Trying to Decorate When Your Husband Has an Opinion
The first big fight Logan and I ever had revolved around decorating. We were engaged and had started shopping for our registry before we discovered that
- we both cared about decorating a great deal
- we had very different tastes
At the time, I was completely in love with all things Shabby Chic (white couch! white ruffles! white wood!), while Logan had a very modern aesthetic (he wanted our “colors” to be black, red and metal). These two styles did not merge very well and we were at an impasse.
I found the whole situation so distressing because I’d always assumed that decorating a house would be my responsibility and that my husband wouldn’t even want to have input. Whenever I’d envisioned decorating my house (which was way more than I ever imagined finding a wedding dress), I never once thought, “But, of course, I’ll want my husband to weigh in with his opinion…”
We were both almost completely resistant to compromise, and those first few apartments and houses were a hideous mishmash that could only be labeled Shabbindustrimodchicagag.
Anyways, over the years we’ve learned a lot about compromise, creativity and merging styles. And now I can confidently say that we both love the style of our home. In fact, I feel grateful that Logan challenged my decorating tastes—they’re better because of it!
Not every couple deals with this issue, but if you and your husband are having trouble merging styles, or even if you’re just wanting to incorporate more design elements that your husband would love, here are a few tips ::
Find the elements you both love
Even though Shabby Chic and Industrial/Modern are almost completely different design styles, they both incorporate a lot of white. This is one of the reasons almost every wall in our home is painted white! We both love that clean, open feel and it was an easy way to find commonality.
Don’t assume that different is bad
Logan’s style was different than mine, so my immediately thought was that I hated it and didn’t want it in my house. But actually he had great taste, it was just different than mine! Once i recognized that his style was pretty good in its own right, I relaxed about including him in the design process. He was great at editing a room, taking out my tchotchkes and collages that could easily clutter up a space. Also, the art he liked added an edgy vibe to the rooms that really worked!
Don’t be afraid to start over
I’m not advocating for selling all your furniture and buying new stuff, but if you’re given the chance to start over (a big move, a necessary furniture expense) see it as an opportunity to refine your tastes. We’ve had to move many times in our life together, and each time our new home looks a little different than the last. Be deliberate about considering what you liked about the last house/furniture, what you didn’t like, and how you can make new choices that please both partners.
Pinterest is your best friend
Pinterest is so helpful for refining tastes. I loved finding pictures of rooms that reminded me of Logan, then cross-checking them with my own favorite rooms. After awhile, I noticed a trend and started to see where our tastes might converge. This is when I discovered mid-century modern style, minimalism, and earthy/natural tones. We both loved those three things and have worked hard to bring those ideas into our home.
Hope this was helpful! I’d love to hear your thoughts and if you have anything you’d add to this list! Happy decorating!
(Top photo from the gorgeous home of Nicolette Johnson and Tom Dawson)