Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“How Can We Make HIS Bachelor Pad OUR Apartment?”

After two years of dating, my boyfriend and I decided to move in together. Due to location and space, I moved into his apartment. For the most part, the transition was smooth…until I started rearranging furniture and adding my personal style in an attempt to transform HIS bachelor pad into OUR apartment. For example, he had a kitchen bar he stacked magazines, a framed photo of his grandmother and other random trinkets on top of. I cleared it — there was gorgeous granite hiding underneath — and placed his things neatly on top of his book case. I also purchased some bar stools and placemats, and replaced his old comforter — a gift from his mom — with my newer down comforter and moved his old one to the guest bedroom. I’ll admit, I went a little too far when I basically took over our entire bedroom closet but I backed off and put out-of-season items in the guest closet to make space for his stuff too. He says he understands how I’m feeling, but we still haven’t compromised on how to make it OUR home. Any tips for us? Maybe I just did too much at once? — Design Maven

This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart, not only because one of my passions is interior design (Apartment Therapy is my biggest work distraction), but also because it was only three and half years ago that I, too, was faced with the same dilemma of how to make his bachelor pad our apartment. Back in September of 2007, I moved from Chicago into Drew’s apartment in Manhattan — an apartment he had been living in for almost 15 years already.

You can imagine after all that time, Drew was just a wee bit resistant to making big changes overnight. So I didn’t push it. We took things slowly … very slowly. In fact, it was five months before I even moved my things in! See, when I moved to New York, I wasn’t sure I’d be staying with Drew permanently. I thought there was a good chance I would, but I also didn’t want to put that kind of pressure on a relationship that had, until that point, been long distance. So, I put all my things in storage, save for a couple of suitcases and my cats, and told Drew I would stay with him until I found a job and an apartment of my own. It wasn’t long, though — a couple of months, maybe — before we both realized how much we loved living together and how silly it would be for me to move out.

I could have sent for my things then. I could have started redecorating. But I waited. Or, more accurately, I tackled a very little bit at a time, and always in partnership with Drew. Over the course of several months — several long months — Drew went through all his cabinets, drawers and closets and started getting rid of things — 15 years of things! — that he no longer needed or wanted. Together, we made many, many trips to Salvation Army and quite a few sales on Craigslist. When there was finally a little breathing room, I had my things sent from storage in Chicago and we went through round two of unloading stuff we didn’t need. I think it helped a great deal that he saw how willing I was, too, to get rid of stuff so that we could both fit into his/our apartment. It can’t be just one person making sacrifices.

Finally, when we settled on what could stay, we began making some stylistic changes to the place. Remember, at this point, I had been living there for about five months! So, to say I was anxious for the place to better represent my aesthetic would be an understatement. But still, I didn’t rush things. And I didn’t make any big changes without conferring with Drew first. I wouldn’t have dreamed of changing his bedding, for example, without his okay, or taking over his closets or making big purchases without his input. What I did instead, was get Drew interested in changes I was thinking about. I started showing him ideas from Apartment Therapy or pictures from magazines. We went shopping together — a lot — which gave us an opportunity to sort of see how we could mesh our aesthetics.

Another thing I did, which went a long way in forming a kind of creative partnership, was encouraging Drew to frame some of his artwork (he was an art major in college and published a comic strip for several years) and hang it on the wall, and pull some of his grandmother’s cool belongings (she was a world-traveler and interior designer) from a box in the closet and put them on display. Giving space to parts of his history and talents was a great way to get him excited about this home we were creating together — it showed him I really was serious about making it our place and not just taking the space over.

Then — and this is big! — when our apartment started really coming along, I suggested throwing a party. After all, the place looked really different and I thought we should show it off. People who had known Drew the whole 15 years he lived there, couldn’t believe how great the apartment looked (here are some pics at one of our last parties in that apartment). We got so many compliments at that first party that it gave us both a boost and affirmed for us that the changes we’d made were good ones (it also made us love throwing parties…). Drew was so psyched to live in a place that people actually envied, that he gave me “free design reign.” He said he trusted me so completely to make choices that reflected both of us, that he was okay with me doing whatever I wanted from here on out. That was nice of him, but to this day, I still confer with him about big stuff. (Last June, we moved to a new apartment in Brooklyn that we have had lots of fun designing together. You can see pics of our progress here, here and here.)

