Do you and your spouse often clash when it comes to decorating? I know, I know, you were thinking you would move into the home of your dreams then your spouse would hand over those decorating reins and off to HomeGoods you would go, right? Well, sometimes that wonderful person you married does something that you never expected which totally turns your plan inside out…..HE CARES!
Navigating the decorating waters can be tough for one person. Let alone decorating for couples that both have differing opinions, especially when you are learning about yourself and trying your hand at decorating, maybe for the first time. It can be so defeating every single time you find something you love then ask that daunting question “Do you like it?” only to be completely shot down by your spouse.
Trust me I have spent many days arguing with my husband and making him feel as if he was “weird” because was unlike most guys and he actually cares about the decor in our home and when I say cares I mean he would literally decorate the entire house himself with no input from me if given the chance. We are programmed to believe that decorating is the last thing on a man’s mind and sometimes that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The thing is most men actually do have an opinion when it comes to decorating but they may care about it a whole lot less than we do.
Let’s be real, your husband probably doesn’t sit around daydreaming about the perfect colored curtains or the new fall decor they will have out this season but somewhere in there, he knows what he likes.
After years of learning to navigate marriage and decorating, I feel that we have finally come to a happy medium. No, I will never love his style and he won’t ever embrace anything vintage but that doesn’t mean we can’t find a common ground that makes us both happy. After all we do love our husbands and we do want them to be happy in their own homes, right?
So after many nights of fighting and being nearly in tears because of his refusal to embrace my style, we have finally figured out how to decorate together!
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8 Decorating Tips For Couples That Clash!
Assess Your Styles: This is something most people don’t do and it can cause major strife later if you go into it blind thinking you will have full reign of the decorating decisions. So ask your partner what they are drawn to and what things they would love to see in their home. This is a great way to learn more about them as a person while also figuring out their signature design style.
Do Not Blend: There is really no parallel universe where his favorite dark worn out leather chair from college is going to blend well with your all white aesthetic so don’t bother. You can, however, find an in between that will satisfy both of your home decor needs and still look amazing. This means digging deep and researching styles to figure out what it is you both really like about each of them then working to incorporate the right mix of each style into the design. For help finding your signature design style see my post here.
Slow Your Roll: This is probably the best piece of advice for anyone beginning their decorating journey, just take your time! Take time to figure out what you both like and how you will work each element into your design. You definitely don’t want to be sitting there a few months from now in a home that looks nothing like you envisioned because you went full throttle without thinking about the big picture. So many people just rush out and buy, buy, buy due to a need to fill the empty space but that is the worst thing you could possibly do. Great things take time and decorating is no exception.
Key Factors: Discuss what you will be doing in each space and what each of you will need from the space. On one hand, your spouse may be into TV and that will be a no compromise for them. You may need a cozy space to read a book etc. Find those key factors and how you each plan to use the space and stick to those things when creating your ideal space. Try to Work around these key factors, do not dismiss them because if each person’s needs are being met then you will both be comfortable in the space.
Color Matters: Once those key factors are defined it is time to focus on the color palette. Believe it or not, color is everything when mixing styles and it can make your home look cohesive and pulled together or it can look unintentional and thrown together. Nail down three to four colors that you each love, doing this makes mixing styles almost effortless because it narrows the options and you are both more likely to “okay” something if it blends well with your existing style.
Mix Elements: One thing I see often when I walk into other people’s homes, you can immediately sense that it is overly feminine or overly masculine. Even if you live alone it is always better to have a nice mixture of each in order to make the home feel layered and cozy. Mix leather, brass and natural wood elements throughout which will not only give your home the right balance but give your hubby the more masculine elements he needs to feel at home.
Neutrals Are Your Friend: When decorating together try to keep things like the wall color and large furniture pieces neutral. This may sound boring to some but I promise it is anything but. When shooting for gender-neutral (and even when you’re not) it is important to keep the main elements of the space neutral. It opens up so many more options for you down the road and won’t have either of you feeling as if you’re inside a man cave or she shed! You can have fun with accessories and the other elements of the space and when you are ready for a change it makes things easy as pie.
Love: Somewhere along this journey things may get heated and you may wonder why in the world you can’t have a spouse like your friends that could care less about the style of your home. The fact of the matter is you don’t and if he has an opinion now he won’t just magically stop having an opinion if you fight about it more or guilt him into allowing you free reign, actually just the opposite is likely to happen.
Instead, consider his feelings and how you would feel if the tables were turned and he did not take your opinion into account when it comes to something as big as your home. Odds are you wouldn’t like that too much either. At the end of the day remember you love each other and differences of opinion are going to arise, that is just what happens. Don’t allow it to become a source of tension in an otherwise solid relationship. There is a way to make both of you happy but it requires a little compromise from each of you.
If you are just starting out here are some of my favorite books on decorating and home decor, some of these completely changed the way I looked at decorating and helped me to have a clearer vision of where I wanted our home to go. They also look great on a coffee table or built-ins. Books are always a good investment, especially pretty ones like these. 🙂
For those of you that have dealt with this problem, I hope that you will find strength in the fact that tons of other couples go through the exact same thing and I hope this helped to shine a light on some of the helpful ways this co-decorating journey can be navigated.
Just remember at the end of the day nothing decor related is worth making your partner unhappy in their own home and you two can work this out with a little bit of effort from each of you. The more you partner sees you taking their opinions into account the more they can trust that you will do the same when you are on your own. If you enjoyed this post please feel free to share by pinning the image below.