How to Decorate the Bedroom When You Move In Together

When you move in with a significant other, there are many decisions to be made

Here's how to decorate the bedroom when you move in together.
A happy bedroom is the heart of a good relationship. Cultura RM Exclusive/Sofie Delauw/Getty Images

You’ve been sharing your hearts for a while, and now you’ve made the decision to share your home as well. When it’s time to take the plunge and move in together, there are many decisions to be made: how will you handle finances? How are you going to divvy up housework? How much time will you spend pursuing individual hobbies, and how much time will you spend together? And of course, you’ll also need to decide how to decorate your shared bedroom.

It’s often said that the kitchen is the heart of the home, but it can also be said that the bedroom is the heart of your relationship. Get that heart beating in a healthy rhythm with these tips to decorate your shared space.

Paint the Bedroom Walls a Color You Love

If you’re renting, you probably can’t permanently change the wall color (although there are plenty of non-paint ways to decorate walls), but if you purchased your home, nothing says new start like a fresh coat of paint. Go creamy white, pale gray, or soft sand if you like a neutral or traditional style; choose something brighter if you share a sense of drama; or go dark and deep if you both prefer an elegant, slightly moody look. The actual color isn’t as important as the process of choosing the paint together. If possible, tackle the paint job yourself (painting a single room is a fairly easy DIY project for a weekend) as a symbol of the new life you are starting together.

Combining Your Furniture

One of the biggest decorating decisions you’ll have to face together, particularly if you both had fully furnished living quarters prior to cohabiting, is which furniture to keep, which furniture is unnecessary, and which furniture should be replaced. Luckily, while these can be complicated decisions in the living room and entertainment area, they are usually not as difficult in the bedroom.

First of all, don’t think you have to have matching furniture in the bedroom (or in any area of the home, for that matter.) Matched sets can actually be boring, so feel free to go eclectic with a mix of looks. If the two of you are bringing very diverse styles of furniture into the bedroom – for example, you have black lacquered contemporary pieces and he has knotty pine country style – don’t despair. A coat of paint and perhaps matching drawer pulls and knobs help create a complementary compromise. If your tastes in furniture are closer in style, then you might not have to make any changes at all.

You’ll also want to consider the size and function of your bedroom furniture. Two people sharing a room generally means two nightstands, two dressers or chests of drawers, one bed with headboard and perhaps footboard, an armchair or comfortable spot to sit, and a selection of lamps. Out of your pool of furniture, choose the pieces that are suitably sized and in the best condition for your new digs.

Start Afresh with a New Mattress

Your shared bed is the most intimate spot in your home. Because of this, many couples like to start fresh with a brand new mattress selected together. If your budget simply will not allow such a luxury, then choose the mattress that is in the best condition, or is the newest.

But whether or not you buy a new mattress, do make it a point to purchase new bedding together. After all, when two people slip into the same bed each night, both deserve a say about the color, design, and feel of the sheets, blankets and duvet or comforter. Plus, it’s always nice to know there is no “past history” with any prior partners and the bedding in your new home.

Accessories Mean Compromise

The decorating area that generally requires the most compromise is artwork and accessories. After all, your bed and furniture are mostly functional, but the frills and extras in the bedroom are just that: extras that serve little purpose beyond looking decorative (not that that isn’t important!). Typically, you’ll want at least one large piece of artwork over your headboard or over a dresser, so if one of you has a suitably sized piece, that might be reason enough to give it a place of honor.

But if one of you really hates the other’s taste in artwork or decorative accessories, you’ll need to work out a compromise. That might mean agreeing to each select one piece of artwork out of what you already own, and then purchasing a few new items together. Another solution is to use one partner’s accessories in the bedroom and the other partner’s artwork in another room of the home. When reaching a compromise, consider the sentimental or emotional value of the object, its monetary value, and its suitability to the space where you intend to use it. But remember – what’s most important is creating a happy new life together. Arguments over décor simply aren’t worth the strain on your relationship. Flexibility is the key when moving in with your significant other, whether in finances, parenting or decorating. After all, a relationship is for a lifetime, while just about everything else comes and goes.