Home Decor For Newlyweds

Yours, mine…and Ours!

Combining Two Personal Styles into One Beautiful Home

It is that time of year again, and many couples are just about to say “I do”. But getting married can also mean trying to merge a collection of sports memorabilia with a canopy bed upholstered in bright pink silk. Sound scary? For many people who are about to start decorating their first place together, it just might be.

Let’s call this the Panic Phase.

What stays and what has to go? Who gets to keep what? What if one person likes contemporary and the other prefers traditional? Both of you have their own unique backgrounds, tastes and traditions. You may be coming from two separate homes or apartments, each filled with possessions. How do two different styles come together in a way that works for both individuals – and with minimal stress?

Read on for some survival tips!

Combining households isn’t simply about “stuff”. The things we own bring back memories, sometimes from long ago, like that armoire Grandma Anne gave your parents on their wedding day, or from the not-so-distant past, like that huge, yellow corduroy bean-bag that you won in a college poker game while “studying” for a math exam.
How do you deal with pieces that do not fit the other person’s vision for the new home? How do you build a shared vision – the foundation of shared memories?

First, each of you has some homework to do. This is the Inventory Phase. Start by making a list of everything you own. Evaluate each piece. Be brutal with yourself. Ask, do I really need this? Is it an heirloom? Is it something that really matters, or am I just hanging on to it? If the item is relatively new it should be in good shape with the potential to last. Let quality be your guide. You may not be wild about the fabric on a particular sofa, but if it’s a solid piece it can be reupholstered and serve you much longer than a trendy new item from Ikea.

Both of you should finish this phase by deciding exactly what to keep, and what can go. Now you are ready to start working together – and to begin to compare notes. This phase is called Dialogue and Compromise. And it is the hardest part.

The idea is to have an open discussion about what matters most to each of you. Acknowledge that it is not easy for the untrained eye to mix styles. In terms of process, neither should be totally in charge, but it is fine to recognize that each of you has particular strengths. Perhaps one takes the lead with interiors and the other focuses on landscaping, or vice versa. Whatever works for you!

What happens if the discussion doesn’t go easily? OK…it hardly ever does. Perhaps the conversation degenerates, and you end up sitting there thinking, “I just can’t believe the man I married actually expects me to put that in MY house! Who could imagine he would care so much about how the house looks? It certainly wasn’t obvious from looking at this bachelor pad!”

Let’s take a look at some common issues and solutions.

Collections and Designated Rooms
That’s a tough one. People have a natural desire to collect things. Some collections are easier to swallow for a new spouse than others. While most men can live with a china collection in a dining room hutch, I could not imagine looking at model cars, sports posters or “original GI Joes” collections in my family room. Call me old-fashioned! There is a place for those kinds of beloved displays – a place where time had stopped. Try to find a room that would be just for him. It may be his home office or a little workshop in the finished part of the basement – a place where he can do whatever he wants when it comes to décor. You do not have to see it. Just keep the door closed. 

Heirlooms
Speaking of collections, sometimes they are hand-me-downs, which brings us to another difficult topic: heirlooms. If your wife is not in love with that table your grandmother gave you, it does not mean she rejects your grandmother – to her it is just a piece of furniture that does not fit her vision for the new dining room. Try to compromise. Let her keep a piece that is important to her – assuming she lets you keep your table.

Trade Up
What to do with pieces that you let go? Sell them. There are consignment stores that accept furniture of different provenance and value (not necessarily traditional or antique) that may come and pick up your stuff. Selling a couple of pieces you do not want may help you to buy a piece that you truly need. Oh, I forgot… you were trying to pare down your furniture. OK, how about putting the money into a weekend getaway, or a nice dinner out? After all this stress, you will need a break.

When the time comes to blend houses, let’s hope you are not looking at two moving trucks filled with enough stuff to fill two or more houses. In that case, go back to the Dialogue and Compromise Phase. Two of everything is for arks, not households.

But if your possessions are nicely condensed, you might find yourself in the position of actually needing to buy things. Congratulations! Life is about to get a whole lot easier, especially if you can make the next decisions together.