Anyway, DM, my biggest tip for you is to make designing your home together a fun joint effort. Do not take sole responsibility. Do not move his things without asking him. Or, if you do, be sure you say, “This was just an idea. I wanted to see how it would look like this, but if you don’t like it, we can change it.” Go shopping together. Show him ideas on websites or pictures in magazines. Spend a weekend — or two or three — each going through your belongings and paring down so you have more room and storage space.

What it comes down to in the end is respect. As much as your boyfriend needs to respect your desire to make his home feel like yours now, too, you have to respect that he has history there that can’t — and shouldn’t be — erased. But, most important, that history shouldn’t get in the way of your future together either, or you happiness and comfort in your new home. So be honest with each other. Be honest and patient — very patient — and soon you’ll have a home that reflects who you are as a couple.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

36 comments… add one
  • Pam February 3, 2011, 9:59 am

    I am facing this issue from the other side right now. My boyfriend of 2 years and I have started talking about him moving into MY condo… the added bonus is that I have 2 kids that live with me part time and he will have his 2 kids that he has legal sole custody of (but who are currently with their mother against court orders)… and the condo is currently only 3 bedrooms!!
    I am resistant to change too much, after all this is my first home without my exhusband… but to make this work we have to build another bedroom for my son (the only boy) in the basement and do a lot of tossing things out and rearranging things. Because I left my marriage with so little, everything I have now are things I have worked hard to get for my home, so getting rid of it worries me…

    Even though I want to live with him and his kids (we’ve spent a lot of weeks and weekends living as a family before the girls went to “visit” their mother), I don’t want to lose EVERYTHING that makes the place ‘mine’ either…

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    • Diana February 3, 2011, 10:04 am

      i’m in the same boat… he’s been living in my place for a few months and only recently have i tried getting his things out of boxes and put away and meshing our things together. he’s not too big on aesthetics but i know if it means tossing some things to make room for both of us then we’re going to have problems. just remember that it will be a lot easier if you have more room to be a family if you let go of some of the STUFF.

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    • TheOtherMe2011 February 3, 2011, 10:55 am

      Pam, I know exactly how you feel. I spent my first two “post-divorce” years in an apartment and then purchased a condo a little over 6 years ago.

      Like you, I am also proud of the home I “created” for myself but I also think that if you’re ready to change your “life” in order to live with your boyfriend ( and your combined kids ) it won’t be that difficult to change your “space”.

      In fact, I think creating your new “family & couple” space will be equally gratifying for you. Good luck !

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      • Pam February 3, 2011, 1:09 pm

        Its not so much that I will resent having his stuff there… we’re going really slowly because, although the kids had previously meshed his girls have been (for wont of a more apt term) “abducted” by their mother in the US (we’re in Canada) and so there are going to be issues with his custody fight, the fact that our kids haven’t been meshing as one family for over a year now, and the fallout from the fact that now the kids won’t have visitations with their mother. We have been discussing what of mine we will keep, what of his, what we will do with the extras (we each have the EXACT same kitchen table set!!!), where everyone will sleep, etc…
        Right now he stays over on weekends, so technically he sees MY home as “OURS” and his place as “HIS”… and I worry that I will make all these concessions (while he stays here I still pay 100% of all bills and groceries, which I have told him will HAVE to change if he does want to live together) he will back out at the last minute. I am very VERY rarely, and reluctantly, allowed to visit his place… which makes me wonder if he really wants this (its his idea) or if its just lip service because he thinks that is what I want???

        Until he shows he’s serious about making the move (applying to jobs in my city (since his job is being deleted at the end of this school year he won’t be able to go back there and there are very VERY few jobs in his small town) and actually helping me make extra space, I don’t want to start getting rid of MY stuff. Stupid as it is, I still don’t want to be left with nothing if things don’t happen… too many bad memories of sleeping on air mattresses…

  • TMSC February 3, 2011, 10:19 am

    I know this is not an option for everyone, and may not even be remotely possible, but when my fiance and I moved in together, we were lucky enough to be able to find a new place together. If it is possible, I would suggest trying that. This way, from the very beginning, it belongs to both of you. Again, I know this isn’t practical for everyone and depends a lot on timing and circumstance…but if it is something you could potentially do, it makes this issue much easier to deal with.

