Moving in with a partner, spouse, or roommate is an exciting time to build community, collaborate on projects, and create new memories together. However, if your live-in partner has different design preferences than you, this can cause challenges for your home’s design aesthetic. Going from living independently to living together can create friction when it comes to styling, especially in shared areas.

Though you may have developed a distinct style on your own, it is important to honor the other person’s style as well. CRT Studio has put together the following tips to help you to approach styling a shared space. We can show you how to create a cohesive interior design that reflects all your cohabitants’ personal styles and preferences.

  1. Scale-Down Your Inventory

Before you and your partner move in together, try cutting down on your inventory. This can be a liberating experience that will allow you both to define what is personally and aesthetically important to you. Looking at old pieces can bring up reinvigorating memories and inspiration and remind you of that design method you wanted to try. Plus, moving in together with only a few pieces will make the co-design process less overwhelming.

  1. Compare Notes and Communicate from the Start

When you and your partner begin designing your joint home, you will probably each have decoration and design ideas in mind. You will each also be bringing your own furniture and sentimental decorative pieces. For this reason, you should set up an initial meeting to discuss the visions you have for the space. Bring a list of the furniture that you must have in the new space and have sketches and inspirational photos to set the scene.

When deciding on a general aesthetic for the space, whether it be ultra-modern or traditional, pick together a few pictures that you can agree on, and make sure to agree on a general color scheme. By establishing the basic feel and colors of the space, you will avoid clashing your styles together and creating a chaotic atmosphere.

Make the initial design choices together by touring textile shops together and browsing tiles and flooring warehouses. Use this opportunity to unlock collective creativity, and experiment with new textures and moods. By starting the design process with what you agree on and using honesty about what you value in a home, you are creating a foundation to design a harmonious space together.

  1. Bring In the Best of Both Design Styles

After you have agreed on a general color scheme and aesthetic for a mood board, you can start to pull in some of your own aesthetic pieces into each common room. Whether it be furniture, a throw blanket, or art, each piece that you both bring to the room should reflect your own design preferences. If done right, this juxtaposition of two different styles can meld into a unique and homey feel.

Pieces of your aesthetic combined can complement each other more than you would expect. For example, if your partner has a large, colorful pop art piece for the wall, and you have a plush velvet recliner, you can move these pieces around in the space, using them as a focal point to establish the feel of the room. Then, together you can design around these two pieces to create a colorful and modern yet cozy feel.

If you prefer clean lines, while your partner has a leaning towards antiques, these two design styles can also work together. Try pairing a geometric, glass dining room table with antique princess chairs at the head of the table. Or mix modern vases with old books on travel and art.

  1. Take It from the Top

Sometimes, it is better to start a design plan completely anew. Couples or cohabitants might want a fresh start, and this can be an opportunity to redefine your design style preferences together. This can also be a more convenient option. For example, not having to worry about moving all their furniture would make things easier for a partner traveling across the country to move in. 

Moving in together can sometimes be challenging. You are learning small new quirks about each other while trying to create a homey space for each person to feel in their element. Therefore, sometimes it is easier to start fresh and slowly purchase furniture and other pieces together. In this way, you can build a home together that you both love and that uniquely reflects a newfound group aesthetic.

Starting from scratch is also an excellent opportunity to get to know your neighborhood as a pair. To build up your inventory together, you can head to the weekly local antique market or browse local artisan work online. This will give you and your partner a chance to buy locally, source sustainably, and understand what makes your neighborhood culture unique.

As with every aspect of a partnership, be sure to keep compromise in mind. In every co-living situation, people will have to make sacrifices, especially when it comes to design preferences.

  1. Bring in a Professional

Sometimes, hiring a professional designer is the best way to merge your design preferences. If you and your partner can’t seem to come to an agreement on general design, a professional can design common areas that you both like. For example, with a professional’s help, you can have two separate rooms with your old pieces and design preferences and create common rooms with completely new aesthetics that you both like.

Find Out More: Design a Unique Home Together

When it comes to moving in together, there can be a lot to manage. That’s why you should hire designers that you can trust to help lighten the load and put the design preferences of you and your partner first. When you are ready to learn more about how you can design the perfect new home with your partner, get in touch with Rob Turner at CRT Studio by calling (407) 440-4446 or emailing