Moving in with a significant other can be simultaneously thrilling and daunting. Once the joy of getting to spend every waking (and sleeping) moment with your loved one wears off, you feel the reality that you’re going to have to find a harmonious way to combine your belongings and design styles. “Even if your tastes and choices are dramatically different, don’t panic, I’ve got you covered,” HGTV design pro and maker J. Pickens told POPSUGAR. “Trust me — even the greats don’t see eye to eye on all, but compromise and communication are key. Follow my tips for the task of moving in together and you’ll be in it for the long haul.”
Check out J.’s must-read tips to managing moving in together below, then get to packing!
1. Grow Up Your Design
“Use this as an opportunity to ‘mature your surroundings.’ It’s a great time to box up the remnants of your single life, man-cave leftovers, and girlie accessories.”
2. Start With a Clean Slate
“Move into a new space or start fresh in a current space — it is important to start with a clean slate. You are building this new phase of your relationship together and it is a great opportunity to create and collect as a couple.”
3. Share Your Design Inspirations
“Get inspired — pop that Champagne and pull up your favorite inspiration images.” We recommend creating a private Pinterest board together where you can each share products and images you love.
4. Assess Your Needs
“Take an inventory of what you both have and asses what pieces and items you want to keep and make a list of what you need.” Being thoughtful and deliberate about it will save you time and money.
5. Make It Personal
“Let your home tell your story, so choose pieces that are meaningful to both of you. Frame pictures and choose mementos that matter.”
6. Big Pieces
“Find pieces that anchor the room.” A great sofa or kitchen table where you can come together and entertain guests is a perfect place to start.
7. Create a New, Unique Style
“Don’t blend styles! Create your own.” Change your mindset — and save yourself the fight over which partner’s style to decorate with — by creating a new style you both love.
8. Choose a Color Palette
“Work with a consistent color palette — the color palette can unify the room if different styles are present.”
9. Balance Both Design Styles
Find a ways to include design pieces and styles you both love. “Create balance — if he likes cold materials, balance it with warm colors.”
10. Go Big on Lighting
“Choose lamps, sconces, and ceiling lights to brighten a room.”
11. Pick Out Linens Together
Fresh linens will start your cohabitation off on the right foot. “Choose bedding and bath linens that you both love.”
12. Hold Off on the Pet
“If you don’t have one already, wait on the pet. Get into a lifestyle routine before bringing anyone else into your environment.”
13. Save For a Dream Item Together
“Choose an aspirational piece together that you can save up for and buy later.” Having a shared home goal will help solidify your joint style vision while ultimately giving you a piece of furniture you both cherish in your home.