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House Blend

Moll Anderson, the best-selling author of Change Your Home, Change Your Life With Color, shares her top tips for newlyweds making a fresh start in their first home.

Author and stylist Moll Anderson dishes on the importance of color. 

What’s the first step a couple should make when merging their belongings? The first step for couples is to understand their color stories. I suggest they each answer the color story journal questions in my book separately, and then get together and discuss their personal connection to color. If you are unsure of the creative direction for your home, then search for inspiration individually—in magazines and design catalogs or on sites like Pinterest. Once you each have chosen images of rooms you love, then sit down and compare your design styles. Remember that your home is a reflection of you both as a couple.

More stuff means more clutter. How do you organize a newly merged household? Merge and purge! If couples have been living on their own for some time, it is possible they each have a lot of the same things. Kitchen items and appliances are easy to make decisions about, but there will be some things that each of you will want to bring to the new home. I suggest allowing one big item each that you just can’t let go of—but only one! How you start out living together forms the foundation of your relationship going forward, so every decision requires conversation, compromise and care—the three C’s.

What if there’s an item one wants to hold on to but the other just can’t stand to see in their new home? Try a compromise. If he insists on that old recliner and you just hate to see that eyesore in your home, then consider having it reupholstered. Or find a location that is out of sight, like an office or man cave.

Are there certain pieces couples should buy together rather than try to merge? The bed and mattress are the most important purchases for new couples. You use your bed every single day, so investing in a good mattress and a headboard sets the vibe and tone for you as an “us.” Choose bedding that makes you both feel special and luxurious. The goal is to be excited to jump into your comfy bed at night in your new home.

Is it OK if one person takes the design reins? If someone is great at something, then let them take the reins. If one excels at design but the budget and financials are the other’s strong suit, then delegate the responsibilities. If neither is good at design, then consider hiring someone to help define your vision for your home. What is most important is to come up with a unified plan together—the “this is us” plan.

What advice do you have for couples who want to start an art collection? When purchasing an investment piece of art, my husband and I have a rule that works great for us: You both need to love it. If not, one has a chance to talk the other into it.