His and Hers: The Art of Compromise

compromiseWhen designing your living space don’t leave your partner out in the cold. The best designed homes reflect both partners’ personalities. If you wish to create a harmonious living environment the magic word is ‘compromise’.

It is common to come across couples butting heads, over colours, furniture etc, and I often see one partner dominating which leads to tension. As the designer, it is my role to guide them, make recommendations and ultimately play the part of expert negotiator. I believe I could talk a man down from a ledge after my years in interior design.

For instance, one of my first design jobs was working for a lawyer and his wife, who were feuding over a piece of furniture they had owned for many years. In this particular scenario it was a period style dining setting which the husband adored and would not let go of, despite the fact the pair were downsizing and moving into a contemporary home.

Naturally his wife was appalled and so a bitter tug of war had begun. He wanted it sitting squarely in the center of their new modern home and she wanted it in the antique store down the road. Finding a way the pair could ‘compromise’ was the only way to move forward.

The dining setting’s chairs were covered in a heavy red material and I knew if they were re-upholstered in a modern fabric it would give the setting a fresh, contemporary look.

one-chair-many-possibilitiesWhen I brought over the swatches of fabric, the husband’s body language was extremely closed; arms-crossed, leg-crossed, hands clenched, brow furrowed. Before we proceeded I gently asked him to be more open about the situation and jokingly suggested he start by uncrossing his arms.

Once the pair saw how the new fabric transformed the chairs and updated the entire look of the dining setting they were both wearing smiles.

Compromising in this situation saved the couple countless dollars, which is why I always encourage my clients to invest in pieces of furniture they own and love. There are many effective ways you can give old items an updated look, as you can see from my tips below;

  1. Re-upholster a favourite chair
  2. Add glamorous cushions to a tired lounge
  3. Reframe your artwork and pictures
  4. Change your lampshades
  5. Paint your kitchen cupboards or simply change the handles
  6. Replace your kitchen bench tops with a new finish such as; stone or granite