Do you live alone?  If you do, you can count on having full control over the style and decor of your space.  If you don’t plan to stay alone, you may want to stick around for this post, cause you’ll need to learn about blending.

We each have our own unique set of things we love and things we hate.
Things we can live with and things we want to live with.
Things we can’t live without.
When combining two or more sets of these, sometimes all it takes is some communication and understanding of another point of view to help things come together.
 Even though you may think the other people in your home don’t care, they really probably do, whether they realize it or not.  Many times it is one partner who feels the need to change things up, and the other may seem not to care. Whether you and your people are blending a home, remodeling, or building from scratch, everyone needs to have a say.

My husband and I built our house together.

We loved the process, but it wasn’t always easy.

Since I am a designer and he’s a CPA, I thought that surely I would be making the majority of decisions.  I was wrong!  He had very definite ideas about what he wanted to live with.  There were some things that I loved that he hated.  There were some things he wanted that I couldn’t live with.

We had to communicate and compromise.  It took some adjustment and some concessions.  There were things he introduced me to that I never would have considered, but since they were important to him, we made it work… and vice versa.   It was a loving journey of discovery of ourselves, each other and the life we were building together;  an intense exercise in combining and appreciating our different points of view.

Following are some tips to help the process of understanding and collaborating on your space so everyone is happy.

Each person with a stake in what changes will be made, or what space will be created, do the following (this includes kids, too!):

  • Make a list of what he or she likes and dislikes, as it pertains to the living spaceInclude big dreams and little details.
  • Pull tears from magazines, or save images on Houzz.  Note what they like and why.
  • Take time each week to sit down and review each others images and lists. Talk it out and understand each person’s perspective.
Differing tastes can be mixed quite beautifully.
My tastes run more eclectic, so although I can I find spaces decorated in a solid style beautiful, I much prefer the interesting irregularity and unexpected asymmetry of a more incongruous vibe. My husband tends to like things more symmetrical with soothing and predictable patterns.  He might take a little while to get used to (and even grow to like!) some of the more unexpected things I do, but others he will never like, so I will either keep them to my personal space, or try something else that we both can appreciate..
If you are a couple who has very strong opinions one way or another that you are struggling to come to agreement on, a good compromise can be to give each person a room they can have overriding say over.  Maybe it’s a room that one doesn’t spend a lot of time in, or that the other really loves.
Everyone in your household should feel heard and represented.
Changing your environment can be an emotional experience!  It can also be exhilarating, and tons of fun.  Learn about and cherish each family member’s unique point of view, and everyone will be happy with the results!  Create a space that reflects who you are as a couple or family.  A recent piece at Apartment Therapy delves into how to have potentially touchy conversations where taste is involved!
 I still don’t have my farmhouse sink, and my husband doesn’t have his burgundy leather recliner, but I think those will be coming in a future remodel.  Our son does not have the slide from his room to the main level, but we are considering a ladder down the laundry chute (its the full width of a closet between the floors).  Take everything into consideration, modify if you can, and you don’t have to do everything at once.  Make a wish list for each person of the things you want to do in your home when you can.
If the process or the idea of blending stresses you out, consider working with a coach or a designer who can help you nail down the options and have a coherent set of ideas and direction to either execute yourself, or provide a designer.

Everyone in the household should feel heard and represented.


I help clients work through and get a clear picture of what they want their home to be, how they want it to feel to support the goals and happiness of everyone who lives there.

Have you had experience with blending your taste and style with a loved one?  I’d love to hear about it and any strategies you used to make it work in the comments below!


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