Monday, January 30, 2012

My Not-So-Profesional Advice on Decorating Differences

Did you have a good weekend? We spent Sunday visiting Ikea, toddler in tow. I love how they have products which will turn 270 square feet into a zen oasis, worthy of a full page spread in Architectural Digest. And yes, they have snazzy lights and post modern floor lamps which make you re-think your entire living room decor. However, none of this is as amazing as it's ability to splinter even the most long standing relationships, making couples question if their love really is as solid as the ever reliable and sturdy Billy Bookshelf.

My husband and I are lucky - our tastes in furniture and home decor generally run along the same lines (although there are some lines I'm not allowed to cross, such as no pink bathrooms, no chandeliers in the bedroom, and no flower boxes on the windows, and in return I get pretty free reign). But for those couples with vastly different ideas of what makes a beautiful home, I imagine it must be much harder. What do you do when he insists on keeping his favorite couch from college while you yearn to purchase a sleek sectional sofa? Or maybe he has plans to turn the dining room into a fully stocked bar with a poker and Foosball table? Furnishing your new digs together can go from exciting to super dull when you find out you can't even agree on what type of rug to buy.

I've been married almost five years, which doesn't make me an expert, but if you find yourself in a decorating differences pickle, here's what I think are your best options:

1. If you have the money, hire a decorator and make him or her find a way to marry your two styles.

2. Ladies, pick your battles. I know it might suck, but it won't kill you to let him keep the couch. Unless of course that stain from 2002 really is carrying some mystery disease, in which case, stage a robbery in which all the thieves take is the couch. Feign ignorance and practice your I-can't-believe-they-stole-that face.

3. Make a deal, but never bargain with sex. Sex is like water to a guy, so you can't take that away from them or they will probably die. Instead, say, "Honey, if you get rid of the couch, you can get that Foosball table you've been dreaming about." Then stage robbery of Foosball table.

4. I'm sorry, I'm laughing too hard about my own advice in number 3. Give me a second.

5. Okay, although this is the most unexciting option, it's most likely your best. Discuss what styles you both prefer before you go shopping. Talk about how much you're willing to spend and decide what you're willing to compromise on and what you're not. This might mean you end up spending an entire year looking for a coffee table, but I promise that will be better than you giving in just to make him happy.


Rebecca said...

I LOVE this post! Having spent two hours in Ikea with my boyfriend over the weekend I totally get this. Like you my boyfriend and I have similar tastes but the post was very enjoyable at the same.

Rebecca - Boho wedding ideas Blog

Jennifer said...

Thanks, Rebecca! Glad you enjoyed it. :)

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