So, you’ve finally taken the big step and moved in together as a couple. Your head is probably full of thoughts of how your daily life is going to look now that you have more time together. However, before you start getting carried away with images of lazy Sundays in bed and at-home date nights, there is a more important consideration. How are you going to decorate the place?

You’ll have to accommodate both your tastes, and chances are you’ll have to do it on a budget, given all the hidden costs associated with moving itself. Here’s how to create a space that represents both of you while avoiding any financial strain.

Establish Ground Rules

You need to have an honest conversation about how you envision the different areas in the house and how much you are willing to spend on decorating. Share your decorating ideas with each other, looking to find common ground where available. Listen to and respect each other’s opinions, and don’t force an idea the other hates. Check out this guide to decorating as a couple by Houzz for more advice. In terms of money, it’s a smart idea to set a budget. This will keep you from going overboard while also encouraging you to find creative, money-saving ways to make the place look great.

Shop Smart

Whatever you do, don’t just walk into a home store and start piling things into your cart — this is the best way to guarantee you overspend. Instead, do your research first by either looking online or going into the store just to browse (leave your credit card at home to resist temptation). Then, head back online to find the best deals on the items you have selected. Remember to check various sources. For example, Bed Bath and Beyond is a classic for everything from towels to kitchen appliances, but be sure to check a few different websites before buying. Ebates, for example, offers cash back, and the store itself often has clearance sales.

Have a Crafts Day

Crafting together is a wonderful way to create low-cost decor that holds meaning for both of you, and a great activity for your first weekend in your new home. Look up a few easy decorating crafts that you can make with cheap items, such as these potato print cushion covers or these colorful garlands. Another cute idea is to get out your art supplies and draw each other. It doesn’t matter if neither of you is particularly good, you might still end up with something colorful, playful, and personal for your wall (especially if you do a few tries). If you’re too scared of offending one another, heading out into your neighborhood to create sketches, photos, or quick watercolors of the area around you can also be a fun project. Find great deals on art supplies at a store like Hobby Lobby.

Overall, the secret to decorating a new place together is to take it slow and not take it too seriously right away. Moving is complicated, and it often takes several weeks to settle in completely. You’ll be able to slowly build the decor of your dreams throughout the next few months, allowing yourself more expensive items once in a while.

Until then, a money-savvy approach will keep you from going overboard and is likely to make the place feel far more personal than if you had just bought everything you wanted right away. Just remember to check in on each other’s opinions and to work towards something that feels like home for both of you, not just whoever is more excited about the decorating.

Article provided by Ray Flynn from DIYGuys.net.