Relationships are all about compromise—especially when it comes to the big decisions like how your home looks. When decorating your new home, the goal should be to create a space that everyone feels comfortable in. 

Here are a few of our suggestions on how to make sure everyone involved is happy with the household’s interior design decisions. Trust us. It really is possible!

1. Shop together
To make sure that everyone feels equally included in the design decisions, don’t go shopping for big-ticket items without the other party in tow. Try to make choosing the perfect sofa a fun afternoon activity rather than a stressful shopping trip.

2. Talk about what stays and goes
If this is your first time moving in together, you will likely both be bringing mismatched pieces into a new space. Rather than telling your partner how outdated their cracked leather sofa is or how stuffy their pink chaise feels, talk about why these pieces are significant. Sometimes material things mean a lot more than we realize—no matter how old and tattered.

3. Donate and start fresh
If sorting through each other’s belongings is a challenge you don’t want to dive into, donate it and start fresh! Choosing entirely new pieces together allows for a brand new interior style instead of merging two that might not mesh well.

4. Brainstorm together
Your styles might clash but it’s important to find common ground. Spend some time collecting images of spaces you love and then try to find the commonality between your choices. Choose styles that work together in your photos and use those as guidelines while shopping.

5. Clearly define your ideas
Let’s face it—most discrepancies are just avoidable misunderstandings. Be clear when describing your dream home and your partner will be able to envision your ideas.

For example, if you say you would love crisp whites in your bedroom, your partner may think it is uncomfortable. Instead, explain that whites can be soft, cozy and inviting so that everyone is on the same page.

6. Give and take
Relationships are about give and take to find a balance—not struggling with extremes. If he doesn’t like the idea of pink, but you’re dying for that pop of colour, find a balance in a more neutral version of pink. Or use pink as an accent colour against a neutral backdrop.

7. Not everyone needs to be involved all the time
Small decisions—like the colour of your dish towels or where to place the plants often don’t need a second opinion. When we ask for an opinion on unimportant decisions, we are setting ourselves up for a potential argument.

For example, your partner might not care what colour the dish towels are but they form an opinion the second you ask. Then it becomes a debate of principle, rather than because they are personally attached to blue versus yellow dish towels. Instead, make small decisions separately and you will both probably be happier with the result.

8. Explain why you want to decorate
For some couples, the desire to decorate is not equally balanced. If your spouse could care less about what your house looks like, the best plan of action starts with talking about it. Explain why decorating is so important to you. If they understand your reasoning, they are more likely to jump in the car with you to buy from IKEA.

9. Incorporate their passions
If you live with a hobbyist, they may have several materials, instruments or tools lying around their space. Instead of focusing on the mess, offer to help them design around their passions. Organize tools in beautiful chests of drawers. Display instruments like wall hangings. Get creative!

10. Default to neutral
If your opinions lie on opposite ends of the spectrum, default to neutral so no one is unhappy. Everybody wins because nobody wins!

Most importantly, enjoy the process. Make it personal. Decorating your new home should be an exciting time! If any problems arise, remember the bigger picture - your relationship is worth more than a disagreement over what colour you want to paint your foyer.