Newlywed Home Decor: Tips And Tricks From Kate Lester

Friday, August 15 2014

When a couple first moves in together, furniture-negotiation and décor debate can get a bit tricky. The truth is that it’s much more than simply choosing 1 of the 2 sofas and merging your art -you're blending two styles, perceptions, previous lives (and apartments). A huge issue that arises is the age old question - How does one pull it off without too much drama, all while keeping your voice heard? Celebrity Interior Designer Kate Lester of  Kate Lester Interiors, has married many a couples style and has some tips to share that new couples have been missing for years. She’s compiled a list of the top 10 ways to keep your sanity and love for one another during this arduous process to keep hair pulling and throw pillow arguments to a minimum. Combine your lives and furniture to create a space you are both proud to call home, and are happy to make years of happy memories in.

1. Honor thy coffee table: Select something that is durable and won’t leave you scrambling for coasters every time your significant other cracks a beer. My husband and I finally agreed on a stone top coffee table with a wood base. I got something interesting, and he got a table I don’t worry about when the boys break out the snacks during the game. I love the Atlas by DWR.

Newlywed First Home Design

2. Pick scents that make sense: Nothing is worse than walking into a space and it smelling either too masculine or like an overgrown rose garden. If both of you love candles, select a scent that is clean and fresh. I love The Awesome Candle in Tuberose. It’s the perfect gender-neutral scent. 

Interior Design For Newlyweds

3. Find your bargaining tool: For a lot of our newlywed clients there is something one person thinks is really important. Ask yourself, should I put my foot down, or use this as a bargaining tool? Can you bend a bit and come to a compromise? Offer up the larger tv, but then you get that floral roman shade you really want in the kitchen. Give and take is the key to staying sane when blending tastes and styles.

4. Ditch the pillow pile: Remember that scene in Along Came Polly where he destroys the enormous pile of accent pillows with a knife? It’s funny because it’s true. When selecting bedding and pillows opt for contrast euro shams or standard shams, and maybe one unique accent pillow in the front. Select pillows that you really love and want to show off. You will thank me at 5 in the morning when you are not tripping over a huge pillow pile on your way to the coffee maker. 

5. Tufting with a twist: The classic chesterfield sofa is the epitome of masculinity. That’s why it graces cigar bars and gentlemen’s lounges throughout the world. Give it a softer look by upholstering it in linen instead of the traditional leather. It will lighten up your space, be softer to sit on, and still look masculine enough for your man. One of our favorites is this one by Restoration Hardware.

New Home Design for Newlyweds

6. Make him baron of the backyard: Many of our female clients want free reign designing the living room but don’t really care as much about the backyard. (But their husband’s do!) Appoint him the official baron of the backyard and encourage his participation in selecting the plants, mini fridge, and bbq. He will feel included, and you can tackle the living room undisturbed.

7. Retire the recliner: Comfort is key, but recliners are so 1980! Invest in a classic ergonomically correct piece like the Herman Miller Eames chair and ottoman instead! It’s super comfy, and becomes an instant focal point of any room. 

Newlyweds First Home Design Advice

8. Curb clutter with a chest: We rarely use traditional single-drawer nightstands next to a bed. Instead, we go with a small chest of drawers for added storage and to anchor a high headboard. One of my favorites is the Noir Daryl Dresser. Swipe clutter into the drawers below and the top is nice and tidy! 

9. Nuances of nailheads: Balance a more feminine fabric on a dining chair with clean wood legs and oversized nailhead trim. It’s a unique way to anchor the chairs and make a statement in the Dining Room. One of my favorites is this one from Bliss Studio

Newlyweds First Home Design Advice

10. When in doubt, hire a pro! Designers have mastered the art of curating a collected look while playing referee. Our job is to blend modern and traditional, and mix colors and textures. When it gets too overwhelming hire a designer and let him or her help you make the entire process much more seamless and enjoyable!