Been there done that. As strange as it might sound for some of you, a few modern South Asian women still decide to live with their in-laws right after marriage. I would say it’s largely a tradition thing, but these days many young newlyweds couple that with economic necessity. Looking back, I think I did it for the same reasons – part tradition & part student loans. I was lucky to have a couple of rooms just for myself (and my own bathroom thank god). So, the question I have been asked recently is, how do you decorate this ‘temporary space’ without inciting any in-law dramatics?
Here are just a few simple suggestions that can help make this space feel perfect for wedded bliss.
Get a nice bed
Gently get rid of hubby’s old ‘single day’ beds and associated (likely non-existent) bedding. Invest in a bed and quality mattresses (seriously, don’t cheap out on mattress). Fresh bedding and pillows will immediately transform the space whatever you do, try not to go all matchy-matchy on your bedroom furniture. Take the time to invest in a great bed, unique dresser and lovely end tables. The collection will look great together and you can always split it up when you get your own digs.
Invest in Art
Chances are that when you live with your in-laws you do it to save some money. Whatever your reason, I would encourage you to budget for some original art if you can. Something you and your husband can do together. I only wish I did that back in the day (I did buy a big Pottery Barn mirror and put it under my bed for my ‘future’ house). You definitely will have some wall space – so get some great pieces that can start your collection. Go to local galleries, online places like Etsy (www.Etsy.com), Saatchi (http://www.saatchionline.com/) , Soceity6 (http://society6.com/prints) or UGallery (http://www.ugallery.com/) also continually inspire. If you have some talent yourself…start painting away! I just think every room (however temporary) needs art to bring it to life.
Area rugs can work wonders
Whether you have a hardwood floor to cover or not, layer in some gorgeous area rugs (you can go thin with Dhurries & Kilims). Area rugs can bring in great colour, texture and pattern to a room and can help define your space.
Get an occasional chair
Buy a chair. You can go with a gorgeous upholstered chair or perhaps something more sculptural or maybe even a design classic that you can invest in. A chair can become a statement piece in a room that helps layer and connect the room. Besides, it works great as a hamper too. Practical and pretty- a win-win in my books.
Whatever you do…give your space some thought. Temporary or not, if you take pride in your space it helps you feel more comfortable in your new surroundings. Living with in-laws can be challenging at times and decorating your space can show your enthusiasm in living together.