Living Together for the First Time? Here’s How to Combine Interior Design Styles

Living Together for the First Time? Here's How to Combine Interior Design Styles

Moving in with a partner is exciting. However, if you both have tons of furniture and strong interior design styles, it can also be somewhat of a challenge. If you’re wondering how to combine interior design styles with your partner or spouse, keep reading. We’ll show you what you need to do to create a style that feels harmonious and true to you both.

Here’s how to combine interior design styles like a pro

1. Start by communicating about your wants and needs.

Like any good compromise, combining interior design styles starts with communicating your individual wants and needs. Odds are that both of you will have pieces that are important to you and that you want to keep in your new home. However, your partner won’t be able to know which pieces they are or why they are important unless you make a point of sharing that information with them.

With that in mind, we recommend sitting down and having a conversation with your partner before you start designing. If possible, both of you may want to bring examples of designs that you love and you should also be prepared to talk about which pieces you want to keep and which you’re willing to give away.

Once you’re on the same page about the essential elements of your design, you can start the process of combining your two separate styles.

2. Follow the 80/20 rule.

In interior design, the 80/20 rule is about creating balance. The rule says that, when you’re combining two design styles, one style should take on a primary role, while the other one should fulfill more of a supporting role. Essentially, you should aim to have 80% of the space designed in one style and the remaining 20% in the other.

For example, you could have 80% of the space filled with sleek, modern furniture and done up with a neutral color palette while the other 20% is dedicated to bolder style. In this instance, you could add color and pattern to the space through your accents and decor pieces.

3. Don’t shy away from contrast.

When combining styles, it’s important not to shy away from contrast. After all, contrast is an essential element in interior design. It adds visual interest to the room and makes the design feel more complex. No room would be complete without it.

To that end, if you and your partner have contrasting aesthetics, you may be able to use that to your advantage. For instance, you could combine a traditional shaker table with more modern dining chairs. Alternatively, you could also contrast a neutral living room set with a boldly patterned accent chair.

That said, with contrast, it’s important to remember that it is possible to have too much of a good thing. After you put your design together, be sure to take a step back and evaluate the room as a whole. If the room looks too busy, don’t be afraid to edit down the contrast until the design makes more sense.

4. Embrace eclectic design.

If neither you nor your partner has strong opinions about what interior design style you love, consider giving your space an eclectic aesthetic. At its core, eclectic design is not characterized by any formal rules. Rather, it refers to the mixing and matching of different design styles that come together in a cohesive look.

If you’re going to try for eclectic design, start with a common color palette. Once you have the pallette set, feel free to play with patterns, textures, and materials. This design style is all about creating contrast in your finished space.

5. Remember to include a few common threads.

Lastly, in every design, you’re going to want to include a few common threads. These can be colors, patterns, or smaller items like a specific type of wall art. However, regardless of what you choose, know that these pieces play a key role in your design as a whole. Put simply, they tie the rooms of your home together and make sure that they make sense of the unit.

Do your best find common ground between your two styles to make those elements your common thread. For example, both modern design and Scandinavian design include clean lines. If you were finding those two design styles, you would want to highlight those similarities.

The bottom line on combining interior design styles

At the end of the day, combining interior design styles is about compromise. As long as you and your partner come up with a design that you’re happy with, that’s all that matters. Additionally, if you really can’t come to a compromise on how your home should look, know that there is no harm in starting fresh.

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By Tara Mastroeni / April 22nd, 2022 / Categories: / Tags:

Tara Mastroeni

Tara Mastroeni is a real estate and personal finance writer. She has a BFA in Media Production from Emerson College. Her work has been published on websites such as Forbes, Business Insider, and The Motley Fool. She has also been featured as a subject matter expert on Innovators with Jane King and the American Trends podcast. Find her at TMRealEstateWriter.com or on Twitter at @TaraMastroeni.