13 January 2016

Heights House 6: Merging Two Different Decor Styles

One of the great challenges of marriage is figuring out how to take two people from completely different backgrounds and get them working together. It's always nice when you hit your stride and always frustrating when you feel like you are on opposites ends of the earth as far as tastes, opinions and style.


Differences of style, taste and opinions are never more evident than when you move into a new home. After lots of conversation I thought we were on the same page as far as design for the new home went. But when the actual decorating process began, things took a bit of a swing in the opposite direction. Unlike in the world where I grew up where women decorate the home, my husband is very creative and has opinions about decorating.

We are also merging two homes and two very divergent styles so learning to merge our styles has been a necessity and a big challenge. I would like to thank every person who has ever posted photos or articles about merging very different styles on the internet for saving my sanity and maybe our marriage - haha. Trust me when I said I've gone to those articles more than once when feeling frustrated.

If I could describe his style it would be something like European castle meeting Indiana Jones. I definitely lean towards light, modern, simple with a neutral base palette with punches of lots of color. There have been a few days, I will confess, where I have gotten sad and frustrated with trying to work together while each of us has our own visions of what our house will look like. I may have even overreacted in horror at some of his suggestions. There isn't much worse than seeing something you absolutely don't like appear in your home to wreck your beautiful little vision in your head. Ha.

So it's been a work in progress and will continue to be. This is the dark side of all those beautiful homes you see posted all over the internet that you never hear about...the compromise or one side overpowering the other side. I have learned a lot in this process and in the end I have realized that some things I really disliked when we moved in like our blue fireplace wall and the large plants The Man insisted on putting on each side of the TV really aren't that bad after all and in fact I can live with them - at least for a while. The chairs I was adamant about reupholstering actually work well just as they are in the living room AND they are super comfortable for watching movies.

The Man thought the paint for The Bug's bedroom was a complete disaster for a time and then he completely changed his opinion. So we keep experimenting and working at it.Things worked out great when we worked together to decorate our living room before Thanksgiving. We chose from our belongings a gorgeous rug, glass coffee table, side chairs and our new vintage black leather couch that worked together fantastically. Later we bought two large plants in very bold pots that we were thrilled fit in just right when we got them home.

We pulled the dining room together with our new vintage Danish dining set, an old glass European curio cabinet, and a beautiful rug. A couple of weeks ago, late at night -- which seems to be when we have our best decorating sessions, we started playing around with this weird area around the kitchen side of our two-sided fireplace. We had planned to build some sort of bench seating in the area but when we couldn't decide what exactly it was we wanted, we chose to wait once we got all the brick flooring in to replace the giant indoor planters that used to be there.

We had put the sofa there because there just wasn't anywhere else to put it yet and it was good temporary seating. But we moved it to a new spot and then grabbed a rug, my thrift store lamp with the gorgeous new orange shade, two storage cubes, a bunch of pillows, two tables we had just scored on at Home Goods and a plant and suddenly we had this pretty little cozy nook. We loved it! The photo above is a quick iphone shot I took at sometime after midnight the night we pulled it all together.

A few days later when we had a fire in the fireplace I checked to make sure the sofa was safe and we had no problems whatsoever with it sitting there - the leather wasn't even warm. I don't think anyone will sit in that space while there is a fire burning thus it should be fine. So we'll live with this for a while and see if we like it. In the meantime we have two bedrooms and an office to still pull together.

Luckily I do have one room to totally take command of the design in. It may sound uncool that it's the laundry room but it is turning out to be my little sanctuary. There is a built-in desk in the corner with two big windows that overlook the entire backyard. There are also lots of cupboards and a good amount of counter space for creative projects. The room is right off the kitchen so it's right in the heart of the home and it has a door so it can provide some good privacy too.

This is where we installed the beautiful flooring after we removed the brick to use in the kitchen and dining room. We also hung the capiz chandelier over the desk and you can see it down the hall from many places in the house. You can see the floor and the chandelier on my Instagram feed at "kalanicutblog." From outside the room the view in looks very inviting. I'm working on some other little decorating projects to spruce up the room. Will share it when it's pulled together.

Our victories in the decorating arena are great victories. It's so fun to see our home furnishings work together or find some fun treasure I had no idea he owned that we can use. Even though our home style is NOTHING like what I imagined and hoped it would be, it's actually even cooler because it's so personal and historical for both of us. feel like when we start having people over they will find our home very unusual, interesting and welcoming.

And much like our belongings, we are working together well too. With each new victory comes more confidence in our ability to make this house as beautiful as we both want it to be and an increase of trust in each other and the process or merging our belongings. I am so excited to see what the house will look like in a few months and years as we get to know the house better and learn more about what works best in this home and for our wants and needs.

1 comment:

Jenn said...

I agree so wholeheartedly with your thoughts about how difficult it is to merge two different styles. Chris and I had huge disagreements about style initially, because he wanted the house to live solely in a vintage 50s styles and I was adamantly opposed :). A couple things that really helped us were looking at pictures of gorgeous houses and catalogs together - we had a lot of conversations about what we both liked and didn't like and it helped us to see where our tastes intersected. The other thing that helped was that I asked him to just trust me on a couple things and if he didn't like it in the end, we could change it back. Whenever this happened, I made sure to consciously include his tastes and interests so he felt represented. He's asked the same of me a few times and in both cases it's worked out great and we're both really happy where we landed. It really does feel like a great marriage accomplishment when you find a happy place and your home is coming together in a way you both love :). I really like the little nook in the photo - super cozy.

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