You are now in the Ours Phase. Here’s what to do next:

o Make an inventory of all that you’ve decided to keep, noting what is useful as-is versus what needs refinishing or reupholstering.

o Make a list of what you need to add.

o Prepare a budget – it will help you stay focused.

o Buy the main pieces first (like a bed for a bedroom) but be flexible – if you see an absolutely gorgeous rug but buying it now would mean having no desk for a while – go for it. It is much better to collect pieces that you love over time than to rush out and buy a complete set of so-so furniture.

o Look for versatile pieces that could “travel” from room to room and ultimately from house to house.

o Make your place unique by bringing in accessories that mean something to you – travel mementos, flea market finds and interesting art. It won’t feel like home until it is really yours.

5 Reasons Why Orchids Make the Best Flowers For Weddings

Traditionally, orchids have been among the favorite wedding flowers for centuries. The choice for orchids are based, not just upon their beauty, but upon several factors each of which I will discuss in this article. When it comes to flowers, personal taste dictates beauty. For some, roses are the most beautiful, for others it’s tulips, and so on. So why are orchids the choice for weddings, and with such a large variety of orchids, what exactly are the specific orchids of choice for weddings?

Let me answer the latter part of that question first. The three most common wedding orchids are Cattleya, Dendrobium, and Phalaenopsis orchids. Cattleya are not expensive and are a hardy breed. They can withstand more extreme temperature variations than many other orchids, and their blooms are sturdy and vibrant. Their single bloom makes an ideal choice as a centerpiece for a bridal bouquet or headpiece.

With their long spikes, Dendrobium orchids display a striking arrangement in cylindrical vases for an alter arrangement, or for a reception decor. Dendrobium orchids are easily wire wrapped for corsages and wired bridal bouquets. They are also a hardy breed and withstand a wide range of temperature changes also making them ideal for hot summer days outside, and cooler air-conditioned environments indoors.

The Phalaenopsis orchid is among the most popular orchid flower for its versatility in wedding arrangements including, bridal bouquets, cake decoration, buttonholes, centerpieces and more. Because the Phalaenopsis orchid is very easy to grow, it is a favorite among commercial growers. As a result, you will find these beautiful flowers most anywhere. There is also a wide variety of Phalaenopsis species to choose from. So if your best friend had Phalaenopsis for her wedding last year, you can too with another color.

Here are five reasons why orchids make the best flowers for weddings:

1. They Have A Long History and Symbolic Value. The Japanese for centuries have used the orchid for artistic expression. For the Japanese, orchids were favorite decorations as well as being used in artistic designs. The Roman and Greeks on the other hand, considered the orchid to be sacred, and represented love, sexuality, and virility. In early Greek times, the orchid was considered to determine the sex of an unborn child.

2. They Have Long Lasting Capabilities For Long Events. Orchids have been regarded as a very fragile plant, and very difficult to grow. In reality, many types of orchids are very hardy and tolerant to varying degrees of climate. For a flower to tolerate environments of home, church, outdoors, and reception halls, the orchid must have something going for it.

3. They Have A Wide Variety Of Colors. How many flowers have such a diverse variety of colors. Orchids come in white, red, orange, blue, purple, yellow, pink, and varying shades of each of the colors. What color doesn’t it come in?

4. They Have A Wide Variety Of Fragrances. Wedding orchids often are held close to people’s noses. As a result, a strong scented flower may not be appropriate due to allergies. Since the orchid does come in a wide variety of fragrances, you can choose a more subtle scented variety such as the Cattleya, Dendrobium, and Phalaenopsis.

5. They Have A Wide Variety Of Arrangements. As I discussed earlier, orchids, as a result of their incredible variety, lend themselves to being perfect in every floral arrangement for a wedding. Orchids are a great choice as a centerpiece for a bridal bouquet or headpiece, they make beautiful arrangements for the alter or reception hall, and they look great in cake, and clothing decorations.

It’s no wonder why orchids are the preferred choice for weddings. And with so many to choose from, you’ll have fun picking the one just right for your wedding.