Today’s date holds a very special place in my heart as a day of love. My parents got married 37 years ago on this very day. Today we celebrate them, but we also celebrate a new engagement. My brother-in-law recently popped the big question to my cousin, and she, of course, said yes.

Having just gotten married earlier this year, I’m finding how wonderful the married life can be. Although we were together for many years before, making it official has brought us to a new level of happiness. But, as anyone who has been in a long-term relationship can attest, it takes work.


In the home, we have had to figure out how to merge our styles. We’ve been living together for almost a decade now, but I’ve learned that the compromises never end.

We are two different people, and our design personalities are quite different. Luckily, we’ve had some great role models who have taught us these tricks for merging our styles:

Let it go

One of the hardest things about living in Hawaii is finding the space for all of our things. When you combine households, it makes it even harder. Whether it’s a kitchen gadget, a piece of clothing or even a childhood keepsake, paring down will go a long way. I’ve found that keeping a cardboard box handy can help. From time to time, if I’m unsure about letting go of something, I’ll put it in the box, along with other donations. If I come back to the item within a month or two, I can keep it. If not, it goes.

Complement each other


So what if you happen to love aqua blues and he happens to love tropical oranges? Using a color wheel, you can determine shades that complement one another and allow your favorite colors to co-exist without competing.