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02/27 - Trends

How to Mix Two Different Design Styles

3 Tips to Create a Home with Blended Design Styles | Fox Marin Blog

Hers and His (or Hers and Hers or His and His)…Blending Two Different Design Styles

Moving in together is an exciting time. Together, you are creating your new home. Ideally, it’s a reflection of each of you as individuals and as a unit. However, it’s not always easy and it won’t always be seamless. One of you may swoon over a mid-century dining table – it may leave the other cold. There will always be differences when it comes to design styles.


3 Tips for Creating a Home That Reflects Both of You

So, whether you’re moving in, moved in, or thinking about the move, you’re also likely wondering what this looks like. Blending two different design styles can be difficult. But it doesn’t have to be! That’s why we’re sharing these three tips to create a home that becomes a reflection of both of you.  


1. Communicate and be flexible and willing to compromise.

Blending Design Styles: Compromising | FM Design

I’m one lucky girl. My husband shares my design sensibility. He mostly gives me carte blanche with a few “hell no’s” that I begrudgingly listen to and respect. Yes, in all fairness, I’m a designer. He is not. And, he gets final veto (sometimes). But, this still involves compromise. Especially when it comes to my tendency to spend with abandon and little consideration of what’s in our bank account.

Think about what you want. How do you see your home and yourself living in it? Do you want a light, bright, airy sanctuary? Does he want a cozy, colourful living area for movie nights with friends? There will be differences in design styles. You’ll have to be flexible. But also, you’ll find solutions that work for both of you.

With this in mind, make a list. Both of you. Include three absolute must-haves and three hell no’s. Keep it simple and stick to your top three or you’ll wind up getting nowhere quickly. Your must have might be a chair with sentimental value. Her hell no might be that chair. Compromise, remember? She might hate the chair less if you agree to reupholster it…she might even grow to love it. Her must have might be a dining room table with seating for six. If it’s not on your must have list then it’s an easy solution. It goes on the combined list that you create together.

It’s important that you’re both happy and that you both feel heard. Be prepared to say goodbye to a few things and to ask your new roommate to get rid of a few things. If there is fairness with giving and taking, you’ll both get what you want and you’ll both have to make a few compromises. And maybe that means that your signed hockey jerseys get tucked away in storage and that’s okay.  


2. Find consistency and a common theme.

Blending Design Styles: Consistency | FM Design

I love Pinterest. Love it. And you should too! Create a mood board for your new space. You’ll find lighting that speaks to you – bedrooms, layouts, and design styles. Then, share your mood boards with each other. Hopefully you’ll identify similarities and find a commonality between them. Use this as your base for styling your new home together. If you both tend towards the same colour palette – work with it.

In fact, that’s the easiest place to start. I suggest neutrals. If you’re in the market for new furniture start with a good quality and classic neutral sofa. You can incorporate his love for colourful ethnic prints into throw cushions. You can display her vintage postcards on the wall. And who knows, that dreaded chair might become a showstopper. My mantra? The key to good design is knowing when to stop. Your new space can be delightfully eclectic. Or, you can go just a little overboard and then it’s messy. But please, stop at eclectic.

If you have a tough time finding commonality in your design sensibilities then maybe you divide and conquer. Perhaps the guest bedroom becomes her space with a bright accent wall and her collections of hand-dyed yarns and knitting supplies. And, the den becomes his with his vinyl collection and a cozy listening nook. How’s that for gender stereotyping? I’m just making a point. You both get your own space, your way and then it’s much easier to compromise on space that you share together.  


3. Create something new – together.

Blending Design Styles: Creating Together | FM Design


My husband has an illustration that belonged to one of his favourite relatives. Do I love it? No. I have an early 1900’s landscape that hung in my grandparent’s dining room. Does he love it? No. But they’re important to both of us so we make them work (although I’ve put it off for over 10 years). My plan? A gallery wall over our bed that combines his art, my art and our art. A wall that tells the unique story of us.

Your something new will be different. Maybe, between the two of you, you have enough furniture to furnish two spaces. Then you’ll have to figure out what to keep and what to donate, sell, or store to create your new space. Maybe you need to furnish your entire space because your old futon and your first post-dorm days couch just don’t cut it anymore. This is a great opportunity for the two of you, together, to shop for the staples and accessories that speak to both of you. Have fun! And don’t get overwhelmed. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day.  


Make Your Different Design Styles Work Together

If it’s all just too much, hire a designer. Our FM Design division offers a la carte design services. We’d be thrilled to help you create a space that is both of yours.  


This article is written by Kathy Mighton, Project Manager and Lead Designer here at Fox Marin Associates. She is FM Design’s creator of well-crafted spaces that inspire and impress! A true design enthusiast, there are not enough walls or surfaces in Kathy’s life to display all the art that she loves.