Adventures in Cohabitation: A Move that Made a Happy Home

Adventures in Cohabitation: A Move that Made a Happy Home - LEAD
Photo: Dustin Walker

No matter how you look at it, moving in with a partner is a big step in any relationship. And moving in with only a few weeks’ notice? That’s a different story entirely. So, when Casey, a social media manager living in Los Angeles was told she had a week to vacate her sunny Santa Monica apartment, she went into straight panic mode.

“My roommate at the time got a job offer in San Francisco and had to move up there right away. Our landlady was less than understanding about it – she wouldn’t allow a subletter and gave us just under a week to move out before kicking us to the curb.”

Casey was left with a difficult decision: reacquaint herself with her childhood home or “temporarily” move in with her boyfriend? While she didn’t feel ready to make cohabitation a permanent situation, she packed her bags and headed to her boyfriend’s.

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Dustin Walker

But before long, Ryan and Casey had become pretty comfortable living together in his Los Angeles duplex. “What began as a necessity turned out to be a really good thing for us,” says Casey.

The couple had passed the first test of cohabitation – not wanting to destroy each other after a few months of sharing a space. But, since Casey didn’t think that the move would be permanent, she hadn’t even unpacked her things. So the second test of cohabitation began – making his space feel like their space. That’s where Laurel & Wolf came in.

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Dustin Walker (2)

As someone with a taste for beautiful things and well-designed spaces, Ryan’s mismatched furnishings, odd color palette and sparse decor just wasn’t cutting it for Casey.

“It was dark and empty except for a pair of red couches and some candelabras on the wall. I felt like I was sitting in the lobby of Medieval Times,” Casey shudders.

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Dustin Walker

Thankfully, the arched doorways and white hearth fireplace provided great bones to work with. But after several attempts to decorate the space on her own, Casey decided to enlist professional help. With Laurel & Wolf designer Rashmi Ramaswamy, Casey merged her trendy, aesthetic with Ryan’s man cave style to create a comfortable abode for them to share.

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Dustin Walker

Though Casey had a clear vision, Ryan had yet to be convinced. “I’m a creature of habit and had gotten used to the way things were,” he says. “It was difficult for me to visualize the end result just by looking at renderings and individual items.”

“Ryan’s very skeptical of change,” says Casey. “At one point we had five different couches in the apartment while we tried to figure out which ones to keep.”

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Dustin Walker

Finally, the pair hit cohabitation test number three -- compromise. There was some bickering over the red couches, but in the end, they kept his half-moon accent table that now sits beside the fireplace.

“There was a rug that I thought tied the couches together – those items were the hardest for me to get rid of. But I realized that Casey has a better eye for design, so I let her run with it. If there was something I really didn’t like, I would voice my opinion, but otherwise, I trusted her judgment,” explains Ryan.

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Dustin Walker

After all, trust is one of the most important aspects of any relationship. A leap of faith led Casey to move in with Ryan, and a little trust in Laurel & Wolf made their living room come together.

This article originally appeared on LaurelandWolf.com. Photos by Dustin Walker. Designed by Rashmi R.

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