Redecorating with a partner can be a wonderful experience. But it can also be a stressful one which might uncover more than just cracks in the paintwork!

Our designers are no strangers to the role of 'couple counsellor'. They've worked with couples for years, balancing different tastes to deliver homes that both partners are over the moon with.

Here are their top tips for keeping the peace and creating a design scheme that works for both of you.


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1. Start with function over form

monochromatic open plan space

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

Design is subjective and so arguments tend to brew when it comes to paint colours and styles. After all, even some of the strongest marriages get put to the test when presented with 27 shades of white!

It helps to start the process by agreeing first on how the room needs to function. Discuss what you want it to do before tackling how it looks. For example, will there need to be a space to work from? Perhaps your partner would love a cosy armchair in a sunny spot for reading?

This final wish list will help you create a realistic floor plan and layout for the room. This will form the boundaries for the rest of the design that you can both come back to. Your partner may want a Super King bed but they won't be able to argue with a black and white floorplan! 


2. Gather inspiration separately

dining area with art on the wall

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

Now comes the tricky part! We always ask our clients to send us an inspiration board on Houzz or Pinterest of some designs they absolutely love. We suggest you both go away and create one each. Don't hold back at this stage - just add any images that excite and delight you. Then come back the next day, take a second look and remove any of those inevitable 'what was I thinking?' images.

Now you're ready to present your boards to each other. Just remember the number one rule for brainstorming - no idea is a bad idea!!


3. Look for common ground

grey and white themed bedroomImage credit: My Bespoke Room

Even with two inspiration boards that appear completely different at first glance can have some common ground. Ask yourselves what colours appear on both boards, are there any styles of furniture you are both drawn to? 

Create a third board that includes these common ground images that you can create your design direction from. Keep coming back to this board throughout the process to remember the shared vision.


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4. Merge your styles

black and white living room with orange accents

Image credit: My Bespoke Room & Da Silva Design

Do you lean more towards traditional design but your partner loves everything Scandi? That's ok! The best room designs are the ones that combine styles to create something totally unique to you.

We recommend choosing a primary style which will make up 70% of your furniture items and then a second that you layer in that will make up the remaining 30%.

Another way to merge your styles is with a gallery wall. Perhaps your partner is in love with a piece of artwork that you can't stand? Comprise by hanging it as part of a gallery wall so that blends into the room and isn't such a focal point. Gallery walls work wonderfully when you combine contrasting styles that you might not initially think to work together so you never know, you might grow to love it as much as they do!

Check out our video guide with Abstract House on how to create the perfect gallery wall:


5. Learn where to compromise

Remember it's all about compromise and that you both need to love the room equally. If you don't, you'll end up with a half-finished room that you both hate to be in and nobody wants that! Here's an example from Olivia for you:

“There was this one time where someone wanted to keep an old armchair in the kitchen. Normally, this would be ok, but bear in mind I was designing their £40k kitchen and the chair basically stuck out like a sore thumb! They argued during our video call, to the point where the other partner walked off.”

The answer lay in reupholstering the armchair. An option many couples may never have considered but it’s that kind of problem solving that designers are paid to do.


6. Get a third opinion

griege and moody bedoom with abstract patterns

Image credit:  My Bespoke Room

With the best will in the world, you're probably still going to clash heads at some point. When you hit a stand off it can help to have a third opinion to make the final call - especially an objective opinion with decades of designing experience!


If you'd like help designing a scheme that works for you both, complete our simple design brief to get you started:

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Room design ideas for couples

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Here are some of our designer Olivia's top tips for creating design schemes that marry the best of masculine design without losing feminine warmth and softness.


Keep it fresh and neutral:

white, minimalist fireplace with house plants

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

Neutral doesn't have to mean 'boring'. If you opt for a more neutral scheme with your paint colours, make sure you bring in lots of texture to stop it from looking flat and add contrast through pops of bright green plants.


Geometric over floral patterns:

Blue living room with geometric wallpaper

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

A more masculine design doesn't need to be void of colour and pattern! Geometric and striped patterns work really well as a nice compromise.


Need help finding a compromise? Our designers can effortlessly combine your styles together! Book a room design from just £395 today:

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Use black accents:

neutral guest bedroom with office in fireplace alcove

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

So many men think that pink is a 'no go' colour for them but it's a crime to rule out such a beautiful hue from your home entirely!

This design we did for a guest bedroom is a classic case of converting a man to the wonders of pink and foregoing the stigma attached! It's main purpose when not hosting guests is to be a home office for the man of the house. By grounding the pink with solid black accents and metallic materials, he couldn't help but love the scheme.


Use wood textures for warmth:

home dog wash station

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

Natural wood is the perfect way to warm up and soften a design scheme that is neither traditionally 'feminine' or 'masculine'.


Need help creating a home you both love? Book your room design today from just £395:

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