The Challenge of Decorating/Remodeling With a Man

The Challenge of Decorating/Remodeling With a Man

The first thing (and perhaps most important thing) you need to know when you involve the average man in your plans to decorate/redecorate your home… if he says “I don’t hate it.” That’s good enough.

Looking at color samples to decorate their new house.

Here’s the deal. You’ve probably spent countless hours poring over paint colors and fabrics. You’ve thumbed through every imaginable magazine looking at room settings. You’ve considered thirty different styles of couches. You’ve consulted numerous times with your “decorator” friends. For the last two weeks you haven’t had a restful nights sleep because you’ve been debating with yourself about whether to use wainscoting in the dining room. Now, after weeks of planning you can’t wait to show it to your male significant other. He glances at it and says with a cursory nod, “Uh-huh.” But what the heck does that mean? You want him to like it as much as you do, so you start feeling guilty that he doesn’t really like it. This makes you doubt your choices. After all, he’s going to be living with it too. In fact, you want him to LOVE it. I’m here to tell you, if he says “I don’t hate it,” that’s GOOD ENOUGH.

Things have changed in the decorating world over the last several years. Men and women are spending lots of time with the TV, watching home renovation and redecorating shows. It turns out that more guys than you can shake a Sherwin Williams paint stick at are interested in redecorating. And they are interested in more than just the manly art of ripping plaster board off the walls. “Men are now as likely as women to want a voice in decorating a shared space,” says HGTV’s David Bromstad, host of “Color Splash” and the network’s original Design Star winner. “There’s more education about design now,” he says, and cutting-edge style is accessible to everyone.

Young couple looking at fabric samples, woman on sofa, smiling

Couple looking at fabric samples.

So, how do a man and a woman find shared happiness in the world of decorating? The professionals at A & M Furnishings suggest you talk and you listen… and sometimes you stretch your decorating tastes just a bit. One idea is to blend your styles. It’s likely that you each have your own ideas. How about incorporating the best aspects of both? You just might end up with a style that represents you as a couple, not each of you individually. If there are certain items or pieces of furniture you absolutely cannot agree on, and you have the space, it may make sense to create separate spaces for each of you. For instance, if you have a home office or hobby space that you spend a good deal of time in while your partner spends more of his/her time in the basement workshop, go ahead and mount that moose head in “your” room. Let her flock the heck out of her “special” space.

Couple putting new wallpaper in room.

Couple putting new wallpaper in room.

For areas that aren’t equally shared it’s important to shop together. You might not agree on every piece of furniture, paint color or wallpaper pattern, but it’s likely at some point your preferences will intersect and you’ll reach a compromise. Think about this… Imagine you’ve drawn two circles that overlap slightly in the center. One circle represents your taste in furniture and the other represents your partner’s taste. The modest overlap in the middle of the circle represents your converging style preferences. When that happens… buy that piece of furniture! When you agree on a purchase, it probably has a bit of both of your personalities in it. A little compromising goes a long way to shared happiness with your surroundings… and your partner.

Trying to decorate a space when men and women have conflicting style preferences is a challenge. Getting help with a personalized in-home consultation from a professional designer at A & M Furnishing will turn that challenge into a pleasant and exciting experience.

One other thing, and it’s the most important thing. Never, ever try to hang wallpaper with your partner. Especially if it’s a geometric pattern. We’re pretty sure that activity was featured on the first episode of Divorce Court.

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