Have you ever found yourself at odds with your spouse over a certain recliner? You know, the one that you have been trying to eliminate from your living room for years. That chair with the lived-in look that your partner cannot seem to part with. Or have you ever come home to find that your spouse has painted a room a particular shade of pink that you absolutely do not share the same enthusiasm for? How could you possibly not love this color? One of you might share a love of practical design and function The other might want to totally re-create something they’ve seen in a magazine or on television, but might not be able to articulate the design details needed to create this look.
Well, you are not alone. After 20 years of negotiating design and renovation decisions with couples on a daily basis, I will assure you that even the most loving couples usually don’t share the same ideas, design aesthetic and expectations when it comes to designing their homes. Normally couples will notice these differences of opinions occasionally….. when choosing paint colors, furniture decisions, or window treatments. Small discussions about all those beautiful accent pillows on the sofa and bed. But once a couple decides to embark on a major renovation project, these differences can make it difficult to make decisions, putting couples at odds before they even begin the renovation. When designing and making design decisions for a renovation, there are suddenly hundreds of design decisions to make and depending on how well you planned, sometimes you must make these decisions very quickly.
With the added pressures that come with an impending renovation, some couples can become very passionate about their ideas about what their new space should look like. Some couples work really well together and are able to come to agreements easily. Bless you!
Others take much longer or might not ever see eye to eye on their project. We understand, Renovation is scary, there are big decisions to be made, decisions that you will be living with for a long time. Both parties are usually out of their area of expertise and might not know anything about design or construction, or even worse, a little knowledge can be dangerous, one person takes the lead after a few hours on google or watching a few seasons of HGTV and suddenly the couples normal dynamic is flipped on its side. None of this helps to move their visions closer together. some try to negotiate their different choices.” You get your granite countertops if I get that tile floor” but the end result might not be a cohesive finished design that anyone likes.
One of the things that really helps to navigate through all of these design decisions is to have help from a professional.
A professional designer with experience in your type of project can listen to the couples ideas and can create an entire design that reflects the needs, tastes and desires of both parties. For instance, I can take the ideas that my clients have, combine them with what is right for their space, lifestyle, and add some ideas that they might not have considered then come up with a beautifully designed cohesive plan that makes both parties happy. Sometimes a fresh set of ideas from a Pro is all that is necessary.
If you are renovating on your own and can’t come to an agreement with your spouse, consider some totally new design ideas that you both might like. This is much more productive than holding onto ideas that might not even be right for your space, goals, budget, or desired outcome. With a designer leading the ways, ideas can easily be sifted through, leaving only ideas that really work well for the overall goals of your project. Just having a professional there to lead the way allows everyone to feel as though their ideas are being heard and allows the designer to really dig deep into the ideas and feelings that both parties have about their home and the environment that they wish to create. The overall goal is always to create a space that the homeowners love and will enjoy together for many years.