DEAR HARRIETTE: My fiancee and I are finally moving in together. This is my first time in a while living with someone other than my children, and the same goes for her. I have a very minimalistic approach to how a house should be decorated, while she loves to make a house into a home. I've been struggling with how to incorporate both of our decorating styles into a shared living space. She loves earthy tones, while I love modern, sleek furniture. Is there any way each of us can win without clashing? -- Mix & Match, Indianapolis
DEAR MIX & MATCH: Here's where creativity needs to step in, along with a healthy dose of patience. What many couples do -- if they have the space -- is to let each partner have a room that they can decorate any way they want. This gives you complete freedom of expression in at least one area. The rest is a negotiation.
The idea of making the house a home is a great one, which you should acknowledge. Move from there to discussing how to incorporate dashes of color into her earthy palette. Get some interiors magazines to give you ideas. Look at some of the decorating shows on HGTV. Watch together and talk through design ideas and solutions. If you get into the project together, you will have a better chance of developing a shared visual identity that will make you both comfortable. Just remember that compromise is the key to happiness!