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Home Decorating 101 – How to Combine Differing Spousal Decorating Styles


Gals: An important consideration when choosing a spouse is whether or not he cares about how you decorate the house – kidding! Many men could care less as long as it’s not too ‘girly’, but what do you do when your husband wants to share in the decorating process and you have colliding views on what to do? Here are some tips to combine your decorating styles and needs to create results that please you both:

Remember that it is important for both of you to feel embraced and comfortable when walk through the door after a long day. Your goal should be to select furnishings that reflect your personalities and style preferences. Your home should be your haven from the world.

Determine what is most important to your spouse. Is it comfort, color, style, shape, fabric vs leather, price? Work to find an acceptable compromise on this key factor in your spouses preference.

Comfort: If he really needs a comfy recliner and you are thinking Frasier’s dad, realize that furniture styles have come a long way and you truly can have comfort and style – even in a recliner!

Color: If you are worlds apart on color preferences, use neutrals for the big items like sofas, wall coverings and window coverings. Accent the room with colors that you each choose. Here is your opportunity to have fun with pillows, accessories and art. As long as you keep accent pieces in the same tones, the colors will blend fine.

Style: Fortunately today, an eclectic look is fashionable and helps make a home look like it evolved rather than was plopped together by a professional decorator. Feel free to mix styles, but keep your colors coordinated so that everything flows together.

Fabric vs leather: Here again, you can use both. However, you want to make sure that your fabric selection coordinates with your leather color selection. My favorite trick in a furniture store is once I find one piece I love, I carry around a cushion from that piece and hold it up against potential ‘mates’.

Price: Luckily there are beautiful choices is all price ranges. Try to spend more to get higher quality on the more heavily used pieces, such as a sofa. Occasional accent chairs that only company will use can be of lessor quality. Another trick is to buy better quality of a cheaper type of wood. For example, pine and oak is less expensive than cherry or mahogany. Dollar for dollar, you can get a much higher quality pine piece than a similarly styled cherry piece.

When decorating, you want to have consistency of several elements so that a room, indeed a house, is cohesive and pleasing to the eye. The eye loves repetition so you can use this to your advantage when combining different decorating preferences.

The bottom line is, determine what you and your spouse like in common and use those as your consistent, repetitive factors. This will make breaking out your differences on the other factors look exciting and fresh instead of disjointed, and you both will love coming through the front door each day.


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