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    • cdj0815 February 3, 2011, 10:54 am

      I have had numerous people tell me that they did the same thing of purchasing a new place. Both liked that a lot better. Man I have a house, with all my junk in it. Until this article, I forgot that one day I may have to make some new living arrangements when the right one comes along again . When it comes to advice about this, I got nothing.

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    • LK7889 February 3, 2011, 11:59 am

      Yes, I did the same. Bought a new house for us to both move into. We had a ton of fun deciding what would go where and how things would be set up. That said, I still have trouble with the stuff that he wants to keep. For instance, political sock puppets from the 1980’s that sit in a box all the time and never get looked at or used… Sometimes you just can’t get them to part with the crap.

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  • fast eddie February 3, 2011, 10:21 am

    Good grief Maven, why didn’t you just pee on the carpet or take a flame thrower to it. No mater how much into each other you are (happy, happy) it was HIS place and your the guest. Yank those placemats off the counter and stuff them in somewhere out of his sight this very minute and put his grandmothers picture at eye level. There’s no nice way to put it, you’ve invaded and it won’t be long before he’ll revolt.

    Wendy’s approach was superb of course, and you get some credit for reversing the closet domination. This is an area that you could get gold stars for compromising on. One of my friends got married recently and he staked out half the closet for himself but didn’t use most of it. I told him he had much to learn…

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    • Wolvie_girl February 3, 2011, 10:34 am

      While agree with you, Eddie, that she moved too far too fast, you’re way out of line to say that this was “HIS place and you are the guest”

      Once they made the joint decision to live together, it was no longer “HIS” place, it’s THEIR place. She is NOT the guest. She has every right to make herself at home in her new home. But she should work with him to do this, not make changes willy nilly on her own.

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      • baby.blanka February 3, 2011, 10:54 am

        Agree with you Wolvie, and I think that is a really important distinction to make. You’re never going to be able to feel truly at home if you always have the mindset that it is “his” apartment. Granted, it doesn’t seem as if the LW has a comfort problem (at least taking over closets anyways 🙂 but telling yourself over and over again that it is his place really doesn’t do anyone any good.

      • Wolvie_girl February 3, 2011, 1:02 pm

        You’re right baby.blanka…LW seemed a little TOO comfortable!

      • fast eddie February 3, 2011, 9:20 pm

        Your right in a sense Wolvie, it is their place now, but it was his before it became theirs and she should cut him some slack. The letter just screamed ME! ME! ME!. It hurt my ears.

  • baby.blanka February 3, 2011, 10:26 am

    I moved into my BF’s bachelor pad and I have to say that my move (though not cross country) was similar to Wendy’s. My BF really wanted to include my things though. He pretty much gave me free reign so in return I did not take advantage. Most of our things are still his (a lot of my stuff is still in a guest room) but we’re slowly working on incorporating both of our personalities.

    One thing I think is important is to really do what you need to do in your most used areas; I am the only one who cooks so I took over the kitchen to make it usable to me (not to a man who practically has a relationship with his George Forman grill). He is in charge of our video game and computer room so I have no need to rearrange it. When you have the spaces you use most already under control, the spaces you share become less of a priority I think, and they happen more organically.

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  • Amber February 3, 2011, 10:43 am

    I agree with Wendy. Slow down! And I also agree with one commenter above put the Grandmother’s picture back. I’m sure there is a way to include it where he had it while still showing off the counter top. I moved in with my bf a year ago and I’ve definitely taken it slow and asked before I’ve done things. It might seem from the way they decorate that they don’t care but they put things, like photos, in places for a reason. Just remember to include him and make it so that the decisions you make are together and he feels like he still has a say in what happens in his house.

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    • fast eddie February 3, 2011, 7:34 pm

      You nailed it Amber about his decor may SEEM uncaring, BUT back in my single days I cared very much and had a clean uncluttered look. The furniture was expensive and the artwork on the wall were originals. Now with my wife’s help there isn’t a horizontal surface with greater then 1 square centimeter that isn’t covered 3-10 items deep. But do I care…DAM RIGHT I DO. Too late to reverse course, all ahead full. When the pile get too high I just shove it near the door. sometimes it works…

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      • fast eddie February 3, 2011, 9:21 pm

        I must confess that I hate placemats and have absolutely no sense of color coordination.

