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Moving in Together Means Merging Your Interior Decor Styles

04/11/2015 09:15 EDT | Updated 06/11/2015 05:59 EDT
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Moving in together is great: you have someone to share your life with -- not to mention splitting the bills! Sharing your space though? Not always so easy. When it's time to mix two styles together, here are some tips for creating a decor scheme that everyone can not only live with, but love!

Start with a Purge

Besides making the physical process of moving easier, starting by cutting back (especially on decorative clutter) will help make a decor merge so much smoother. So it's key to only bring your best pieces with you. If you wouldn't stick up for an item to be used or displayed, it's probably time to let it go.

Try: Taking any items you can't agree on and ranking them in order from must-stay to gotta-go. This will help reveal which items you each feel the strongest about so you can compromise where it counts.

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Hide in Plain Sight

If one of you loves a slick flat-screen and the other prefers to keep electronics hidden, try encapsulating the TV within a shelving unit, surrounded by more decorative objects. Visually the TV won't stand out like a sore thumb when turned off, but it'll still be easily accessed. (I can't help when it's time to fight over the remote, but if you browse my Yanic Simard Selected accessory collection, you'll find sleek storage boxes for tucking them away.)

Try: Using open shelving to surround the screen while keeping the TV safely anchored directly to the wall.

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A decorative storage box from Yanic Simard Selected

Colour Co-ordinate

To help two disparate colour schemes come together, choose one hue to dominate each room, and let the others become an accent. For example, if you have a blue chair and a red sofa, you can help these two fit together by repeating one shade (usually the tamer colour) in other areas to establish dominance -- in this example, try a blue paint colour, or navy cushions and accessories, to let blue become the anchor of the room.

Try: Searching on blogs and in magazines for a room with those colours together, and notice the neutrals used to connect them.

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Colour Co-ordinate Part Two

If your newly shared belongings are too colourful to form a simple two-or-three-hue palette, white, grey and light neutrals are your key to tying the look together. By mixing fresh neutrals with a playful variety of hues, you can create a look where no one colour dominates or clashes.

Try: Using a painting for inspiration of what items to feature or hide away, or even create one yourself with paint samples applied in simple stripes or wild splatters.

Go to a Gallery

Or, actually, bring a gallery home! Gallery walls remain a strong, fun trend, so take advantage and mix different pieces of art and objects together on one wall for an artistic statement that reflects both of your passions.

Try: Tying the pieces together with matching frames for a more streamlined look -- painting each out to a matching white or black is an easy DIY option.

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Interior by TIDG

Embrace Asymmetry

Mixing the best of two furniture worlds might result in combining some pieces that don't "match," but this can add to the beauty, interest and personality of a space by creating playful asymmetry. Anchor a grouping with a central object like a bed or sofa, and let smaller pieces like tables and lamps play against each other in eclectic styles.

Try: Two different pieces as nightstands (like a side table and a chair, or a dresser and a desk).

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Interior by TIDG

Mix Lace and Leather

To balance masculine and feminine energies (a good strategy for any space regardless), balance heavy anchor pieces like leather lounge chairs, wooden chests, and moody rugs with lighter elements like sheer curtains, sparkling lights, and pretty pillows.

Try: Keeping the masculine edge mostly lower to the ground, and feminine appeal up on the walls and ceiling, for a visual balance of heavy and light that our eyes automatically "get."

Share Control

Sometimes if styles just don't match, a good option is to give each person at least one space where one can make all the decisions. That way each of you maintains a sense of control, and not every decision turns into a total compromise where nobody is satisfied.

Try: Letting one person decorate the bedroom while the other styles the den or bathroom (so everyone has one calm space just the way they like it).

Got a shared space success story? Let me know on Twitter or Instagram (@yanicsimard), and visit tidg.ca/interiors for more design inspiration!

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