Till death do you part? Not when it comes to your spouse’s furniture! Face it: When you first move in together, the whole furniture-negotiation thing can get tricky. After all, you’re doing more than just merging sofas and art — you’re blending two personalities and past lives. So how do you pull it off?
— Ditch that baggage. Who you? Harbor junk? Admit it — that floral comforter has to go. What isn’t essential goes into storage, gets donated to charity, or sold on eBay. For can’t-part-with-’em items, display them differently. His trophy collection may look a lot less heinous on brand-new mounted shelves than they do scattered on the bedroom floor.
— Meet in the middle. You dig clean and modern; he loves warm and traditional. There’s a place for everything, just not necessarily together. Since mixing French scenes with football posters is a tall order, relegate each style to an appropriate room. If he spends more time in the den, add some touches that will make him feel cozier. If she’s always hanging in your home office, let that be the streamlined space with splashes of color.
— Shop together. If only your style dominates the decor of your together space, it’s not going to feel like a married home. Joint purchases help represent both personalities, so suck it up and shop as a team. Start with small things like frames, place mats, and lamps. To find where your styles overlap, scan our decor galleries together.
— Try for a facelift. Before you dump his black leather bachelor couch or he forces you to lose those cutesy checked chairs, give them a new life. Reupholster or slipcover pieces — you’ll save hundreds — maybe even thousands of dollars — instead of starting from scratch.
— Maintain “me” space. Sharing a home doesn’t mean you have to hang in the same room 24-7. Designate Zen areas to escape to (OK, from each other). Maybe yours is the porch and his is the kitchen table. Wherever your Zen zone is, make it comfy with your favorite items.
— Don’t panic-decorate. You don’t have to deck out your entire home overnight — in fact, it will totally look thrown together if you do. Getting pieces you both agree on is a process, so make it fun — a travel piece here, a birthday gift there. If you wind up with an eclectic mix of stuff, all the better. You’re not a cookie cutter couple, so why make your home look that way?

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