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Welcome to our blog! We are a husband & wife photography team based in Madison, Wisconsin who document weddings & anniversaries for joyful couples who believe in marriage. This blog is a journal about real love stories, marriage & our own adventures along the way! We are so glad you're here — please stay awhile!




Designing Your First Home Together | My 5 Best Tips.

March 21, 2018

Moving in with your significant other is a fun, unique experience that will lead to countless happy memories in your new home with your forever roommate : ) The two of you will learn which songs each other sings in the shower, how to make a few simple meals that become your favorite weeknight dinners, and just how hard you can laugh together.

However, along with the wonderful times will come some new stressors that your relationship has never experienced — from debating paint colors and how “clean” is “clean” to finding out how much louder your significant other seems to snore when you have to get up early the next morning …

I vividly remember the first year in our condo, a space I could finally decorate and make (somewhat) major changes to! Caleb and I often found ourselves with differing opinions when it came to decorating that year ; ) So today, I wanted to share some tips on how to make your first move together as seamless as possible and your first home together one that is a space you both absolutely love!

1. Make a budget – and stick to it!

Moving is both timely and expensive. When you and your significant other move, a way to save time, money, and a few headaches is to plan the day of your move ahead. Reserving a rental trailer or moving trucks a few weeks in advance will save you both stress when the time comes for your big move! Additionally, share your moving date with friends as soon as possible so people can let you know if they’re available and you can better plan for how long the move is going to take!

Budgeting also means agreeing and planning out how much money you are comfortable spending on a move or renovation — and this should include an “emergency fund” for unexpected costs. It is very easy to ring up a large tab replacing or buying furniture and purchasing items you didn’t know you would need in your new space, like extra lighting sources or rugs in a room that is larger than you thought. Also, what happens when the microwave dies the week after you move in?!  Having a budget and an emergency fund will help you make decisions in the heat of the moment and avoid unnecessary conflict in what can be an already stressful time!

2. Pick your “investment pieces” together

If you are buying any new furniture when you move, it is important to consider how different your interior design tastes probably are. One of you might prefer Joanna Gaines’ country-chic look while the other might love a polished, modern aesthetic. This could be a good thing to discuss prior to moving in together! With that being said, a productive bonding experience for the two of you could be picking out a piece you love together. If you focus your options on finding high-quality, functional pieces for your entertaining and living area, for example, you will be able to find durable furniture that will leave you both happy for years to come!

Practically speaking: After making a budget for an item (i.e. coffee table), I would gather together a bunch of suggestions that I loved and ask Caleb which ones he also loved or didn’t like. This worked well for us because while I care more about decor and design than Caleb, he still had a say in what pieces we were purchasing and felt like he was part of the team!

3. When in doubt, stick to neutrals

Chances are, you don’t have the same favorite color, either (I love pink and Caleb loves orange — yikes!). A way to avoid the tension this may cause is to pick your furniture in neutral colors such as browns, tans, grays and blacks. I am convinced you can’t go wrong with neutrals! Then, you can add life to your room throughout the clever use of texture, pattern, and multiple colors in your decor pieces.

Another idea to add color and vibrance to a space is to choose artwork that showcases your favorite pop culture moments, artists, bands, or personal photos (my fave!). Additionally, using decor pieces like rugs or throw pillows to add color accent to a neutrally-colored palette also offers up the opportunity to easily redecorate for any holiday or future color shift as your taste changes!

4. Decide what stays and what goes as a team

To avoid hurt feelings or the loss of a sentimental item, go through each of your belongings together to come to a consensus for what will make the move and what will stay behind. For couples who will be keeping one person’s bed and getting rid of the other, one of the only environmentally-friendly ways to dispose of a mattress is to donate it. Organizations such as the Salvation Army will allow you to schedule pickup for items that that cannot be resold, as well as ones that can be sold second hand.

This will not only eliminate the need for a garage sale and the headache of posting countless ads online to sell furniture, but it will guarantee you a tax refund come April. Win-win!

5. Not everything will look like a catalog image, and that’s okay!

Lastly, many couples get ideas for their first home together by watching shows on HGTV and flipping through countless design magazines or pictures on social media. While these are great for inspiration and are guaranteed to yield a beautiful Pinterest board, they are often unfeasible for young couples.

What has been working for us in our new home is to decorate one room at a time (we keep saying our house is a lifelong project, ha!) or to keep your hand-me-down furniture for a bit longer while you search for the perfect pieces or color scheme. I am convinced that being patient and waiting to find the perfect items or for something you love to go on sale helps you make sure you are purchasing things that are timeless and that you truly do love!!



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