How do you mix decorating styles?

by Holly

My boyfriend and I have two completely different decorating styles. I'm shabby chic /farmhouse and he's, well, I honestly don't know what he is. He's an artist and musician. We've been talking about me moving in with him but I just can't fathom how to mix our tastes. He has his art throughout the home as well as his guitar stuff and he really likes these tribal mask things that he's got hanging on the wall. None of which goes with my style at all. Any suggestions, experiences or thoughts appreciated. Pics encouraged! Lol

q how do you mix decorating styles

My living room

q how do you mix decorating styles

My bedroom

q how do you mix decorating styles

A table I refurbished

  7 answers
  • This is exactly why people hire interior designers. If this is a serious relationship, you can make it work. You just combine items into an eclectic mix that represents both of you. Some areas will be more your boyfriends style and some your style. If you work together to decorate the space, it will be really cool looking, or at least, that's my opinion. Chances are you have far more decor items than you really need, so stash them and rotate with the seasons or holidays or when you need a change.

  • Flipturn Flipturn on May 11, 2019

    Moving in with another person can be an exciting time, but can also be challenging, especially if one is used to having the entire living space to themselves. Living together doesn't have to mean no longer having any designated personal space. IMO, it is important for each individual to be allocated some portion of the home that is 'their's' only, meaning, they can decorated it as they prefer, without the other person changing it.

    My suggestion is for you and your boyfriend to decide together what small space is 'yours' only, and what small space is 'his' only. That way you can each bring into your new living situation, special items, colors, or themes etc. that you like and what is important to you, without having to be concerned that they might be clashing with, or interfering in any way with the other person's individual designated space.

    As far as melding your two decorating styles, don't try to push it too much as once. It will become established and evolve over time.

  • Emily Emily on May 11, 2019

    My grandson collects lots of stringed instruments and plays them too. He also since a young age has wanted to be a movie director. Although now out of college, his (when he was young) mother decorated his room with framed movie posters, he had a rack thing for guitars, he had a high directors chair and a throw rug she thought looked like "pixels" He also had a collection of buddhas In other words his theme was confined to his room.

    You and I share a decorating vibe. My husband is an artist and we hang his art throughout the house. Unless your boyfriend expresses a distinct interest in interior decor, I would just do as you like. In the pic below I painted the floor and husband refinished the antique chest, vase is part of my vast collection of china. My husband has a studio in our home which I have nothing to say about, he paints there uses his computer there, displays art there etc. It is usually a mess. Good luck . . . you will have lots of fun decorating your new place and living in it!

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on May 11, 2019

    Though no one can give you a quick fix answer to your question I can tell you that in a committed relationship there will be many, many issues that come up that you will each have differing opinions on. If the difference in decor can cause you to rethink your commitment to him and moving in together, it doesn't bode well for future, more important issues such as child rearing etc.

    Communication and compromise are the keys to maintaining a relationship over the long haul. Talk to your boyfriend about your concerns and listen to what he says. Have faith you can both work together to create a space (life) that works for you both.

    Have fun while you do it!!!

  • E s desanna E s desanna on May 11, 2019

    It's not easy to move into someone else's "territory". If you and your boyfriend are both open to melding your tastes, consider undecorating the whole place.

    Alternate choosing from the other's collection what they like. Then negotiate for favorites that were not chosen. Neutral choices that are household essentials can be kept as a bridge between your two styles. Then brainstorm for aesthetic ways to combine or alter everything that you don't want to part with. You may find an eclectic mix is much more interesting and exciting to live with.

  • Sam Sam on May 11, 2019

    well, since at this point it looks like early american garage sale. what dif does it make? there isn't really any 'style' particularly in the pic posted.

    i say just put like color or complimenting color things tog and let it go.

    your're just living tog. does it make any dif?

    if you were married? sure it would, it is a lifetime commitment... but just living tog could change tomorrow. so don't fret it.