How to Decorate an Apartment You Share With Your Boyfriend


By agreeing to share an apartment with your boyfriend, you are signifying that you will fully share the space. Make your boyfriend feel at home and head-off resentment problems by including him in your decorating plans. Since an apartment is a smaller space, you can't just dedicate separate areas in the home to accommodate both of your styles and interests. Instead, come up with a scheme that reflects both of your personalities.

Things You'll Need

  • Camera (optional)
  • Pen and paper

Find Mutual Colors and Styles

  • Choose three of your favorite objects in your home, and have your boyfriend make his own selections. Pick three categories so the objects have some elements in common, such as something to hang on the wall, something that is purely decorative and one piece of furniture.

  • Bring the objects together to examine. If one of the objects is too large to move easily, snap a picture of it for reference.

  • Find commonalities in the selections, such as color, style and scale. For example, the boyfriend chooses a framed LP, a plastic figurine of Yoda and a mid-century style Eames chair; the girlfriend chooses a jade vase of fresh flowers, an ornately framed vintage mirror and white wicker library table. While this boyfriend's style is mid-century and pop culture-infused and his mate's is more traditional and feminine, possibilities for unity exist.

  • Write out a plan that shows the merged style. The couple in the example can go with a vintage-eclectic theme that allows both to keep their cherished classic pieces without worrying too much about unifying time periods. With an eclectic style, the couple can keep the pop culture and feminine elements, and they can pull the green from the Yoda and jade vase to repeat with other accessories or bold wall color.

Editing Belongings Fairly and with Mutual Style in Mind

  • Work with your boyfriend to assess what each of you have. Create separated, numbered lists of types of objects.

  • Identify "deal breakers" first, before starting editing discussions. If you have a family heirloom tea service that you couldn't imagine not displaying, make that clear up front. If your boyfriend must have an area for his record player and album collection, respect his wishes. Don't include "deal breaker" items on the list of editable items.

  • Check over the list to eliminate duplicate function items that don't match the new mutual style. If the boyfriend from the earlier couple's example has a few ultra-modern side tables, and the girlfriend has Victorian-style antique side tables, the girlfriend's tables better match the combined style. Edit evenly from each person's belongings where possible.

Tying It All Together

  • Renovate or cover up pieces you or your boyfriend want to keep but clash with other objects in the style you chose together. Toss a throw over a beat-up recliner, slipcover a mismatched sofa or drape a tablecloth over an unsightly tabletop.

  • Shop together for additional pieces and accessories. Buying new pieces together will fill in the gaps caused by eliminating off-style objects. Set up the excursion as a date, and end the event with something you'd do on an actual date, like dinner at your favorite sushi joint.

  • Involve your boyfriend in the process of placing furniture and grouping accessories. Even if you don't like his suggestions at first, try each one out. Continue rearranging until both parties are satisfied.

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  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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