Combining of the Stuff: Design Tips for 2

As New Years becomes a distant memory, and Valentine’s Day fast approaching, many couples (or friends) are making the “move” to live together. This transition can cause a great deal of stress in even the most stable of relationships, so here are some DESIGN tips that will help alleviate some of the stress & lead to a smooth transition (AND create a very cool home!).

Probably THE biggest challenge is the “combining of the stuff”. WHO’S stuff will be featured…WHO’S “style” will be dominant…WHO will have WHAT space as their own…Also, if 1 is a “minimalist” and the other is a “clutter-a-holic” THEN chaos, and arguments, can occur as to the maintanence, display/storage and upkeep of “stuff” becomes part of the daily routine. And, from previous articles, remember The Clutter Counselor philosophy on clutter: clutter is the physical manifestation of our emotional baggage. And, if utilizing Feng Shui principles, WHERE the stuff is can represent area where the “clutter-a-holic” may be stuck (i.e. Career, Family, Abundance, Health, Creativity, Travel, Relationships, Success, Spirituality).

So, how can you effectively address this BEFORE a major fight occurs? Before there is the “combining” of stuff, each person needs to do a thorough purge. Ask yourself: Do I LOVE it? Do I USE it? Do I NEED it? If there is no positive answer, the item must go. Especially if the item represents something from the PAST (relationship, job…) as the move should represent a move FORWARD. After each person has done a purge, THEN a plan needs to be developed based on the space they are moving to. And remember, no matter the size of the space you are moving to, each person needs to have a place where they can display THEIR STUFF (although in the case of taxidermy & prize animal trophies, placement in the home is key-Feng Shui-so you aren’t placing “dead energy” in an important Life Area as you don’t want the stuffed 6′ bear trophy greeting your guests in the foyer, or an owl looking down at you while you try to fall asleep…and yes, I’ve seen all of this.).

So, what needs to be kept in mind in regard to home decorating, organization, layout?

Each person’s personality needs to be represented in the space, otherwise it plays out in the relationship (stronger voice overtaking the more passive personality).
Color: WARM colors need to be placed in ACTIVE areas (living room, family room, kitchen, media room, hallways) and COOL colors used in PASSIVE areas (bedrooms, studies). Bedrooms ALWAYS need to have COOL colors to help ensure a good night’s sleep. That being said, add WARM colors (RED specifically) when “rest” is not on the agenda! For accessories: accessories should MATCH what the room represents. A bedroom should only have items that represent REST & ROMANCE (no pics of the in-laws or friends or of vacays taken alone or w/friends or nude paintings of your mother…seriously, I’ve dealt with this as well).
Lastly, for layout: the main piece of furniture needs to be placed in the Power Position of the room. The Power Position is the diagonal corner from the entryway. This is the most psychologically secure position in the space. This includes the bed!

DeAnna Radaj, owner of Bante Design LLC, has been dubbed “the House Whisperer” as she can enter a space and help to tweak (or remodel, re-design) the space to work better to suit its function AND the lifestyle of the occupants of the space. Bante Design is an Integrative Lifestyle Design company, specializing in healthy home design. Using ILD, life quality can be increased AND be supportive to any transitions occuring, lifestyle changes or health challenges.