Sunday, September 18, 2011

Masculine and Feminine: Working Through a Difference of Opinion in Decor

Masculine VS Feminine

Men and women do not think the same.  Whether in the world of psychology, sports, medicine, or in interior design, the differences are abundantly evident.  Sometimes that difference of attitude or opinion ends up being a barrier to home design.  The wife wants the bedroom painted a light heather shade; the husband says why don't we leave it alone.  The husband finds a large manly recliner and proposes adding the piece to the living room; the wife would rather keep the atrocity away from her living space.  The examples go on and on.  How can any woman or even man who has opinions about home decor find a middle ground when these opinions seem so irreconcilable.

Focus on the Similarities
Yes, the differences are numerous, but the similarities can form a common ground.  Most women do not prefer massive pieces of manly furniture just as most men do not prefer floral patterns with hues of pink, still many women find browns attractive and men find comfortable furniture appealing.  These are the agreements in opinion that must be built upon in order to create a home design that both parties will enjoy.

Build on the Similarities
Maybe the only thing a couple can agree on is the fact that they both like authentic wood furniture.  An entire room can be styled based on this one foundation!  The couple can collect fine wood furniture and pair this will wood frames for the wall decor.  The floor can even be hard wood to reflect the couples’s love of wood and its beautiful grain.

Another example of a commonality would be the love of comfort.  Typically men love comfort and women have been known for sacrificing comfort for style.  However, if both people are equally sold on the need for comfort, they have a united front.  Each person can introduce other elements such as style and durability, but the final deciding factor on most home choices will be "Is it comfortable?"  This works even for items when decorating.  Some items create a feel that is more comfortable, while others make a room feel formal and create an atmosphere for activity or stress.  Simply choose items that facilitate relaxation.

As a seasoned wheeler and dealer, I know that sometimes it takes a trade or two to get what you want.  When my husband gets an idea about something he wants changed around the house, I consider it an opportunity rather than a moment to run in fear.  If he wants a new piece of equipment for the television, then I can sometimes use that to encourage the buying of a new television stand to house this new piece of equipment.  If he needs a new wood working tool for his workshop in the garage, then I can propose buying a new shelf for garage organization.  However, this can work both ways.  Since I really want to complete our bedroom by painting it mild evergreen, I agreed to hang some framed tapestry pieces in our bedroom.  I get the room painted, and he gets to have the three framed tapestries in the bedroom.  Compromise not only allows both persons to feel a benefit, but it can create a new design that would have not have occurred without working together.

Decor Mediator
In a home that houses a family, the design decisions affect the entire family.  Whether the man of the house or the lady of the house takes the strongest stance, both can reconcile their differences in decor with an appealing design.  However, even the best of couples occasionally become stuck on a room or a project due to different ideas about how things should be done.  At these times, a third party can be ever so helpful.  A trained interior designer or interior decorator knows how to listen to both parties, understand the needs and desires for the space, and he or she can come up with a plan that will work for everyone.  While some men think a decorator will turn the house into a girly mess, a true interior decorator or designer will only come up with a design once she or he has heard both the husband and a wife of the household.  The design plan should be a reflection of the family of the house, not the personal style of the designer.

Working through a difference of opinion in decor can be done successfully!  The manly dresser can coincide with the floral armchair and the man cave may be able to coexist with the craft room.  With a little bit of give and take and a lot a bit of love, the house can show both masculinity and feminity while being equally enjoyable for each member of the family.

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