  • AnitaBath February 3, 2011, 10:55 am

    I don’t “live” with my boyfriend exactly, but we’ve been together for over a year and a half and I spend a lot of weekends, vacations, and nights at his place. I think it obviously really depends on the type of guy and their feelings towards it. My boyfriend’s house was kind of a mess, and almost all of his belongings were hand-me-downs from his mom and his friends because he didn’t bother with anything. He had an entire spare room that looked like a scene from Hoarders, and his bedding was seriously old and falling apart.

    I started with the bedding first, since that’s where we spent most of our time (hehe). Then I tackled the spare room with his help. We cleaned out all of his closets, got rid of bags and bags of trash and unneeded clothes. I found him a new table and chairs that look awesome, a desk, and I’ve entirely redone his wardrobe.

    In essence, I would be some of these guys’ worst nightmare, but that’s why I’m saying it depends on the guy. I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing any of this to someone who felt like Drew or another guy that felt strongly about his apartment, but my boyfriend honestly just didn’t really care. He’d always wanted to clean things up and make things look nicer and redo his wardrobe, he just didn’t know how or where to begin.

    Then again, I also guess it depends on whether your boyfriend has a sense of style or whether they’re just completely indifferent towards it all 😉

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    • WatersEdge February 3, 2011, 11:04 am

      haha- spare bedroom from Hoarders and ripped bedding… sounds like our place when I moved in!

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  • WatersEdge February 3, 2011, 11:02 am

    I moved in with a long-distance boyfriend and the decor was terrible. Boxing photos, hard wood everything, black leather, chrome detailing… some people like that but I think it’s very cold and bachelor pad-like. I did the same thing as Wendy and I highly recommend it. At first, I added my stuff where there was already room for it. I let him know that the decor wasn’t my style and I’d like to alter it someday, but I didn’t get TOO into detail for a few months. We started with small details like changing the throw pillows, then the rug, then bedroom and bathroom stuff. I started with things that were old and needed to be replaced and worked my way up to selling things on ebay which were functional but not my taste. We picked all the new stuff together and ensured that it matched his current stuff but made it more homey and soft. And I praised, praised, praised when he made concessions- “this new rug really pulls our home together, it feels like our place now, thank you for agreeing to get a new one just to make me happy, I really appreciate it”. Now, after 8 months of living together, I can be more blunt. I told him flat-out that he needs to pick whatever thing he wants to take down, but we need to hang a wedding photo somewhere. So I don’t just take down whatever I don’t like, I ask him to help choose. My approach wasn’t as calculated as it sounds. I felt uncomfortable redecorating at first, but as I stayed longer I became more brazen.

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    • Wendy February 3, 2011, 11:08 am

      Great tactics!

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  • Mainer February 3, 2011, 11:57 am

    Agree with Wendy in taking it slow. I bought my first condo about a year and half ago. They say first homes are the most expensive because you get all psyched to make changes, do projects, etc. Anything to make it your own, now that you’re allowed to do that and don’t have to worry about losing a security deposit. So about six months after I moved in, I entered a long distance relationship. Few months after that there was talk of her moving up here, and into my place. As if that notion wasn’t nerve racking enough, she said that I was not allowed to do anything to the place – no projects, no painting, nothing! Needless to say, huge turn off! Consequently, few months later it ended. Not all because of that, but it spoke to a larger “controlling” aspect of her personality that my stubborn personality didn’t clash very well with. Guys don’t like be smothered. We like to think we’re making decisions, even if we’re not (you ladies know all about that psychology). Definitely work with him, because chances are after all the shopping and decisions, he’ll do just what Drew did and hand over the reins. It’s what I would have done.

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    • Woman of Words February 4, 2011, 2:35 am

      Yes I agree, Mainer! Just before we married, my mum and I went over to my fiance’s place to clean it (I’m sure my mum thought I was going to come down with some disease…). Cleaning involved removing car parts from the loungeroom floor, and ‘mushrooms’ from the shower. He also had a collection of furniture that people had offered (before they threw it out) and we culled that. I didn’t actually any of my own things at that stage.
      He was not pleased, not one little bit, although down the track he did admit that it was much better. It added tension leading up to the wedding, as if there isn’t enough of that already!

      Since then I have discovered that he is a HOARDER of the worst kind. It is a battle to get him to throw anything out. He has a saying, ‘Keep something for seven years. If you haven’t used it by then… turn it over and keep if for another seven years.’
      I’m not like that. Honestly? It’s a soul destroying clash!

