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Merging Styles

Happy Friday, ya’ll!

Today I want to paint a picture in your mind, a picture you may very well have been the subject of at one time or another.  In fact, I don’t know one married or cohabitating couple that can’t relate.  You meet the person of your dreams, you can do nothing but imagine your future together.  You’ve decided to take the plunge, but then the realization that what’s his is yours and what’s yours is his hits you like a low hanging pendant light.  Bickering over what stays and what goes commences.  He doesn’t know why he can’t keep his bean bag he’s had since high school, that reeks of body odor and beer, in the living room, and she doesn’t get why he’s not cool with pink flamingos taking over the master bathroom.  Emotional attachments are misunderstood, tempers flare, fighting ensues.  Finally, the paint colors you can’t seem to agree on throw you both over the edge and you have to get out the house and far away from each other for a hot minute. Sound familiar?  Wait, I have another example.

Recently, a wife scheduled a color consultation with me.  She assured me her husband needn’t be present.  We completed said consultation, but the husband came home just as I was about to walk out the door and blasted my daydream of catching a quick nap before my kids came home from school.  He was less than thrilled with the color selections.  We basically had to start the consultation over, which wasn’t the best use of my time or theirs.  My point here is, these folks have been married for over 30 years.  They should know each other better by now, right? Or, at least you’d think one or the other would have conceded in areas of décor long ago.  Well, one would think.

So, what do you do?  Obviously, there are conflicting ideas on what makes a house a home.    Before you make any rash decisions about ditching your beloved, read on.  I’m about to give you some things to think about when trying to merge styles with your new (or old) roomie, because whether you’re just moving in together or have been married for evah, there’s a certain amount of compromise and respect that goes along with making your home a place you’ll both want to come home to each night.

Communication is key.  One of the most challenging parts of my job is making sure both partners agree on what’s happening.  I’ll ask (if they haven’t already told me) if their spouse would like to be present for our consultation.  Sometimes, the husband does not care one bit about what’s going on.  It’s a “if she’s happy, I’m happy”, kind of thing, or at least that’s what the wife is telling me.  And, sometimes, the husband wants to be present for every…single…decision.  So, my suggestion is to ask your partner how involved they want to be in the process before you start the project.  Communicating and setting proper expectations is so very important here.

Making sure your priorities jive is imperative.  You may be longing to turn your unfinished space into a cozy area with mounds of fluffy throw pillows, very light and neutral, with fun pops of color.  He may be dreaming about a home theater type room with brown, leather furniture and lots of, well, brown.  Talk to each other about your dreams for the space.  What colors do you like?  Create a Pinterest board together to help you visualize your space.  Talk about how you want your space to feel. Make purchases that only you both agree on.  Make a list of wants and go over it together. As long as you have similar basic priorities these two room ideas can merge together nicely.

Keep an open mind and don’t forget to laugh.  Listen, Linda, you can’t poo poo on every single idea Phil has.  And, Phil, quit telling Linda you don’t get it.  You’re not going to agree on every single thing, but being respectful, listening, and having a good sense of humor will take you far.

Ok, so you’ve communicated, made sure your priorities jive by creating your sweet Pinterest board, you’ve laughed together (sometimes while grinding your teeth), kept an open mind, and so on, but you just can’t figure out how to merge your styles seamlessly.  This is where I come in.  I can make sure the super comfy (Phil), navy (Linda) couch looks fantastic in your ultra-cozy (Linda) room with the greige (Phil) walls that sports an awesome TV (Phil), that can be closed off when the game isn’t on (Linda).  Don’t worry, Linda, I gotchu on the throw pillows…wink, wink.

So, we’ve covered the basic pieces, but what about décor?  I’ll frame or reframe wall decor you both have loved over the years, and since you only purchased items you both agree on and stuck to the styles you’ve discussed that are pinned on your board, placement will be a snap.   I’ll also incorporate treasures and souvenirs from each of your personal collections. This is a sure way to bring your styles together while still representing your individuality and pull the entire project together.

My goal as a designer is to help you create a home you love to live in with the one you love.  It’s not my house, it’s yours.  I may not agree with every design element, but I don’t have to.  I take all the things you are crazy about and make it work.  I’m not going to sell you on wood floors if you love carpet, or green walls if you wanted gray.  My style as a designer will inevitably shine through, but your home isn’t about me, it’s about you and who you share it with. So, give me a shout and I’ll help you out (did I really just type that?).

Thanks for swinging by and reading my blog today.  I’m super excited to introduce my next entry.  It’s March, which means lots of green (my favorite color, BTW), which is a perfect segue to my next topic: House Plants.  I’ve been chewing on this idea for some time and thought it best to wait till spring.  The wait is over, people!  Here it comes.  Oh, dang!


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“I can’t say enough great things about Chad and his crew. They were punctual throughout the entire project and very attentive to detail. This is the first time I’ve hired a painter and they far exceeded my expectations.”

Andrea Umbreit
Andrea Umbreit

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Andrea Umbreit
July 22, 2021

This was the best experience I've had with any home service/repair. Chad's team was professional, accountable, on time, and did fantastic work ahead of schedule. They communicated consistently along the process and I would highly recommend this team for any work you might have in your home.