate & Barrel, Dauphine Table, $199.00
  5. Z Gallerie, Mitoni Panels, White, $69.95
  6. Crate & Barrel, Bronze Terrarium, $59.95
  7. Ikea, YRSNO Dish, $7.99
  8. Lands End, Lattice Pillow Cover ($44.50), Decorative Leaf Pillow Cover ($14.99)
  9. CB2.com, Element Coffee Table, $399.00

Choose your battles

When merging styles, you'll each need to compromise. Choose your battles wisely. It might mean you give up ground when it comes to that gorgeous rug so you can have the upholstered sofa. Or maybe, you'll accept that safe wall color because you know you can spice things up with accessories.

To avoid heartbreak, try not to be set on one particular item; instead, visualize each piece in the grand scheme of things. You'll need to find solutions you both can agree on when it comes to larger furniture pieces, but don't sweat it when it comes to accessory items. Pillows, throws, rugs, and artwork can easily be changed out down the road if needed.

Ask for help

If you find the challenges to be too much, don't be afraid to ask for help from the professionals. Many furniture retailers offer complimentary design services with purchase, so ask your retailer what services are available to you.

When bringing in help, be honest with your designer when it comes to your preferences. They'll need to get a clear picture of what you both love. Discuss any questions or concerns you may have throughout the process so your designer can create solutions before the big reveal.

Create a style of your own

The best tip for merging design styles is to have fun with it! Instead of dreading the challenges that may arise, embrace the idea of creating your own style. Add personal touches throughout the space that speak to your individual personalities and interests. Choose finishes, colors, and accessories that are interesting and exciting. Think outside the box, and celebrate your unique eclectic style. No one else will have a room like yours, so what's not to love?

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