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black leather sofa against dark blue feature wall with lots of cushions from Freedom

What to do when you Hate your Partner’s Taste in Decor

I always get people saying to me, “I wish my partner cared about decor”, when I ask them if they make design decisions for their home alone or after discussion with their other half. It’s not until you’re smack-bang in the middle of a store together and you’re arguing over which rug to buy that you start to understand the notion of ‘be careful what you wish for’.

Getting your partner to care about decor or provide more than a grunt when you ask about cushions is one thing (and an article for another day), but when they become interested in taking part in the decisions and you realise you have different taste, that’s when things can go awry.

So what do you do when you love one decor scheme and your partner likes another? How do you mesh these interior design styles and make both of you happy? And how can you get them to throw out those hideous figurines or the piece or art that makes your skin crawl? I’m glad you asked. And if you didn’t ask, I’m going to tell you anyway!

What to do when you Hate your Partner’s Taste in Decor

Interior Trends - Freedom Furniture

Try and understand why they love what you loathe

This is a page from my own life, Creatives. My partner spends a lot of time at his home computer and owns a chair on wheels that looks like it’s been lifted straight from a nineties office. It’s a thorn in my side, but it’s important that I figured out why it appealed to him. Comfort, of course, was a huge factor.

It’s a good idea to try and approach the items in your own home that you dislike with a similar, investigative approach. Ask questions of your partner about their design style or a piece of furniture they love  – and make a note of the elements of it they’re keen on.

Now, is there a way you can incorporate their style preferences?

Keep an open mind and look for a common thread between the style you love and theirs. If you love Scandi and they love coastal, you’re onto something; these two styles share a neutral colour palette and are all about celebrating texture. Look to expose the elements that are present in both design preferences and bring out the best in them. It’s possible to make pretty much any style work with another, so you can tick off all of your wants as well as your partners.

global luxe dark living room furniture interior designers melbourne the life creative interiors

Can’t make it work? Update it for something better

If your partner likes something that is more about function that it is form, this is an amazing revelation. If it’s a favourite chair, desk, pillow or similar, you can find new pieces that contain the same features but look a hell of a lot better. Let them know that you spent time hunting out something brand new for them that ticks all the boxes of their old love, but with even more benefits.

Pick your battles

So they want to display some memorabilia. It’s not my cup of tea either, but allowing them have a shelf, display table or small corner of a room is a great way to show that you’re giving their wants and desires for the space some attention. If you pick your battles wisely and let them win this round, you have leverage to come out on top during the next interior design style decision!

Lastly, call in a stylist if you need some backup

A stylist (if I can toot my own horn for a moment) is expert in making rooms work for the multiple parties that use them. They’re across colour, interior design styles, function, layout and more – and will see your decor with a set of fresh and professional eyes. Sometimes I find an item in a client’s home that they’d never considered using as the base piece to style their room around. This is what I do for work, Creatives – so never hesitate to call in a stylist!

Interior Trends - I love Linen Bedding

Now it’s your turn to weigh in!

Is this a problem in your home or does your partner give you free reign to make the decisions? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Image Credits: One and Two come courtesy of Freedom, two and three from The Life Creative and five from I Love Linen.

Outside of writing the TLC Interiors blog, Chris is an interior stylist and author. You can also catch him on your TV screens as a designer on Channel 10's Changing Rooms. If you'd like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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