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  • Laurel February 3, 2011, 12:38 pm

    I’m so jealous of you guys with an interest and skill in interior decorating / design. I’m moving into my boyfriend’s apartment right now (he just moved in a month ago so we’re still working out how to utilize the space, still need to get some furniture, etc). I want to make it stylish place, but I’m so boneheaded about how to do it. Also, we’re on a super tight budget. Any tips?

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    • Wendy February 3, 2011, 12:51 pm

      Read Apartment Therapy! Seriously, check out some of their awesome house tours (photos of readers’ homes) for ideas. Visit lots of vintage shops and flea markets with your guy to find great deals on unique stuff. Don’t be afraid to bargain! Oh, and scour Craigslist. if you see something at, say, Pottery Barn, do a search on Craigslist and see if you can find something similar, gently used, for a fraction of the price.

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      • bitter gay mark February 4, 2011, 4:44 pm

        Apartment Therapy is an amazing resource of ideas and inspirations and unlike many magazine which feature grand places with massive budgets…. Apartment Therapy showcases the small and what one can do with a little paint and creativity… It is a great resource… Especially go back and check out the small and cool contest…

  • Wolvie_girl February 3, 2011, 1:13 pm

    When I moved in with my boyfriend, he had lived alone for over ten years, three at our current house. Needless to say, he had completely inhabited the three bedroom house on his own, and making room for me proved to be challenging. I am seriously advers to clutter and knick-knacks and I’m very organized, so I started in the kitchen. Since my kitchen-ware was nicer than his, he had no problem letting go of his “duplicates” and just using mine. When it came time to share the office, however, things got sticky. He insisted that he needed everything that was there and I would have to use the guest room for my office. I knew this was crazy, so I made a deal with him:
    I came in with two bags: donation and trash. We went through every item in this office and if he couldn’t tell me either 1)How and when he had used it in the last year or 2)How and when he would need it in the futute specifically, it went into one of the two bags. A couple house later, I had more than enough room to move my stuff in!

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  • Wolvie_girl February 3, 2011, 1:15 pm

    future, not futute! (that sounds vaugely french)

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  • Natasha Kingston February 3, 2011, 1:19 pm

    I just want to say, Wendy, your new place is GORGEOUS. What fantastic floors! And the kitchen!

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    • Wendy February 3, 2011, 1:27 pm

      Thank you! Our landlord, who gut rehabbed the place before we moved in, really did a fantastic job.

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  • bitter gay mark February 3, 2011, 5:57 pm

    This is a decidedly tricky subject… I agree that moving into a new place would probably be ideal… But in many big cities, that is simply cost prohibitive. Or, if the guy already owns a great place. selling it off buying someplace new is probably a foolish waste of money. (I say guy here only because the piece was headlined about moving INTO a guy’s bachelor pad…clearly the same is true if the woman owns the great place.)

    Interesting, this is one area where I truly do think it affects all couples gay and straight equally. Men are baffling when it comes to their stuff. (Women, too, I suppose, but I’ve dealt mainly with men on this issue.) I’ve had male friends with groovy apartments not bat an eye when their new significant others made significant changes… I’ve also had male friends with really blah and uninspired apartments flip out over the fact that “suddenly” the new live-in-lover was making — what I deemed to be MUCH NEEDED changes… 😉

    It’s a minefield to be sure. Work together. Go slow as Wendy says… Her handling of the situation was so measured and well thought out it astounds me. Such patience! Not sure I would have the same!! The main thing is to simply get rid of any excess crap! I did a massive purge when I remodeled my own place a few years ago in a fit of mid century madness. (Curiously, this was but mere weeks before I discovered Mad Men.) I agonized over so much that I was hauling off to the salvation army. Of it all — there is only one planter that I regret giving away. That’s it! One silly little flower pot! Freeing yourself of the clutter truly frees you! Trust me.

    Yes, I love my new Mad Pad. So much I often wonder what I would do if I ever meet Mr. Right and he turned out to also be Mr. French Provincial… The Horror. The Horror…

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  • bitter gay mark February 3, 2011, 6:02 pm

    PS — In parapraph two — to clarify — I was NOT the live-in-love making changes. I meant only that my best friend would ring me up and vent about how his new man was making all these changes to his place… and I’d be like, “Sam, it sounds fabulous! What are you upset about, your place was not exactly what I’d call inspired! Tony has a great eye! Trust me! Go with it!!!”

