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  • Writer's pictureMike Roberts

Yours, Mine and Ours: Combining Furnishings With Your Partner

You’ve found your soulmate, and the two of you are moving in together. There’s just one problem: You and your new spouse or partner get along famously, but your belongings don’t. How can you combine your households to create a place that feels like home to both of you? Here are some tips for combining furnishings with your partner.

Good practice in compromising

It’s important to approach the process of combining households with your partner as an exercise in compromise. Treat your partner and his or her furnishings with respect, and the process of merging your homes can strengthen your relationship.

Combining households may be easier if you move to an entirely new space. That way, neither person will feel like they’re moving into someone else’s home.

Where to begin combining furnishings

The first step in combining furnishings with your partner is for each of you to reduce the number of pieces you are bringing to the space. Unless your combined home is a mansion, you won’t have room for everything. Give away, sell or toss as much as you can. Each person should strive to give away roughly equal amounts, so neither partner feels they’ve made more of a sacrifice.

Next, make a list of the furnishings you need. Then “shop” your belongings to find pieces that meet those needs. Remember that not everything has to match. Pull from each person’s style to create an eclectic space where both of you feel at home.

Your new space won’t have room for all of your accessories, artwork and the like, so let each person choose their favorites. You can put the others in storage if you’re not ready to part with them.

Smoothing rough spots

Here are some tips for keeping everyone happy when combining furnishings with your partner.

  • Buy some new items you like to make your place feel like you jointly designed it.

  • If you care little about some aspect of your home’s design, such as artwork, but it matters a lot to your partner, let him or her make all the decisions in that area.

  • Make sure to keep a few favorites of each person. Remember, you can upholster or paint pieces to help them blend better in the new space.

  • Give each person a space they can design exactly how they want.

  • Don’t make a focal point out of items that one person loves but the other isn’t crazy about.

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