Tips and Guides

Real Talk: Here's What Really Happens When You Move In Together

Decorating the house is a collaboration between you and your partner

Photography: Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions (Main Photo)

They say traveling as a couple is the real test of a relationship, but try moving in together for the first time. If you manage to decorate your entire home without wanting to strangle your partner, then that’s true love right there!

Kidding aside, furnishing the first place you’ll live in will be an enjoyable and collaborative experience with the help of these tips.

Click here to see more photos and view the complete home tour.

Real Talk: You have different priorities when it comes to decorating

Make It Work: Know your non-negotiables

This will greatly affect how you spend your budget. Given that you have a bed, a refrigerator, a working stove top, and a functional bathroom (you can sleep, eat, cook, and take a bath), what are the second-tier non-negotiable items that will make both of you happy?

Pick one per person and make it happen. It can be a 42-inch TV for the hubby, and luxury scented candles for you. Whatever it may be, the feeling you will both get is, “I got what I wanted,” and that’s a great start to decorating your place together!

In photo: Coal & Canary hand-poured scented candles in “Gimme Some Sugar” and “That Hot Barista,” available at

Photo by Chris Cantada.

Real Talk: You hate budgeting

Make It Work: Assign tasks

Is your guy good with numbers, and you’re into styling? Take advantage of your strengths. Perhaps you can take charge of all the shopping and decorating, but his only condition is you don’t go beyond P100,000. Take it; that’s a great deal!

Done deal: If you want anything in excess of the budget (like those pretty pillows from H&M), you’d have to shell out your own money. 

Photo from Nalata.

Real Talk: You are each bringing in stuff that will definitely clash with each other

Make It Work: Deal with it

So your hubby is a toy collector, and you’re obsessed with scented candles and chalkboards. Combine your favorite things and work with the resulting color palette. You’d be surprised how two seemingly clashing elements can actually create a cohesive theme in your home.

RL Tip: Fill up a wooden shelf with your favorite things as a conversation piece. Make sure you have equal shelf space!

Photo from Cheap Movers.

Real Talk: You only have a 55sqm to work with

Make It Work: Buy multipurpose pieces to save money and space

Huge throw pillows can double as comfy seats on the floor when you have extra guests. A sturdy dining table can also be your study area. A side table with storage space can organize your coffee table books.

Real Talk: The condo rules state that you can’t paint walls or make major permanent changes

Make It Work: Find creative loopholes

If you are renting an apartment, you’re probably not allowed to make drastic changes to the place. Good news: There is always a workaround! Buy some 3M Scotchgard textile (they are pre-treated, stain-resistant, and thicker than most cloths) and use it as a wallpaper alternative.

Use double-sided tape to stick it on a white wall. Insta-wallpaper! The best part is you can change the cloth any time. Honeycomb for summer (see photo), plaid for the rainy season, and marsala for Christmas. Problem solved.

Photo by Chris Cantada.

Real Talk: Your partner is a total slob

Make It Work: Decorate with function in mind

Scenario 1: He gets home from work, and he removes his shoes as soon as he closes the door.
What you can do: Make sure you have a nice wicker basket to set aside dirty shoes so all the filth from outside won’t get dragged into your home!

Scenario 2: He doesn’t know how to clean the bathroom.
What you can do: Place cleansers in pretty containers  and store them right where he will see them! No excuses!

Scenario 3: He brings in the laundry and leaves them on the dining table.
What you can do: Compromise! He did the laundry, anyway, so maybe you can place them in your respective his-and-hers closets. We suggest you have his-and-hers closets.

Real Talk: You are obsessed with decorating everything all at once

Make It Work: Buy something new every payday

It’s okay even if you only start out with a mattress without a bed frame, because that means you can actually save up for that termite-treated, charcoal-grey wooden bed frame from Philux that won your heart when you visited their showroom. Some items are worth the wait, and you shouldn’t settle for a cheaper alternative just because you want the place done now. Shop smart. And don’t be impulsive!

What are the other things you and your partner experienced when you moved in together, and how did you make it work? Share your experiences with us and leave a comment on Facebook!

Photo from Best Portland Rentals.

More on

6 Things to Consider Before Moving Into a Condo Home

Furnishing Your First Home: 5 Pieces to Buy Now

Furnishing Your First Home: 5 More Must-Haves to Consider


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