How to combine conflicting interior styles, according to an interior designer who's mastered the balance

Designer Marie Flanigan says clashing with your partner over interior design is more common than you might think. This is how she suggests reconciling your different tastes

Three neutral-toned living rooms designed by Marie Flanigan.
(Image credit: Julie Soefer / Marie Flanigan Interiors)

If you've recently moved in with your spouse (or are moving to a new home together), chances are you've run into some design disagreements. Whether you're both stubbornly set on your individual styles or simply don't know where to start, blending both of your tastes and interests into one cohesive home can prove quite the challenge.

Lucky for those of you stuck at an interior design impasse, Marie Flanigan, founder of Marie Flanigan Interiors, has some suggestions. The interior designer just took to social media to share her top tips for merging your interior design style with your partner's, and the solution's more simple than you might think. Here's all you need to know to resolve your home decor dilemmas once and for all.

'If you and your spouse disagree on style, I promise you you're not alone,' Marie says in the video. 'One way to work through this is both of you print out images that really inspire you and that you want the home to feel like.'

Figuring out how you'd like your home to feel is the perfect first step for crafting a successful design scheme. Think about how you'll use each room, and what emotions you'll want to experience in each space. Then, find some examples online. By creating a mood board of sorts and sharing sources of inspiration with one another, you and your spouse will be off to a great start – and potential disagreements will be squashed from the get-go.

'Then find common threads, whether it's a dark and moody, light and bright, velvet, oak – whatever you can find that weaves both of your visions together,' Marie adds. 

Even if your interior design styles are completely contrasting and don't seem to have a ton in common, look closely for the details that mesh. If both of your concepts feature something as simple as a similar paint color or wood flooring, you'll be left with a jumping-off point that makes you both happy. From there, you can begin adding considered design details, says Marie. 'Layering in pieces of furniture that you both love' will lead to a complementary, calm space, she adds.

'That's what's going to make your home feel layered and collected and really what building a home is all about,' says Marie.

Marie Flanigan
Marie Flanigan

Marie Flanigan is an award-winning interior designer whose passion and achievements in design have positioned her as one of the nation’s best. She is classically trained and practiced architect, and her trademark style is evident through the sophisticated use of color, texture, and light. Every home she designs receives her personal signature of timeless elegance and innovative simplicity.

Curating a home alongside your spouse can be a fun, rewarding process that only brings you close together, but getting off to a good start can make or break the process. With Marie's tips, you'll be on the same page before embarking – and your home will be all the better for it.

Abby Wilson
News Writer

I am a News Writer at Homes & Gardens, with a focus on interior design. Most recently, I worked with Better Homes & Gardens, where I wrote and edited content about home decor, gardening tips, food news, and more. Before that, I studied Journalism and English Literature at New York University. I’ve moved around quite a bit in the last several years, most recently making the trip to London, and love transforming each new space into a comfortable retreat that feels like home. When it comes to decor, I’m most drawn to unique vintage finds and calming colors.