01/26/2013 06:40 pm ET Updated Jan 28, 2013

Home Decor Can Either Ruin Or Save Your Marriage, Apparently

We've seen home decor do a lot of things for people. It can relax you, make you happy and even have an effect on your self-image. But can it save your marriage? According to Lauren Mechling of the Wall Street Journal, perhaps it can.

In a recent article, Mechling speaks of the problems that often arise in a marriage when furnishings of both partners are combined during cohabiting. She says rooms become designated as "his" and "hers" and pieces of furniture start to become known as "yours" and "mine" with a wedge being driven between the two -- if there can't be a compromise.

And according to Jay Lebow, a professor of psychology and a marital therapist and researcher at the Family Institute at Northwestern University in Chicago, it's things like fighting over lamps and rugs that can make one person feel less adequate, especially if it involves one moving into another's home. "The person who was living there all along feels hurt every time something is moved or changed. And the person who moved in feels like they've lost their voice," he told the newspaper.

But Mechling says that doesn't have to be the way. With books like "Luxurious Minimalism" by photographer Fritz von der Schulenburg and writer Karen Howes, newlyweds can find ways to combine their two styles and compromised. The designs in the book, Mechling writes, "reflect a certain ideal—one maintained by a couple who, while equally strong-willed, have learned to make room for each other's visual style."

Of course, you can never really tell. For instance, Machling spoke with author Jackie Collins, who, after two failed marriages, refuses to share a space with a man for fear of losing her glamourous, art deco style. "I don't think I ever could do it again. I have very distinctive tastes and I'm not going to concede to anybody," she said.

Head over the the Wall Street Journal to read the full article, and comment to weigh in: Can a relationship be affected by one's furnishings?

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