Cohabiting Styles – Couples Design Tips


Cohabiting with your SO is a significant milestone in any relationship and, it comes with a host of exciting new changes and challenges.

Whether you and your SO have entirely different styles, budget ideas, or you are drawn to multiple style influences. Designing a space as a couple doesn’t have to be a challenge.

This may understandably cause some anxiety, but I have great news for you. Creating a space with cohabiting styles that fits your budget is perfectly possible. 

Here are a few of my go-to tips for mixing styles peacefully and create a space you both love.

Social Squares

1. Set the Details.

A good starting point for designing a shared space is a conversation. Before you get to the part where you talk about your tastes and design preferences, a general discussion about what you value in your home is more useful. Consider addressing questions such as:

  • What do you want to use the room for?
  • What are your needs and drawbacks?
  • Where are you willing to compromise?
  • What is your design budget, and how will you split the costs?

It’s all about establishing common ground on general questions before you start shopping. Once you have a shared vision of your space, it will be much easier to choose the style and create a room, you both love.

2. The Style Talk.

Once again, I find it helpful to talk about the big picture before getting lost in the details. Have a more style-centric conversation where you focus on what you like, what you don’t like, and what you want to bring in your cohabited home. Some helpful questions might include.

  • What styles of furniture do you like the most?
  • What colors do you like (and which ones do you want to live with)?
  • Are there any materials you like?

Your answers should be influenced by what you have set as a common goal for your space. For example, do you want to be able to eat lunch in the living room? Maybe you don’t want to use the white sofa.

3. Blending Creates Balance.

The first thing I recommend to couples is to take my Design Quiz together. Understanding each other’s tastes can help you think about how to merge them into one look.

Is your style glamorous, but he is minimalist? Maybe you stick to a minimal color palette but play with more glamorous materials, such as velvet and gold.

It’s essential to find a common thread between both styles so that everything flows. Figure out an element that you can carry through your design, such as a color palette or texture, to create a dimensional yet cohesive look.

4. Find Out Who Cares The Most.

It’s not surprising that one person in the relationship assumes the role of “lead designer” in most cases. While this may not be the case for every couple, there is something to be said for the “divide and conquer” approach.

Consider taking a piecemeal approach, and look at the individual items you need to purchase and ask, “Who cares more?” While it may seem silly, it can be an excellent way to conserve your energy for the things that matter most to you and not sweat the small stuff.

5. Show them, Don’t Tell.

Sometimes, the best way to convince your significant other that a particular style or item will look good in your home is to show them.

Many clients are thrilled to finally try something new in their homes after showing their partner a design plan of how a new coffee table, bold sofa, or different layout would look in their space.

Visualizing your ideas can help you feel more confident in your design choices, which helps alleviate making significant purchases.



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