How to Decorate with Your Significant Other

You all ever move in with your SO? Frankly, this Ape didn’t think he would anytime soon (What?? It’s a scary idea!). But get this— about three months ago, I moved in with my girlfriend, Rachel. As is the case with anyone moving in together, there’s a lot of stuff to discuss before committing to the decision (you all talk about this stuff, right??). How your place is (or should be) decorated is one of these things. Rachel and I are both creatives, and we’re both marketers by trade— so you can imagine the back-n-forth we’ve had when it comes to decorating. We don’t always agree on the aesthetic value of something (*cough* freaking awesome accent chair!), but there are some things I’ve noticed that seem to have helped us along the way.

1. Communication

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Well, this is actually key across the board no matter the topic. And it’s no exception here. Before moving in together, we sat down to specifically talk about how we each imagined the place would look. I wanted this modern idea of Mad Men with Kid Robot toys and nice car frames sprinkled in between, and some plants. She wanted what seemed like a black and white film with gold accents, and plants sprinkled in between. You have to give up some things...those rubber duckies won’t always be with you :(. You have to look at it like this, though— you learn what’s essential to your life, and what you can live without.

2. Honesty

Being honest to your SO is just as important as being honest with yourself. Be honest about what you like and don’t. It’s okay to compromise, but make sure you’re both being heard (and that you’re both listening, duh.) A lot of the time, you’ll find a nice middle ground.

3. Consistency

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Once you’ve got an honest idea of what you like, stay consistent. Don’t be modern industrial one day, and 70’s Show couch the next. We mean consistency in communication, too. Rachel and I started the conversation when we were only thinking about moving in together, and we still sit down and flip through all sorts of apartment stuff (she’s adding pillows to carts for me to look at as I write this) to this day.

4. Patience

Giving your apartment your ideal aesthetic is a journey. Don’t sprint through the damn thing. Even if you have the money to drop, it helps to decorate in sections— this allows you to pivot if necessary. Have patience with each other, too. It might take time to figure out your collective aesthetic, but through communication, honesty, and consistency it’s totally doable.

5. Get Organized

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Between Amazon and Pinterest, technology has really helped the process of building our collective aesthetic. Early on, Rachel put together a Pinterest board that included inspiration from each of our desired looks. It helped as a reference when looking at furniture. From this, we put together shared documents on Google Sheets with furniture that we needed/wanted. Next, we started adding stuff to an Amazon wishlist and bookmarking. I couldn’t even tell you how many freaking items we had in there and on the sheet. Finally, it helped a lot that we’ve shopped together for essentially every thing in our apartment. I’m going to go look at pillows now….Check out her post for more detailed information on picking the furniture for your new place.

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Seems simple enough, right? Are you moving in or thinking about moving in with your SO? Don’t hit us up for couples counseling, though. We’re not professionals.

If you're curious, most of our furniture came from Apt2B, Wayfair, Ikea, Urban Outfitters, my dad and I (we made the entertainment stand!), and Living Spaces. Special shout out to Apt2B for our living room. If you haven't already read it, check out our post about 'em.

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