Married and Merging Households?

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Recently I gave an informal poll on the @CourtneyWarrenHome Instagram page, posing this question: What two things do men care about most in a room?

The hilarious feedback ranged widely. The answers varied from beer fridge and poker table, to whiskey and black out shades (in order to better see the TV, of course). These comical answers are further evidence that men and women do not have the same priorities when it comes to home design. I cannot imagine an instance in which a woman would tell me, “No matter what this room looks like, the beer fridge is the centerpiece of the space. Create the entire room around it.’! Obviously, men and women are different in the best ways. Which means merging households and belongings can be tricky— but only if you enter it unprepared. It is crucial to ask the right questions that will help you keep the peace as you enter your new home and your life together.

1. What is the deal breaker?

Some items we have in our home just because we have never gotten rid of them, and some actually that bring us joy. When merging households, find out what the top three-five favorite items are for your spouse. Then decide that no matter what, those are off limits. Once you decide what you must keep, you can figure out what you don’t need. Unless it is a singing plastic fish. You should always discard a plastic singing fish.

2. What do you need?

Now that you know what you cannot get rid of, everything else is fair game. Keep this in mind as you pair through duplicates, broken items and outdated accessories. Do this quickly - don’t linger on things that don’t really matter to each of you.

3. What is the look you want to create?

Creating a new home is not only about what you don’t want. It is also about looking together towards the future. Is there a look you both love? Can you mix your favorite styles?

Next evaluate the current items you have- do the items you are keeping move you toward the new style you are moving toward? If not, they don’t make the cut. If you are not sure of your own style, I can send you a free quiz that will help you determine it. See the box below!

4. Who is more invested in the outcome?

Often in my experience in working with couples, there is someone in the home that really cares about the look. The other person might want things to be nice, but not have a huge interest in carrying it out. This can vary from couple to couple.

If this is the case in your home, give the more interested party authority to make 85% of decisions. As long as that person doesn’t touch the deal breakers, you can trust that he or she will be happiest in the place she has invested in and create a lovely outcome for both of you.

Of course, make sure you communicate the things you DO care about, and leave the rest to the discretion of your spouse. After all, you now share everything. This includes the design of your home!

“Often when I assist couples in designing their dream space, the design plan morphs to a bit of marriage counseling, sometimes with me playing referee. After all, people feel quite passionate about their space and belongings. The great news is that our home is a reflection of the people in it, which means that there is room enough for a bit of all our styles!”

-Courtney

Does all this talk leave you feeling like you are not sure how to create that dream space? Let me answer some of those common questions for you. Give me a holler on Facebook, Instagram, or email and I would love to help. Need help figuring out your signature style? Take the free quiz! Just text HAPPY HOME To 245874 on your phone. You can find me @courtneywarrenhome and on www.courtneywarren.com

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