10 Tips for Harmonious Design
Check out these 10 tips for decorating in harmony with your significant other.
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Furniture stores such as Storehouse let you take home furniture, even rugs, for a few trial days. That takes the pressure off and gives couples a chance to see how something works (or doesn’t) in their space. This evens the balance of power, too, for the couple where one person is the visionary and the other person can’t commit until they really see, feel, or sit on an item. Try it in the store and try it at home. Or try it virtually. HGTV.com’s room planner lets you see what different room arrangements would look like, and other sites, such as Furniture.com, let you check out furniture options and styles and build a room together. Some even let you buy the exact furniture that you’ve used in your online room.
Stick to a budget
Issues around money are often a hot spot in marriages and it’s no different when it comes to decorating. Couples will avoid problems if they are realistic in setting spending limits that both people are comfortable with and work within them, says Remignanti. Your budget helps you determine what to save up for or buy first, he says. He suggests that you ask yourself as you shop: Will this be your "forever" dining room or just something to live with until you’re in a larger place? "Saving for a better selection is an option, too," he says. "While you’d love a sleek new armoire for the TV right now, how will it look if you’re sitting on a dorm-room futon? You have to budget for the entire room."
Designers have all sorts of horror stories about what happens when a couple doesn’t agree, upfront, on a budget. "I had one couple where the wife would have me write two contracts," says Shane Teegardin, an interior designer at Darleen’s in Naperville, Ill. "There was one contract that the husband saw and one that she paid. Her purchases were always more expensive than what he would let her spend."
Anne Krueger is the editor of HGTV.com's Decorating newsletter. She has written for In Style, This Old House, Martha Stewart Living and The New York Times.
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