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    Dual Home Design on a Dime

    When you live alone, you may not think that often about the design scheme of your one-bedroom apartment. But once you’ve taken the step of moving in with your new spouse or partner, how you create your space together matters more than you might think. You can look at the decorating process as an introduction to conflict management, and a time to figure out how you both envision your life together.

    Unfortunately, money matters often prevent one or both of you from getting what you want. But there are ways to circumvent the cash crunch while compromising on the look and feel of your new home. Let’s take a quick look at a few ways to manage both your budget and your sanity along the way.

    Shop the sales.

    This might seem obvious, but what many people don’t realize is that you can save even more on your favorite things — even when shopping at high-end department stores like Macy’s — by looking online for extra values before you head out. For example, you can find coupons for Macys at Rakuten and shave an extra percentage off everything you need, including bedding, accent rugs, and dishes.

    Go for dual-purpose pieces.

    One of the best ways to compromise is to use transforming furniture. These will be invaluable if you’re in a smaller home or apartment and you can’t quite agree on the best use of your space. You can easily find multi-functional tables that you can utilize for dining or working when you need them but that compact easily when you don’t. recently showcased several cool transforming furniture pieces that you have to see to believe. The best part is that you are only paying for one item, but you’re getting the functionality of two (or more).

    Upgrade existing items.

    You are combining two homes into one, and that means you will need to agree on whose stuff gets to stay and whose has to go. Things can get tricky here if you’re not careful. The good news is, however, that you can incorporate both of your personalities into each room without buying anything new if you’re willing to put some work into the process. For example, if you love the way your couch looks, but your live-in love hates the way it feels, it’s not difficult to change the cushion material. Further, a few new pillows and a slipcover can go a long way toward making an old sofa a new-and-improved centerpiece for less than a quarter of the price of a new couch. Bed Bath & Beyond has lots of stylish, affordable options.

    Dress up your displays.

    When you have two distinct personalities, you’re going to have to let some of each shine throughout your entire living space. And for just a few dollars, you can make that happen without taking away from the overall aesthetic of your home. One good example is incorporating sports memorabilia into the living room. A shadow box and some paint can make these humdrum trinkets look like time-tested treasures. Diva of DIY’s shadow box tutorial can show you how it’s done.

    DIY from the dollar bin.

    If your budget is ridiculously tight, grab a few bucks, and head down to your local dollar store. You can find everything from dinnerware to fancy-looking wall stickers, and you won’t have to feel guilty about overspending on any of it. On the days the two of you are feeling crafty, you can upgrade your 99-cent finds with a little bit of time and creativity. This starburst mirror is proof of what paint, glue, and a long afternoon can get you.

    When you move in together, you’re going to have to compromise, but you don’t have to drain your bank account to create a space you can both call home.

    Written by our guest writer,

    Natalie Jones

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