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Partners making Decor Decisions: Can Any Good Come of it?

If it’s one thing I always pull out in decorating disputes with my partner, it’s the “I’m an interior stylist” line. It gives my argument merit, and I like to whip it out as often as I can. Sure, the conversation is often more about why I’m blowing up the credit card at rapid speed and not about specific pieces for the house, but that’s a different blog post altogether.

Sidenote when it comes to budgets: I don’t like them, and I don’t want to be put on one, and if you put me on one I may shave my head like Britney did and throw umbrellas at cars.

Truth be told, my partner and I never argue – and thankfully the only time I’ve ever been told encouraged to rein in my spending was when we were saving to buy our new home. We have in the past had disagreements about what to buy for the house, though, and in moving into this new home, a few issues have arisen.

black and white cushion on grey sofa with urban road art the life creative

I wanted everything to be new. So sue me!

As I documented on the blog here, I had a style vision for pretty much every room in the new home before we even moved in. I looked at the floor plan so often that it was burnt into my memory. I could draw it with my eyes closed, and every waking moment was spent envisioning how I would roll out all of my style choices.

After my partner and I went through tough negotiations about what we weren’t going to bring into the new home from our rental apartment (tips on how to get your way here), choices had to be made. Those choices were around what would go into each room; new beds, new rugs, new sofa, new dining table, new chairs. OK, so the majority of things for our home were going to be new. And as I’m sure you can imagine, that made me over the moon in ways I can’t explain.

But then came the biggest client presentation I’d ever made; trying to convince my partner to get on board with all of my decorating choices. This is where things got interesting.

yorkelee prints bitch please art on the life creative

Realising the Same Vision: Does it ever Happen?

My partner is very laid back. He’s easy going. He generally lets me do whatever I want in the house. But this time around he wanted to be involved, and I wanted him to be excited by what was going on in the new house too. So I ran everything by him. I even made moods boards of rooms. I put spec sheets together, with pricing included.

But then, shockingly, he wasn’t on board with all of the choices I had made. The dining table, for example, he wanted in a different colour. He wasn’t keen on the chairs I had chosen either (and recommended other options) and then went on to suggest a larger TV for the living room. And presented me with his favourite art options.

I can’t say I was on board with the options he was after initially. The TV was going to be too big in our living room. The art he wanted was too monochromatic. And the dining table – which he wanted in black – was going to dominate the space too much.

But relationships are about compromise, right? So I did. He got his big TV, he got his black dining table, and he got his art. We even changed the dining chairs, and I got on board with him getting the most hideous office chair I’d ever seen (it’s SO comfortable, but SO ugly).

So Maybe our Partners have Amazing Taste?

Now that all of the pieces are in, I’m a big enough person to tell you, him and the world: he got it right! He actually made some really freakin’ amazing choices for our new home. They’re even better than the ones I had originally presented, and I adore them in the space.

The moral of the story (in case you were looking for it) is this: collaboration is an amazing thing. Often, when it’s your own home, you’re so in the thick of it, that you can’t make the right choices. Or there are better choices you’ve not considered because you’re only bouncing ideas off of yourself.

If you’re making decisions for your home, even if you have a partner who says they don’t care, they do. Ask them for their opinion. Get their advice and their wants & needs for the space too. A lot of you might have partners who let you have free reign when it comes to decorating, but trust me: they care. They might not care at the same intensity as you, but they care.

dark teal sofa in living room with marble coffee table mood board

The Results are in: Let them have Input

I’m actually so happy I took off my stylist hat when making decisions for my own home and asked my partner to get involved. It has made the space richer and more personal for us both, because we both had input.

I might even hire him to work in my interior decorating business. Internship of course. Must love to make coffee and clean the cat litter trays!

But no, seriously the input from him was priceless in the decorating of our new home, and it’s left me convinced that getting your partner involved is the best way to do it when you’re considering a restyle.

Do you get your other half involved in your home decorating decisions? I’d love to know if they made the process easier or harder.

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

Comments (4)

  • Anna Kenny

    As the saying goes – out of the mouth of babes, (designer challenged babes) our partners do surprise us sometimes

    when you think they havent noticed the new colour scheme youve had for months they come up with a brilliant idea – love the pops of black, I was against anything black for months but love how it sharpens other colours even better than white

    reply
    • Black can be so scary, but it’s really bold and powerful, but also a neutral base for everything else to work off. We’re loving the choices we’ve made so far.

      reply
  • Yes, our partners can pleasantly surprise us. And then they insist that signed V8 Supercar framed print of Random Racecar Driver standing in front of a Hord/ Folden car thing is like totally cool in the worlds smallest loungeroom.

    reply

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