I laugh aloud each time a client complains about their spouse’s interest in home decor. I remember the shock I felt when my husband vetoed my preferred paint color. I never expected him to care, much less have an opinion. We’ve come a long way since then and actually love involving him, as I should, in the process. In this post I provide my best advice for creating a home you will both love.
IN THE BEGINNING
I didn’t realize decorating with a spouse would be this hard until we bought our first house. How I couldn’t wait to paint the walls and fill our new home with all my best ideas. But he had ideas, too.
It left me beyond frustrated and honestly frightened that I would never have a beautiful home. Would I be sentenced to life with a football coach’s design aesthetic? Framed jerseys and commemorative football helmets, I shuddered at the thought.
However, after 13 years of marriage, I’ve grown accustom to my husband’s input–most recently with the redesign of our great room. Together we selected this teak console table (pictured above) while on a day date to an antique mall.
So far he’s contributed some excellent ideas and it’s been fun working together to create a new great room/ family room that we can all enjoy.
What a refreshing change!
Here’s my best advice for compromise:
1. ASK HIM WHAT HE WANTS
Instead of breaking out into a cold sweat when he doesn’t capture your vision, pause and ask him what he wants. Go beyond the conversation and pull images from the web to communicate ideas to him. Lastly, take into account his concern regarding function and married them with your need for style.
2. GIVE HIM OPTIONS, BUT NOT TOO MANY
For many of us, being faced with too many options makes it harder to make a decision. Three selections tend to be the magic number. If none of those work, then pull another three for consideration. If you still can’t come to an agreement, simply ask him to trust you to make the decision alone. With all the other input he has in the space, he is more than willing to allow you to make the call. That’s what compromise is all about, right?
3. PICK AND CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES WISELY
Because getting along in any relationship always involves an element of compromise, learn how to give a little. Make a list of your priorities and a list of his priorities. You may be surprised to learn that they are not the same thing. For example, having a television in the room may be high on his list and not on your list at all. Instead of fighting about a television and draining intimacy from your relationship, instead choose an armoire or find a creative way to hide the TV when not in use. Get the idea?
Decorating with your spouse is a way to spend more time together while creating something that represents you as a couple. Allow this emotionally-charged process to be yet another way to strengthen your bond and effectively communicate with one another.
How have you mastered the art of decorating with your spouse? If not, please contact us to schedule a two-hour design consultation. We are here to help keep the peace and create shalom in your home!