Buying a home with someone you love is exciting, but you know what’s not? Having your partner’s pingpong table wedged in your otherwise Hollywood-glam home, or making room in your sparse, minimalist space for your partner’s massive collection of kitschy figurines.
If you and your partner have different tastes in home decor, we feel your pain. But there’s some good news: All isn’t lost if you and your loved one find yourselves on different ends of the design spectrum. Decor schemes that seem dissonant can actually combine well—and the look is actually gaining in popularity.
“Couples with clashing tastes are in luck because eclecticism is all the rage in design, and the pressure to decorate in one specific look is swiftly letting up,” says Michael Diaz-Griffith, founder and art consultant at Material Cult.
So don’t argue over that boho sofa or retro wallpaper! Here are six design styles that actually do play well together.
Photo by Cuckooland
“Hygge is all about cozy comfort and boho means expressing yourself through a playful colorful collection of styles—but there’s no reason why these two can’t mix,” says Drew Henry of Design Dudes.
To make it work, stick to basics when it comes to furniture and then add one thing that’s bold, such as an accent chair. Just don’t go overboard with any bright boho hue. Focus on textures, faux fur, and cord weaves for the hygge side, and bring in the boho part via a bright Oriental rug to anchor the space, Henry suggests.
Photo by Lindsey Herod Interiors, LLC.
Traditional looks and the bright and sunny colors of Palm Beach can actually meld nicely, say design experts. This Florida style means taking formality to the beach, so combine English country and Palm Beach by mixing some wicker or rattan seating and lacquered accents, says Diaz-Griffith.
“I would focus on a toned-down vacation vibe and update some of the dark, heavy pieces,” says Henry. For example, paint a wooden console table white or blue for an airy feel and then mix in some traditional lattice or garden-style patterns with a palm print.
Photo by Dixon Projects
Combining modern farmhouse with industrial isn’t difficult, but you might risk creating a design cliche with the pairing that will quickly look dated.
“To avoid this outcome, keep the elements as real as possible by selecting actual hardwoods, nothing predistressed, and real concrete instead of composite countertops,” recommends Diaz-Griffith.
A rustic table with a heavy wood grain pairs well with sleek, modern chairs and a minimalist buffet, adds Henry.
Photo by Troy Lighting
Couples with these two aesthetics needn’t ditch every shell or light wood piece they own and start over.
“Coastal and Scandinavian blend perfectly because—guess what?—Scandinavia has coastlines,” points out Henry. Go a bit more minimalist in your decor than you would in a typical beach house (think sleek furniture and cool blue tones).
“Accent your rooms with natural-edge tables, hurricane jars filled with pebbles, and driftwood pieces hung as art,” Henry adds.
Photo by Jessica Buckley Interiors
We’re not gonna lie—this one’s tough, but not impossible to pull off.
“A minimalist interior with surprising dashes of over-the-top maximalist glam or whimsy can be fabulous—and if the minimal person is averse to clutter, any ‘excessive’ elements can be neatly arranged as a collection,” notes Diaz-Griffith.
Consider a stark white interior with a wall of antique mirrors or porcelain, or try the inverse by editing down your pieces to just the favorites and make sure there’s plenty of negative space around any maximalist furniture, he adds.
Photo by DKOR Interiors Inc.
Doesn’t everyone want the hygge life? It’s warm and joyful, with glowing candles and chunky knits on every surface. And while it may not seem like an obvious match for the slick, midcentury Hollywood interpretation of 19th-century English design, these two can still work in concert.
To give a formal, colder Hollywood Regency room some softer hygge details, opt for comfortable velvet upholstery and neatly rolled throw blankets, and then create a reading nook with a soft chair, suggests Diaz-Griffith.
“And delete elements that take away from the Zen potential of the space, such as those bursting magazine racks,” he adds.