Renovating a home can be a stressful process when you do it on your own—but it can be doubly so with someone you love. When there’s cohabitating involved, balancing different styles, opinions, and taste levels can get dicey. From choosing materials and appliances to deciding what makes the punch list, determining how to merge your style with a significant other is key to making a happy home. Here, couples give us a peek into renovating together, from blending opposite styles and accommodating one partner’s “bull-in-a-china-shop” cooking habits to one project ending in an engagement!
Hissan and Sophia knew that they wanted to purchase a larger home but couldn’t see eye-to-eye on style when it came time to renovate. Instead of choosing one’s vision over the other, the couple agreed to compromise. Custom molding and classic, patterned wallpaper satisfied Sophia’s taste for the traditional. And by incorporating Hissan’s preference for the industrial—reclaimed dark wooden beams and oversized matte-finish pendants—this kitchen was able to find its style sweet spot.
Lia and Chris developed a strong point of view going into their renovation that made selecting materials, appliances, and fixtures a smooth process. However, although they share similar styles, the couple debated over a waterfall edge for the kitchen countertop and labored over the decision of whether the kitchen should remain galley-style. Their commitment to working together, especially when making tough decisions, allowed them to create a kitchen they love.
According to Nikki and Chris, living through a kitchen and bathroom renovation brought the couple even closer. In combining their styles, Chris took the initiative to find vintage-inspired hardware to match their wish of a modernized, NYC prewar bathroom. Their renovation had teaching moments including trusting others to work in their home and to take care of it, discovering their own preferences, managing a budget and timeline, and learning how to compromise. They also grew closer to their community during construction as they showered at friends’ homes and brushed their teeth at local coffee shops.
Becky and Sarah spent most of the summer hiding out in their bedroom while their kitchen renovation was underway. Although living through the renovation was stressful at times, the couple didn’t just survive the process—they thrived. Their beautiful new kitchen led to an engagement. Sarah said that the renovation could have torn them apart, but in the end, it only made their bond stronger.
Cara and Jared, an avid cook and a professional chef, wanted a kitchen that could handle the two of them working side by side. Together, they chose materials that would suit their needs, deciding on built-to-order cabinets to expand storage and a durable and stain-resistant counter to account for Jared’s “bull-in-china-shop” tendencies. The result? A kitchen that can truly stand their combined heat.
Looking for more kitchen inspiration? Lee transformed his cramped galley kitchen into a glossy all-white dream space.
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