Home Decorating for Two

As M and I prepared to marry and move into our first home, it was important that we got ourselves into the habit of thinking for two. Or more precisely, thinking about the other first. We had both been single for 30 years (over half those years were not a surprise to be single, as we were children, but you get the gist), so we were used to being on our own and being limited only by our own whims. But doing life (well) with another person necessitates modifying our ways of thinking and a willingness to step outside of our self-centric default. Fortunately for us, we wanted to do this for one another, which is a good sign when embarking on a lifelong commitment together.

Our home in particular was a new venture for us both, and it was important to me that our new place reflect our two tastes and personalities. In jest, folks often told M to just give the "little lady" (that would be me...blerg) whatever she wanted as a key to a happy marriage, but there are two of us residing under this roof, and it should feel like home equally to him and me both. I am blessed with a hubby who has great taste, so that kept most home decor conversations pleasant and without incident. We shared what was important to each of us, and used Pinterest to gather inspiration and compare notes, so to speak.

We both honed in on a love for neutrals, mixed with rustic, warm accents, and wanted our place to feel clean and crisp, but still lived-in and personal. Very quickly we realized that it's all about balance, and we committed to taking our time to find the right pieces and stick to our budget. This was not always easy, mind you. We both wanted everything to feel finished within a few months of moving in, but spending a huge chunk of our nest egg on furnishing our 1930s bungalow was thankfully never on the table. Instead, we buckled down and took turns keeping the other in check. It ultimately paid off, I am happy to report, because we have our place nearly furnished less than a year from M moving in (I arrived a few months prior to the wedding), and we scored some great pieces for a song, thanks to patience and team work. (I get super nervous when it comes to spending over $200 on anything, and had it not been for M, we would have ended up with a place full of so-so furniture that would end up on Craig's List within a few months.)

Another great resource for us in collaborating on the style of our home was creating layout and design boards to ensure that we were on the same page if we were shopping separately or came upon an awesome piece to fit our look. M used his math skills (as wifey has none) to help us map out the scale of items we were considering, since we had a unique challenge with our living room. 
I am no interior designer, by any means, but using Power Point
and images from the 'net, I created a design board
to keep us focused and on the same page. 

It's the first room you see when you walk in, setting the tone for the place as a whole, but it's relatively small considering it must function as both a living space and dining area. (We have a small bistro table in our eat-in kitchen, but it was important to us to have space for guests to join us for dinner, even if we were limited to just one other couple at a time. It's still a step up from TV trays or a less-than-charming "picnic" on a Hello Kitty blanket.) 

Scaling was a huge, huge help in figuring out what we could and could not accommodate, and allowed us to snag some great deals we found online by knowing exactly what we needed to fit the space. We were also able to scoop up steals at Home Goods and TJ Maxx during our weekly trips early on, because we had our list handy and an eye for what could round out our slowly-transforming abode. We ended up with a far more eclectic space, and spent much less, too, than if we had insisted on filling up the room right away.

There is still some zhushing to be done, but those details are so fun to uncover here and there, allowing our place to come together organically and personally. Etsy, Anthropologie, World Market, West Elm, Z Gallerie, and Pottery Barn have been some of our favorite places to gather inspiration for fabulous moments to incorporate into our space, and it's fun to see rooms evolve as we experiment with textures and fabrics to create layers of interest.

No comments:

Post a Comment