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Moving in With a Significant Other:
A Story on How to Compromise on Decorating Styles

My friend Robert wanted to move in with his sweetheart, and because his place was a studio, they decided to live in her place. Now, Anna is a lovely person inside and out, and she was really happy that her relationship with Robert was moving along at a steady clip. One day, Robert borrowed a truck and they moved him in. He had twenty pairs of Levis, a big stereo and an electric guitar and a huge TV and a big computer set-up, and pretty soon, it was clear to both of them that Anna’s place wasn’t as big as they had initially thought.

Two People in a Space Where There Was Once One

But they didn’t want to get a new place because Anna’s rent was amazingly cheap and they figured they’d be moving in a year or so anyway. So Anna, being a lovely person inside as well as out, made room for Robert the best she could. She revamped her closet, threw out a bunch of clothes and added shelves for Robert’s things. She put her make-up vanity in the garage and Robert nailed her magnifying mirror to the bathroom wall so she could still fret over her two invisible lines and yank on her perfect eyebrows once in awhile.

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Your Style Most Likely Doesn't Match His

But Robert was still out of his element. You see, Anna had lived in the same place for five years, and she had it fixed up very nicely, for a single woman. Big ole’ Robert with his free weights and large boots and all his guy toys looked silly sitting around on Anna’s fragile, wrought-iron dining-room chairs. I didn’t have the courage to ask how he’d taken to the canopied bed in the ultra-femme bedroom done in baby yellows and pale, mint greens. In the delicate bathroom, the apple-green-striped kitchen, the velvet and silk living-room, Robert just didn’t fit.

Do Something to Help Make Your Man Feel Welcome In Your Space

So Anna did the only thing she could think of. She bought Robert an ottoman. Not just any ottoman: it is big, big enough for a pair of size-twelve feet and the Times and a man-sized coffee mug. It’s made of rich, dark leather, very masculine. It takes up twenty-five percent of the living-room, but Anna doesn’t care. That ottoman is more than a great piece of furniture, it’s a statement of confidence. It’s also a step in the right direction, which was what Robert needed after losing his bachelor pad and his freedom to eat pizza for breakfast. It’s rough on a guy, coming face-to-face with himself surrounded by pastels and gilt and posies. Anna did just the right thing: she let him know that her home is his home too. Next week, they’re going to start shopping for a matching leather chair.

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