Moving in together: How to successfully combine different interiors styles
May 16, 2018
When two people move in together, whether just friends or partners, it can be difficult trying to work out how to combine different interiors styles without falling out! Here at Decology we have helped more than a few couples find their combined style, and in doing so, we’ve developed a method (the bastard child of interior design and couple’s counselling!) that can guide you through the process.
Rooms or homes that don’t combine styles well simply feel unfinished and neither of you will ever feel comfortable and happy in them.
So, if you’re trying to successfully combine styles with a new housemate or partner, follow our failsafe method to achieving a happy (and stylish) home…
Step 1 – Room for two
Define the function the room. Everything in the room needs to fulfil a function. Is it a socialising space or a relaxing haven? Is it living, dining, sleeping or working? You cannot just stuff two lives’ worth of furniture and homewares into one space. Make a list of your combined furniture and accessories that meet that function. The rest is on the “ditch list”. As with everything in a partnership, you will have to compromise on some items.
Step 2 – Create a welcoming space
- Agree on the room’s feel – no mood swings allowed! Every room has a mood. Do you want it to be upbeat, energetic and vibrant, or chilled and relaxed? Whatever décor and style you choose to mix, make sure it reflects a similar mood in the room; otherwise it will never feel right and you’ll never feel happy in it.
- Find a common colour. Aside from a mutual mood, find a common colour scheme and keep it consistent. This is even more successful if the colour flow continues throughout the house. Keep the main wall colours the same, but add a wall of different colour. If your furniture and accessories are from different styles, make sure they’re from the same colour palette.
- Don’t be afraid to mix old with new. It’s perfectly fine to mix old and new styles and it can work really well. A traditional building can look great with modern style inside and new apartments can equally look lovely with a more traditional interiors style, as long as it’s not overly contrived. Contemporary furniture and accessories can sit happily with more old-fashioned pieces – it’s simply a case of balance.
Step 3 – Assess your stuff
- Evaluate every piece for use and fit. Make a list of every piece of furniture that you want to include in the space and evaluate each and every one to make sure everything is useful and fits your chosen ‘feel’. You can take pictures of your room, furniture and colours… Visualise it like a mood board and see what fits and what doesn’t…this is a good way to assess the overall look…
- Reserve your veto rights. You both have to love every item. So, if there’s a piece of furniture that one of you cannot stand, then for the sake of harmony, don’t include it in your (joint) room!
- Keep furniture to the same scale and visual weight. When you’re combining furniture styles, try to keep to a similar scale and visual weight. Don’t mix massive chunky chairs with more delicate tables. A sense of scale also means choosing furniture that’s appropriately-sized for the room. Your enormous oak four-poster may have looked ok in your breezy high-ceilinged bedroom at your parents’ house, but it will completely overwhelm your Shoreditch love nest!
- Be consistent in shape and form. Keeping consistency of shapes is also important for interior harmony. It’s fine to combine different styles of furniture, but rigid boxy structures don’t go with more curvy outlines, so choose pieces that have similar contours.
Step 4 – Mind the Gap
Only shop to fill the gaps. Only once you’ve been through all the points above and agreed on the furniture and accessories that are staying, you may shop for more items to fill in any gaps…However, the rule is that you both need to love anything new that goes into the room.
Stick to these simple interiors rules and you can live in perfect interiors harmony!
Have a meander through our amazing Lookbook for inspirational style boards. Find a style you BOTH love, then adapt it to your own space.