Before decorating or redecorating a room in your home. Call a meeting with your spouse or partner first. Set the intention of what your home is to be for the both of you. Determine first which rooms you would like to decorate or redecorate and whether or not the room is functioning at a level that you both are satisfied with. Is it functioning efficiently and are both of you feeling productive in the space.
No matching match! Mix, don’t match. The home is an opportunity to grow as a couple or as an relationship evolves. Mix and match décor items and furniture that suit both of your interests and activities.
Respect each other’s belongings, sacred inherited pieces and furnishings. Find places in the home where each other’s cherished belongings will be respected and honored.
When shopping for new furniture, I always advise a couple to determine what their interior design style is first. This can be done through researching magazines, blogs, websites and other media to identify which furniture and design styles will best suit both. Tear out those photos you both like. Identify using descriptors which furnishings and colors you both like. Compromise is the name of the game.
Once you identify a design style that you both can live with, begin to list those items that you feel you need the most. Determine needs verses wants at this stage.
Understand and work with a budget that you both agree to and stick with. Determine whether or not you are living in a condo, house or apartment how long you will be living there and whether or not certain items are worth the investment if it is a temporary living situation.
Shop and choose items together. Make it a date! Make it fun and include dinner or lunch as part of it. Choose a day where you will concentrate on one item verses another.
While typically women are drivers of décor decisions- always ALWAYS involve your partner in making the decisions. While he may say oh go ahead and decorate, believe me he has an opinion too and it should be honored. Keep asking questions about likes and dislikes between the two of you.
Here is a case study of a Feng Shui Design I did for a couple:
Feng shui is about creating positive energy, the right chi, within a space. “It was my idea,” the wife, who didn’t want to be named, said. “I had done some research but wanted someone to help us with the layout and flow of the house.”
I began by guiding the couple through an intention ceremony. This process meant entering each room and stating the intention and purpose for the space. They burned sage and chanted — the wife said her husband, a Navy officer, was skeptical at first.
“My husband has been a good sport,” she said. “The ceremony got us all on the same page.”
The primary intent was to create a home that feels inviting to friends and serves as an oasis to the couple. I removed walls on the main floor to open the space and then quadrupled the number of windows, inviting in more sunlight.
The color scheme was based on personal feng shui readings performed by me. The husband, a Yin Wood type, needed more water, which was represented by blue to enhance his energy.
Wood is stimulated by water. The wife possessed a large fire element and benefited from the water cooling her down.
“If left up to me, all the walls would have been red or orange,” the wife acknowledged. “These colors really bring a sense of calm and balance.”
Each of the chosen colors is painted on a wall in the home. They are repeated in tiny rectangular tiles, from Architectural Ceramics, arranged in a geometric pattern and mounted around the fireplace. The result is a reflective, shimmering work of art.
Usually feng shui requires window coverings. But part of feng shui is about bringing elements of nature into the house, and the windows certainly do that.
Circles, which represent unity, infinity and completion in feng shui, appear in various forms throughout the home. The light fixture above the dining table is an assortment of rings grouped in a mirror bowl chandelier with brass detailing. Wooden accent tables and lamp shades replicate the circular pattern. All the furniture has rounded edges, alleviating any “poison arrows” that interfere with positive chi.
A transitional sofa in taupe chenille-like fabric with a micro-maze pattern is flanked by two sets of chairs. On one side are comfy accent chairs in micro-suede, complemented by dainty round satin teal pillows. On the other are two chairs with Indonesian-inspired carved mahogany frames.
The entire project, which included designing a nursery and master bedroom, took only six weeks to finish. I contribute part of the speedy completion to hiring a contractor who also studied feng shui and the fact that the couple who had a firm understanding and intention to design the space as they wanted.
“My biggest concern with feng shui was whether we could find the types of things, such as furniture, we liked in a style that fit,” the wife said. “I love the flow of the house and [my husband’s] very happy with the outcome. We want people to come into the house and feel relaxed. We want the focus to be on the person and not the furniture.”