New beau? Moving in together? Whether this is your first time cohabiting or your fourth, there are some important questions to ask yourself as you plan your dream home. So what do you need to discuss before you take the plunge to live together?
Rather than waiting to be all settled in, it’s a great idea to think about your interior design before the moving truck even pulls up. For example, the furniture each person brings to the relationship will have a huge impact on the environment. Now is a good time to decide who has the better sofa, and whose can be donated.
Or maybe you should start fresh. The furniture that worked in your former homes may not look right in your new space. The color, fabric, dimensions, wear and tear – they all contribute to the atmosphere of a space, and new furniture can provide a much needed infusion of energy. It will also be furniture that you chose together, and that means it will represent both of you.
It can be tempting to hold onto old things sentimentally, but it is difficult to make ill fitting pieces work in a space for which they’re not really suited. It’s one thing to keep a cherished antique, reupholster it and make it a key element to your new home. It’s quite another to hang onto furniture that is quirky and beloved, but belongs to a former era in your life.
When combining homes, deciding what to keep and what to replace is a great conversation to have up front. This is your chance to share in the creation of something new and special.
It cannot be understated how much our surroundings affect our mood. Just go to the DMV* if you don’t believe me! Interior design is about so much more than functionality. And you could argue – I will argue – that the mental health of a room’s occupants connotes a high level of functionality. Your home can inspire you every day, and good design is the key.
*In fairness, I’m sure there are some pleasant and attractive DMV’s out there; I just haven’t visited one.
What principles do you and your partner value most? It may be that you both care deeply about environmental issues, and would like your home to be as green as possible. Maybe you are committed to health and wellness, so space devoted to exercise and meditation are key. One or both of you may have allergies and other chemical sensitivities, so the materials you choose will be of great importance, such as what sort of foam is in your mattress.
Whatever your individual and shared preferences are, you can channel this into your home design.
You are embarking on a new phase of life together, and there will never be a better time to set yourself up for success. Talking to each other and finding out what your key needs and desires are for your lifestyle can bring great inspiration. And, as hard as it can be, talking about your differences now can prevent problems later.
Whatever differences exist between you, they don’t need to derail your harmony. In fact, they can be opportunities for innovation in your home design. Sometimes that involves finding a happy medium between two visual styles. Sometimes it means each person having authority over different aspects of your home. However you interpret it, take the psychology of your relationship and apply it to design.
Shine a light on who you are, what you hope to accomplish together and what your vision is for a shared home life, not just now but through the coming years.