Living with someone else always brings its challenges, doesn't it?! I mean of course you love it, yes, but you also wouldn’t mind changing a few things, no? It doesn’t matter how well you get on, there’s usually some small thing which seems to slowly grate and over the months/years eventually becomes impossible to ignore. The way the washing up is done (or isn’t done!), clothes on the floor and not in the laundry basket, items not tidied away… Even in the most well ordered of homes there are always little things that seem to require some compromise: one of you is too cold and wants the heating on, the other is too hot and opens the windows all the time... One person wants a bright light on in the living room, the other prefers more ambient lighting… One of you wants the tv volume up super loud, the other is deafened in the process… Ah, the joys of cohabitation!
It’s as if our modern homes aren’t really geared up to helping people live together. So many pieces of furniture and items for the home seem to be made for smaller living spaces and for those living by themselves. Though of course this is not a bad thing, it’s great how interior designers have addressed this issue. The General Lifestyle Survey of 2011 found that the number of people living alone nearly doubled between 1971 and 2011, from 9% to 16%. But, this is still dwarfed by the number of 2 person households, which, according to the Office of National Statistics, was 35% of all households in 2015. A pretty large demographic. So if you’ve been used to living on your own for years, or if you’re used to doing things a certain way and suddenly someone else comes into your life, you’ve got to adapt your house and re-learn certain things. Our homes, used to coping with just one person, have to now cater for two.
But it needn't mean a major transition. Sometimes, all it takes is a tiny tweak to adapt a house made for one into a sanctuary to share. So what are these mini modifications for the home? The answer is simply to seek out beautiful items which have a practical purpose and encourage consensus. Nicer than an argument, better than any counselling and wonderful to purchase together, these small changes will have you living in perfect harmony.
If you want to read while your partner is watching tv, it can be tricky to get the lighting just right. So it's time to ditch the ambient lighting and focus more on task lighting. A double-arm floor lamp with adjustable heads that can be angled to suit your differing needs would be the perfect solution.
Does your partner like leaving bits and pieces of 'stuff' all around the house, promising to tidy it away at some point? (And driving you a little crazy in the meantime!?) To solve this, try buying yourselves some lovely room tidy baskets. Whenever you see a 'pile of things to be put away', you can scoop them straight into the basket until they're put in their rightful place. The good news is they'll look so good you won't mind them being on display.
You're not alone if you think your partner has the tv way too loud. If you both want to listen to a particular programme at different volumes, invest in a wireless headset. For the person listening through the headset they can independently adjust their volume without affecting the volume emitted by the tv in any way. No, they're not especially sexy and hey maybe you also want to chat to each other as you watch without a headphone blocking conversation, but for those times when you just want to chill out and watch a movie together, (or maybe one of you wants to read or sleep), then they could be the best thing ever.
4) Dirty Laundry
If that dirty laundry never quite makes it to the laundry basket and always seems to remain in a heap by the bed, it could be an opportunity to re-think where to put it. Adding a storage ottoman at the foot of your bed for all your laundry is a simple and easy solution. Just open the lid and voila! (No excuses now).
If your partner thinks it's too hot, you feel it's too cold, right? This is such a common problem and no where does this have such an impact than at night. Before you argue about how far to open the window, a 'his and hers' duvet could be the answer you're looking for. It's a complete duvet made for two, but with one half thicker than the other half. Both halves are happily secured in one continuous duvet, giving you each the best sleep at the right temperature.
If you're both working hard and away for long hours of the day, you can quickly feel a bit like passing ships, which means that you can't communicate as much as you'd like to. Yes, you can text, email, call or connect using a million other ways through social media, but it's not quite as intimate as a hand written note left out for you. Make communication easy by incorporating a blackboard into your kitchen/dining room. It's is a great way to leave little messages for each other! (Shopping list optional).
These mini modifications are not rocket science, but compromise doesn't have to be complicated and often it's the simple solutions that can work wonders.
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