While working with a newly married, older couple in Plymouth on their family room, I am reminded of how best to combine favorite pieces into one unified look. With varying tastes, past lives and mates, grown children or kids still at home, it’s often difficult to combine the worlds of two homestyles/tastes.
Can two marry later in life and be able to harmoniously blend their homestyles? Absolutely. And I’m not only referring to middle-age couples and older, but those who might be, say, in their 30s and who’ve lived on their own for a good while and developed a style, whether traditional or contemporary, transitional or eclectic.
The loving couple in Plymouth is doing just that. In a future post, I will show you the outcome and how they managed to mix his favorite slate-blue leather chairs and items he picked up on his travels into a family room motif with a refreshing color scheme that makes the most of his passion for blue and her passion for color (hint: I’ve combined the blue with orange and gold accents, along with some moss green).
For now, though, here are some quick tips on how new couples can blend their former households to create harmony in design.
1. Listen. Your designer should be a master in the art of listening. Client meetings should be more like conversations where the designer discovers what the clients’ likes and dislikes are.
2. Be Honest. Couples should speak with a designer honestly about items/style/architectural issues important to them. Then, prioritize your issues.
3. Strategize. Create a mission statement/design concept that establishes a loose design mantra — the ultimate goal of the environment or atmosphere. Combining two different sets of, say, heirloom china and silverware looks great and creates visual interest, as long as it fits with the couple’s mission.
4. Always Be Kid-friendly. Consider your new stepchildren’s interests and places for them to hang out. Also, consider a spot for future grandchildren.
5. Be Practical. Consider using one of the spouse’s previous bedroom furniture in a guestroom. Or use the chest as a storage piece in another room of the house.
Have you combined your household with another later in life? How did it go? Please share your favorite successful tips for this sometimes-challenging endeavor.