Mixing and Mingling Two Separate Households: How to Not Only Survive It….but ENJOY it!

She leaves half-full cups of cold coffee everywhere. He seems to be allergic to putting his dirty socks in hamper and prefers they are left in cushions of the sofa and on the floor…  It’s no secret when you live with someone, disagreements, occasional arguments and stolen covers on cold nights are par for the course.  So it stands to reason it might be a bit of a challenge  learning to love his ‘favorite’ black sofa or understanding her need for 25  decorative pillows on the bed.
So how do newly-cohabiting couples create a home that combines  the items they already own and love (and some the other does not;-)  to create a household they each love coming home to?
Joining Forces
Moving in together, whether it’s before or after getting married, is an exciting–yet  huge change. Whether you have searched for your dream house together or one moves in with the other its now time to think about the ‘place to live’ for one being  redesigned as a ‘home’ for two.  To make the new ‘roomie’ feel comfortable at home, a merged household should reflect both people, not just the one who’s lived there all along or who has a “better sense of style.”  The goal should be to create a  freshly combined setting telling  a story that reflects two people’s different-yet-coalesced vision.   So…how do you do that?  One way is to  create an ‘inspiration board’  on sites such as Pinterest so you can each see the other’s preferences and where you might overlap stylistically and begin from there.
However,  for us, when it came time for my hubby and I to do the actual ‘decorating’ we eventually joined forces with a pro who could act in both of our best interests.  Jacqueline Wheeler, of  Jacqueline Wheeler Interiors, discussed our individuals styles and preferences with us.  She learned of our need to have a  very “comfortable”–yet “stylish” home. (Guess who provided which adjective:-)   ….It also needed to be a little “glamorous” and “pet-friendly.”
‘But we can handle this on our own…’
For us, though we had many items we loved (And a few we each didn’t) –pulling it all together in a fashion that told our story was a bit more challenging.   A lot of couples don’t think of how hard it is to integrate a new person into an already-existing home or how to negotiate what’s staying and what has to go. It’s not as easy as you may think it is to say, “That plaid  sofa you love so dearly has to go,” to the person you’re starting a life with. Hiring a re-designer  means you’ll automatically get a mediator also, one who’ll know how to talk to ‘dueling’ couples.  (Jacqui also happened to be  ‘just our style’ in that she is also what I woudl refer to as ‘design for real people.’  We had no idea we could actually afford a designer!)
Two Become One
After learning a bit about us/our style and seeing our inspiration boards–Jacqui then kicked us out!  Yep–she made us leave the house for the day.  (Let’s just say–for a a type-A girl like me (aka: control freak) having no idea what was about to happen in our home was a bit unsettling. 🙂  She then went to work selecting items from those that already existed and arranging them in an updated (and better!) fashion.  She also purchased additional items based on our agreed upon budget to complete the look.
We came home to find the rooms GORGEOUS!  (with my favorite throw on the sofa/his favorite books on the table..OUR vacation/dog photos framed and hung in a gallery wall.  …it really does tell ‘our story.’ (and saved us the possible  ‘battles’ of tossing some of the ‘not-so-fitting items which we can now sell or donate:-)   I will definitely post images of our home soon…but in the meantime I will leave you with an example of a style board created to illustrate the process. (for those of you attending Soiree: A Swanky Little Bridal Event on Feb. 20       …rumor has it some lucky folks may receive a design consult gift certificate in their swag bag;-)




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