Originally posted at Family Home Guide
What is this all about and how does it apply to you. If you are a home owner and you are married or living with a partner, I am sure that you have had more than one argument over the interior design of your home. In fact, when buying a new home or remodeling an existing home, fighting with your partner about what color to paint the walls, what furniture works, flooring, window covering is inevitable.
A home is very personal, it is our retreat from the outside world, a place where we entertain and raise our families. When two people come together, and combine their lives in a dwelling, they both are going to have their own style and ideas on how their house should look. I find this to be especially true for couples who move in together in their 30’s and older. Most of them have already lived alone and have personal belongings that they want to put into their new home. I have even worked with couples that have completely different taste and we still were able to make it work.
Sometimes couples will get lucky and one partner just does not care, this article is not for you. This article is also not for the couples who are angry at one another and use designing their home as a war path of disagreements. This article is for the couples who are having a hard time agreeing and want to learn how to make it work. The key element is the willingness of wanting to make it work, and using the tools available. I have been an interior designer for 15 years and have a Masters degree in marriage and family therapy, over the years I have helped many couples with their design dilemmas.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started. Magazines are a wonderful tool in figuring out what you like and showing it to your partner. Spend some time thumbing through design magazines and getting to know what one another likes. Write down what both of you agree on and what both of you do not agree on. Compromise is the key. Take the time to listen to each other. Each person pick out four items that you just can’t live without. Those four items that you each picked has to be a part of your home. For example, one person may love the color blue, this color has to be in the design of your interior, it can be paint, or fabric, bedding etc. One person may say I can’t live without carpet and the other person may have allergies and carpet is a dust collector, solution: area rug, non-toxic 100% wool carpet, or just carpet one room.
Once the two of you have come up with your list of must have’s and absolutely must not haves, research a good designer to help you put it all together. Gather your magazines, with the pictures that each of you like and sit down with the designer and start to put the samples together. Doing this work before you meet with the designer will save you money on time and aggravation. Show the designer around your home and pick out the pieces of furniture that will stay and what needs to be replaced. If the two of you have a hard time working together, then one of you has to be the team captain, then later you can sit down with your partner and go over all of the details.
The best investment you can make in your home and in your marriage is taking the time to listen to one another and create a home that reflects both of your personalities. I have even had couples who choose a separate room in their home to reflect their taste, or one person picked out the wall color and the other person picked out the furniture.