Building a new home can be the most exciting time in our adult lives. It can also be stressful and include many sleepless nights. Even the most rock-solid relationship will be put to the test when personalities and preferences are brought to the foreground. And for most couples, what they experience is a combination of all of the above. It’s particularly challenging when we’re asked to compromise on our design aesthetic. If partners aren’t aligned and they both want a voice in the process, there’s no choice but to combine two design styles into one home in a cohesive way.
A PEEK INTO THE HOME OF PAMELA LYNN
I’m inviting you today to take a peek into my home. It’s the home that hubby and I built 2 years ago. Even as a designer there were lessons to be learned. There were the usual occurrences like product delays and budget restrictions. The thing that was the most surprising to me was how many compromises each of us was required to make in order to feel like we had a home that reflected our own unique, individual styles.
As a designer who grew up on the outskirts of a large city, I had always gravitated towards a transitional style with a strong suggestion of femininity. Hubby on the other hand had grown up on a farm and loved all things rustic, industrial and masculine. If it seems like an overwhelming task to bring those two design styles into one, you are not wrong.
When our lives merged, I made the move to the country. This is when we decided to undertake a new build. We were both excited and as a designer, I couldn’t wait to start sourcing materials and visualizing exactly how this finished home would look and feel. My hubby’s first request when we started the planning process was that I not bring the city into the country.
COMBINING TWO DESIGN STYLES IN ONE HOME
The best way to start when your interior styles differ is to examine the exterior. It’s important to take your cues from the exterior aesthetic of the home.
Imagine how strange it would be to drive up to a beautiful, traditional exterior, open the door and be met with slick concrete floors and flat slab doors. It just doesn’t work because those two styles are so different.
Hubby wasn’t looking for a traditional farmhouse but he was most definitely interested in building a home that looked rustic and felt as though it belongs on an acreage.
We looked to the natural materials used on the exterior and started to incorporate those into our homes’ interior. We both love stone and wood and those were the starting points for combining our styles.
I designed a fireplace using brick that had the same colour palette and feel as the exterior brick. This is the focal point of our family room and it creates a harmonious connection between inside and outside. It definitely satisfied hubby because it has a very masculine look while I love the warmth and the commanding presence in the room.
Another area that we could both agree on was bringing lots of wood into the kitchen. I would never have been happy with the room being just wood without any painted cabinetry but we found a way to compromise and both get our needs met. The flooring, the island and the beams are all wood while the base and upper cabinetry on the perimeter of the room were painted white. This gives the room a fresh, bright look and appeals to my feminine side.
HOW TO INCORPORATE YOU INTO THE SPACE
There’s no doubt that compromise is going to save the project and your relationship. We also need to see ourselves reflected in our homes. When you walk into our front entry you’re greeted by an oversized chandelier in the style of antlers. This isn’t something that I would have included if I were building this home for myself but in the end, I love it just as much as hubby does.
As for me, just take a peek into my office to see the full extent of what excites me. There’s no other word that would suffice in describing this room than glamorous.
I brought in wallpaper, elegant drapery, patterned carpet and gold bling. Now every time I need to get away from the three men of the house, I can escape into this retreat. There was no need to compromise here because hubby doesn’t use this space. This is my own private space I got to design just for me. If you have the room in your own home, I highly recommend this.
A FEW SURPRISES ALONG THE WAY
It’s inevitable that we’ll learn something new about ourselves during the renovation or build process. As for me, I learned that I love pattern more than I ever realized. What started as a need to incorporate textiles that are durable for farm living, ended up in real love. Things can get dusty and dirty in the country and solid fabrics will show too much of that. I don’t want a house that always looks dirty or always requires maintenance so I opened my mind to the possibilities with pattern. And in the end, I’m so glad I did because I’ve learned to appreciate it in a way I might otherwise have never done.
THINGS I WISH I KNEW THEN
Our home was built pre-covid and we designed it for the way we lived then. If I had known then what we know now about the length of this pandemic and the way it would change our lives I would have done one big thing differently. I wish we had incorporated one additional sitting room into the design. Pre-covid everyone was out during the day but now we’re all at home and the additional space would be appreciated.
I hope you learned something valuable about how to combine two design styles in one home. It’s not easy but it’s 100% doable. And when you allow both people to have a voice it becomes a home that you can both love.
I’m super excited and very proud that our home ended up in a recent copy of Our Homes, a local design magazine that I love. You can read more about our home and see some of the images by clicking on the link below.
Are you getting ready for a renovation or build? Do you have a partner with a different design style? I can help you understand how to merge your styles and create a home that feels like both of you. See my Services for more information.