Life, Style
Shacking Up: How to Blend Your Style and His
January 14, 2010 at 1:52 pm 1
Recently I put out a call for guest writers here, so I thought it would be great to start off with one exceptional guest spot from Lilah, a blogger from Urban Sardines, a design and décor blog. Since I made the big announcement that I got engaged, it’s been a bit of a struggle how my fiancé and I are going to combine all our stuff into one small apartment (especially given my penchant for extremely girly home décor like hot pink walls). Enter Lilah, who’s going to offer up some excellent advice on how to blen your style with your boyfriends when you move into together! Here’s Lilah! When you move in with your man, you might expect to fight over who will do the dishes, who will take out the trash, and who gets to pick their favorite side of the bed…but you might be overlooking something far more fundamental. Consider exhibit A:

If your bedroom looks anything like this, you may be in for a bit of an adjustment. Gorgeous though this room is, your man may feel a bit… um, emasculated…. In this space. How do you reconcile your gorgeous, girly décor with his barcalounger? Make It Gender Neutral Finding neutral ground can be a great way to bond with your partner. After all, the space you live in is a significant expression of who you are as a person, so it should also reflect what you are like as a couple. A great way to find neutral ground is to figure out what colors you both like and build from there. To tone down feminine vibes, avoid detail, scrolling, and rounded edges in furniture and major pieces. Once you establish more “masculine” base, you can add pops of color and feminine touches without causing your boyfriend to need testosterone injections. Here are a few examples of spaces that are “gender” neutral: This bedroom from Kishani Perera has dark, masculine colors, but is also very elegant and vibrant:. The bed is a good balance between feminine and masculine, and the pop of color from the flowers brings a feminine edge to the room.


Steven Gambrel’s living room design is a great inspiration for masculine spaces that are elegant and gorgeous. It’s a great balance between masculine and feminine. The colors are warm, but masculine, the lines are clean and simple.

Here’s another great Steven Gambrel living room. The orange bar station is modern with clean lines, but the pop of orange has a feminine vibe.

Understand Each Other’s Cleaning Habits Before you move in together, get an honest assessment of what your cleanliness habits are (I’ve known both men and women whose partners complain about each others’ cleaning habits). If your habits differ, consider some modern appliances (without a dishwasher, my boyfriend and I would have split long ago!), and if you can afford it, consider handing over some of the responsibility to the pros. My boyfriend doesn’t do laundry, so he sends it out to an affordable local cleaner every week. Problem solved. Consider Ditching Some Items Review each other’s furniture and decide what you can both live with. When I moved with my boyfriend, he got rid of a clunky, broken desk, and I got rid of my extremely feminine bedding. We are both happy with the results (although I miss my lacy bedding sometimes, and I’m sure he misses his desk). Make a Man Cave If you have the space, let him create his man-cave while you create your girly haven. For my boyfriend and me, this isn’t an option (living in a small urban space, you usually don’t get a few extra rooms to play with). However, I know a lot of couples who have separate offices or art studios where they can decorate to suit themselves. If I had such a space, I’d channel all my girly instincts into that one spot, and let the leather furniture take over in the living room. Compromise, Compromise, Compromise Finally, when moving in with your man, remember it’s an exercise in compromise. You may have to live with his leather couch, but hopefully, he’ll graciously live with your perfume collection, giant collection of heels, and blanket your Grandma crocheted for you. --- Lilah is a writer living in a small Victorian in San Francisco, California. Her small living environment inspired her to explore the world of small-space design. Along the way, she started the blog, Urban Sardines, to share what she has learned about creating a warm, inviting home in a small space.
How Much Change Is Too Much?
November 24, 2009 at 12:53 pm 0
Most girls love change. We change our clothes a few times every morning, our accessories every day, our hair a few times a week, and sometimes our male companions monthly and jobs and homes semi annually. But how much change is too much? When the major components of life - living, loving and labouring - are always changing, it may be too much. There’s something nice about constants in life. Like work you've maintained for years, friends you've had since grade school, or homes that have been in your family for generations. It says you're rooted, comfortable, and reliable. Maybe your vacations change, or your Tuesday dinners, but you're not always in flux. People know what to expect from you...and you've passed the test of time in many situations. You don't have disposable friends, temporary housing, or castaway career ambitions. Like most girls I love change. I thrive on it...it fuels me up and gives me energy. I find nothing more exciting than travelling to foreign soil and being thrown in a land of surprises, where everything is changing and dramatically different than what I'm used to. I've lived all across Canada, moved to France without speaking more than 20 words of French, and migrated to Asia without a clue of what I was getting into. But when I got engaged so much change was on the table. Was I going to change my name? Was I going to sell my apartment, move into my fiancés apartment, rent another one, or buy a house? What about a family...were we going to try right away? Were we going to have a big wedding, a small wedding, a destination wedding, a themed wedding? Were we going to have another one in Argentina (where my fiancé is from)? And that was just too much change. So for now, I'm going to get married and move into my fiancé’s apartment after we get married. And when, and only when, those changes have settled in I'll be ready for more change.