What’s more difficult than designing a huge, empty space and making it pretty? Well, doing it with your partner. Two people with two different decor tastes on one big creative project, adding the itch to get things done fast, and together you have the perfect storm for a relationship.
If you want to avoid this big mess though, you have to learn the art of compromise. Fortunately, there are timeless design principles that would put you in that sweet spot of good aesthetics. Here are some of them.
Mix and match
The best approach to pull this off is the 80/20 rule. Choose which between your different styles would be the “dominant” one, which would be reflected on 80% of the design elements in the room, and the “accent” one, which would be on 20% of the space.
The 80% would cover the walls, flooring, ceilings, furniture and color scheme, while 20% would have the statement pieces of furniture, wall art, lighting fixtures and window treatments. So, if you’re going for the industrial-classic look, for instance, you can match your concrete walls and floors and exposed beams, with candle chandeliers and plantation shutters from Fair Haven, NJ.
Go for clean lines
Clean always wins. It’s pleasing to the eyes, so you and your partner will most likely agree that this is a must-have in your design. How can you reflect clean lines exactly? The key is contrast. A difference in colors or textures can make each element distinct and show clear, smooth transitions between the materials.
You can go for a pitch-black accent wall as your backdrop for a sofa or bed in neutral tones. You can add chair rails and crown molding to define that design element further. Another way you can show off clean lines is by dedicating negative space. Simply put, negative space is a blank, empty area, like a wall or a corner in the room. Not only does this offer rest for people’s eyes, but more importantly, avoid visual clutter that tends to blend edges and materials.
Choose your space
Lastly, the best way to make you and your partner happy about your home design is to assign a room where each of you can be free to make your individual aesthetic decisions. It’s like designing an open-concept space: break up the space and the style.
If your partner chooses the kitchen because it’s their favorite place, let them take the reins in choosing the color scheme and furniture. If you get the bedroom, your partner has to hold back on their design preferences. Here’s the thing though, even if you’d have the license to do whatever you want with your assigned space, make sure that you still reflect the overall theme or style.
Otherwise, you’d have a hodgepodge of aesthetics that just creates confusion from room to room. You don’t have to break your style; you just have to add a few hints of the overall theme to tie the entire home’s design together.
It’s tough to design a home, but even tougher when you’re doing it with a partner. But with these timeless design principles, for sure, you can pull off the art of compromise in this creative project.