Moving in with your partner into a new apartment for the first time can be nerve-wracking. You love each other, but living together for the first time could potentially put your relationship to the test. There are a lot of compatibility questions that can arise, like who showers first in the morning or who takes out the trash on which days. Another huge point of contention is decorating the space and making it feel cozy. Making a new apartment feel like home with your partner can be a challenge at first, but becomes easier with these tips.
My boyfriend and I had been dating for over three years before we moved in together, so we had a really good sense of each other’s personalities, likes, dislikes, and general aesthetic. But when it came to decorating the apartment, we really had to figure out what would work for both of our tastes. Everything from the dining room set, to the couches, to the rugs was up in the air. But luckily, we were able to compromise and contribute things that were both individually and mutually selected.
From giving each other space to checking in before purchasing anything, here are five different ways my boyfriend and I helped — and continue to help — each other feel totally at home in our first apartment together.
1. We Each Contribute Little Parts Of Our Personality
My boyfriend and I each have very different aesthetics when it comes to what we want in decor, so we did our best to find a middle ground and then each added our own flair. For example, I’m a huge fan of gold and rose gold-coated things, and he really likes rustic wooden details. I bought a set of rose gold pots and pans, and he built a small wooden rack for them, so they sort of act like pieces of decor in our kitchen.
2. We Check In With Each Other Before Making Purchases
Whether it’s a dresser, a new plant, or a piece of art, we try to check in with each other before we buy anything that’s going to be on display in our apartment. This ensures that everything stays relatively cohesive, and that neither of us are spending money on something that the other one won’t like.
3. We Also Surprise Each Other With New Things For The Apartment
Even though we usually check in with each other before purchasing anything for the apartment or making any major changes, a surprise is nice every once in a while.
One of my favorite stories to tell is when we were struggling because we had no storage space in our bathroom, and we kept having to take things in and out of the bathroom to make space. We decided we were going to DIY some storage with IKEA bed slats, but couldn’t find time to do so.
I left for a couple weeks on a work trip, and when I got back, my boyfriend had done the whole thing by himself. It was such an amazing surprise to come home to, and I couldn’t have been more grateful. It really makes our bathroom look more complete, and of course, now we have a place to store our toiletries.
4. We Try To Carve Out Our Own Respective Spaces
Both my boyfriend and I are incredibly independent people, and adjusting to living in close quarters with each other was a huge transition for us. Though we love spending as much time together as possible, it’s important for us to take up our own space when we need it.
For example, if we’re both working from home during the day, sometimes I’ll migrate out to the kitchen or living room while he occupies our office. If someone is cooking, the other person won’t hang out in the dining room. Through living together, we’ve realized that alone time is just as important as time spent with each other.
5. We Go Shopping Together
Whenever one of us needs to pick something up for the apartment at Home Depot, IKEA, Staples, The Container Store, or anywhere else, we always see if the other person wants to come. It’s always fun having a little field trip and it gives us ideas of new things we can add to the apartment, even if we don’t buy it at that time.
Another activity we like to do is surf Facebook Marketplace together. A lot of our favorite furniture pieces in our apartment came from Marketplace, so we always like to keep our eyes out for fun things if we can. You’d be amazed by how much incredible stuff people are trying to get rid of — and most of it is in incredible condition, too.
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