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  • ArtsyGirly February 3, 2011, 7:52 pm

    Oh BGM – I love love love your comments.

    I have to say that moving in is a minefield without the problems of decorating! My word is always PAINT. When I moved in with my SO, I moved in with his hetro life mate as well (this only lasted a year but you can imagine sharing space with 2 male mid twenty year olds). Their bachelor pad was not badly decorated – the roommate is an artist as was his extended family which was wonderful – but almost everything was utilitarian. I talked to the landlord about painting the off white walls shades of gray to make it more homey and they said sure so long as we primed them again before we moved. That really made the space feel more like my own without spending too much money. You just have to pick your battles – I upgraded the couches after sometime but lost out on the print of Dogs Playing Poker (it is banished to his office)

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  • evanscr05 February 4, 2011, 10:22 am

    Have you considered getting a storage unit? When my fiance moved into my apartment with me and my roommates, we didn’t have the space for all of his stuff, so we got a storage unit. Life saver! When we finally moved into the place we have now and had space for everything, we spent a significant amount of time going through all of our stuff in the unit and purging what we truly didn’t feel attached to any longer, and then moved everything else into our apartment and got rid of the unit. It really helped in the immediate timeframe to have the space we needed at home, but to still be able to hold onto our things that we weren’t ready to let go of yet. If that’s something you can afford, it might be a good option for now. And if you do go that route, I would suggest not using a place like Public Storage. Find a place that has all of the units inside a building with temperature control, versus outside in a garage style. You’ll prevent bugs, and your stuff will be much more secure.

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  • trillian February 4, 2011, 11:58 am

    I moved into my guy’s bachelor apartment 6 months into our relationship, and while we did just about everything else wrong, we did ok with the redecorating. We kept his artwork, but it all got frames, we used my dishes ’cause his were cracked hand-me-downs and had weird shepherdesses painted on them, and everything else we just squeezed in where we could. The situation was never expected to be permanent, just till we got another place, so we didn’t do much and we didn’t argue much.

    The issues came later when we moved into a house that he bought. He saw it as “his house” because he paid for it, whereas I saw it as “our house” because we worked on it together and lived there together from the start. Luckily we have very similar aesthetics (and the same favorite color), so once I convinced him that I couldn’t live with white walls ever again, and he convinced me that scarlet walls are only for artists in lofts, things flowed pretty organically.

    After 9 months of remodeling and doing all the work ourselves, it was no longer “his house” even to him. There was a teensy hiccup when he inherited a bunch of antique furniture (with claw feet! ewww!) but we managed to carefully incorporate several nice old pieces with some new things with really clean lines. That way we keep our more modern style and the place doesn’t feel like a museum to Granny.

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  • Chicago_Dan February 4, 2011, 4:49 pm

    Couldn’t agree more with everyone on this though I couldn’t have put it as eloquently as you all did…

    What I’m wondering is what this chap is thinking during this hijacking of his (now, their) place? Is the LW checking in with him or as fast eddie says, is it all about the “me, me, me…”?

    Contrary to popular belief, a lot of guys care about decorating and what-not. What i suspect is the majority of us are picking our battles and not making a fuss over where/how the sectional is placed to balance our the living room and compliment the colours on the wall, etc *yawn*…

    In all seriousness, LW; give the bloke a chance to have a say in where he lives.

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  • islandgirl February 5, 2011, 11:41 pm

    I moved in with my fiance (now husband) a few months before we got married. He was a bachelor for a long time though he had only lived in his apartment at the time for about a year. I moved across country and was careful about changing things around. My husband actually told me I could do whatever I wanted except move his electronic equipment (tv, stereo, dvd player, etc). I was totally fine with it. I took things slow and did not move things overnight. I always made sure to ask him before hand if I was going to move something personal (i.e. pictures). Overall, my husband didn’t care much since I think he welcomed having female touches around his place. I would agree with others that simply taking over everything is a bit much, especially when you replace them with “your” things. For example, the comforter situation would have been better handled by actually discussing and going out to purchase a new comforter. Yes my husband had items his mother had purchased for him such as dishes. Even my MIL told me specifically to get rid of them if I wanted since she only purchased them because he needed dishes. We actually used those for a few years before purchasing new ones.

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