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The Pros Weigh In: Tips from Home Bloggers on Spouse-Friendly Decorating

As you might’ve noticed by the plethora of cheese-tastic Valentines ideas on pinterest, the “hey-girlify-your-man” memes all over the blog world and the abundance of stuffed-teddy-bears-holding-hearts available your local CVS, it’s Valentines week!

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And by the way? All the posts linked up to last week’s “Hey Girl” party have had me in a constant state of cheeks-hurting-from-too-much-laughter. It is SO worth browsing those links. There are some crazy, hilarious people on this here internets. And if you haven’t linked up yet? Get to it! You have til Wednesday, and I’ll share my faves on Thursday.

I thought it’d be fun to take this week to celebrate our significant others, those who put up with our constant redecorating, abundance of throw pillows and fabric obsessions. Today I’ve polled some of my favorite bloggers to get their TOP tips on how to compromise when it comes to decorating: how to have a beautiful house AND a happy marriage. At the same time.
Spouse-friendly decorating tips: Top home bloggers weigh in on finding compromise AND style


First up, Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick!
tdcMy husband always jokes that every time he goes away on a business trip, he knows he’ll come home to something in the house looking completely different. :) We’ve been together so long and he’s so used to my constant projects, he doesn’t even blink anymore. (Sometimes he doesn’t even notice!)
Decorating is my passion but this is his home to

Luckily he loves my style and even when he’s leery at first he always comes around when he sees the finished product. I always talk to him before I start a big project or make a big change in the decor, and when he’s adamant about something I pull back and follow his wishes. It’s so rare that he has a strong opinion on our decor so I’m happy to make changes according to his taste. Decorating is my passion, but this is his home too. I never want him to feel like his opinions don’t matter to me. That’s why we still have the ugly (but oh-so-comfortable) recliner in the basement. ;)
-Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick

His and Hers blog
My advice for creating a beautiful home while still keeping your husband happy: marry a guy who has adopted the “happy wife, happy life” school of thought and then sprint maniacally from the altar wielding fistfuls of paint swatches and fabric samples, never to be questioned by your compliant spouse as you make decision after decorating decision.

Spouse-friendly decorating advice

Or, if life on the edge doesn’t suit you, just be nice to the poor guy, and remember that really, the “chair that will change your world” but also manages to be the object of his loathing will not, in fact, change your world. There will be another chair that you can both agree on.

And finally, it’s just a house. The guy who makes it a home deserves at least one square foot of opinion. Unless he wants to mount some taxidermy relic in that one square foot. If this happens, his one square foot is rescinded. -Erin at His & Hers Blog
PP-Button-FrameWhen we moved into our current house a little over a year ago, we had to immediately find a place for our TV to live, naturally. Our living room is laid out in such a way that the only place it would work would be above the fireplace. Coming from a house that had no fireplace, I was ecstatic to have one, and had dreamed of painting the brick white, and placing a beautifully framed mirror above the mantle. However, since that was the only place our TV would work, I readjusted my plan to make the big black rectangle not stand out so much and painted the brick in one of my favorite colors…. a charcoal gray, “zinc” by Martha Stewart. Now the TV doesn’t jump out at us so much. He gets his TV, but it’s camouflaged a bit and we both win.
-Cassie at Primitive & Proper
mantle1

spacebetween
About the spouse decorating thing I’d say ‘stay single’. Kidding! Obviously.

I have pretty much carte blanche when it comes to decorating around our place. But early on my husband gave me one rule and one rule only. No florals. Period. It wasn’t “no girly colors” or “frilly fabrics” or “feminine things”. It was just a floral print he didn’t want on the sheets or the curtains or pillows or anything. Creating a comfortable home

I guess my tip would be to honor those little things. Sure, I’ve seen some awesome floral prints I would have loved over the years, but it’s more important to me for my husband to feel comfortable in our home than it is to make a big deal about a petunia. (And, in honoring his little wish for so long I think I’ve earned some house decor street cred and have even gotten him to admit to thinking a few floral prints are pretty cool recently.)

Tip #2: Get him to think that it was his idea. -Karah at The Space Between

button

I love soft, feminine colors. When my husband and I were first married about ten years ago, I couldn’t get enough “Shabby Chic” decor. It got to be overkill (Our living room looked like Rachel Ashwell came from Target and puked vintage floral everywhere.) and then one day it occurred to me that my husband was surrounded by cabbage roses and ruffles at every turn. It just wasn’t fair. Even though he never complained about it, I made a little rule for myself:

I keep the decor in the main living areas of our home more gender-neutral, but I free myself to decorate the bedrooms as girly as I want.

It is called a “boudoir,” right?

My dream is that someday he will have his own space (which I will get to decorate super manly for him) that he can enjoy for himself. Until then I’m just trying not to let all of the estrogen take him down like kryptonite. -Jenny at Birds and Soap

livelovediy
My tip would be to marry a man who lets you go hogwild in the decorating department! My husband has allowed me to do just about whatever I want with our house, and has also witnessed me ruin stuff about 400 times. But, because he allows me to stretch my creative muscle, I continue to learn and improve and ultimately we both win with a stylin’ space!
Compromise and comfort in decorating


My other big tip would be to make sure that comfort is always taken into consideration. As long as my husband feels like he can truly ‘live’ in our house, he’s happy. So, create a home that allows for cozy cuddling, and your husband might turn a blind-eye to the fact that he’s cuddling with a ruffled pillow behind his head! -Virginia at Live Love DIY
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Um, wow. There’s some wisdom for ya.

In my mind, it all goes back to what we talked about in this post: how “homemaking” isn’t really about the home or the fabrics: it’s about the people in it. It’s about creating a space between four walls where shoes come off, hair is let down and peace settles in.

(However, I’ll admit I’m still not completely convinced that a chair like this won’t change my world.)

Via Traditional Home, Photographed by Greg Scheidemann

What are your best tips to creating a beautiful home that satisfies everyone you share it with?

P.S.: Don’t forget to check out last month’s edition of “The Pros Weigh in,” where I shared the top organizing tips from home bloggers!


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Comments

  1. cassie says:

    yeah, i kind of think that blue velvet chair could change my world, too. and my husband’s though he doesn’t know it yet.
    great roundup, great tips- thank you for including me!

  2. Great idea for a Valentine’s post :). We usually don’t have a lot of conflicts about house stuff here, which is to say that DH likes a big range of things and I am picky, so usually if I like something he does, too, but not the reverse. It’s why we never had too much trouble agreeing on baby names, either :). He rarely objects to my ideas, so when he does I (try to) listen. Also, anything with paisley makes him really happy for some reason. I should stencil something paisley for him for Valentine’s Day!

  3. Lisa says:

    Great post! I like Karah’s suggestion to make him think it was his idea in the first place. I am ashamed to admit I employ that strategy all the time!!

  4. Awesome post! My motto is ‘better to say sorry than to ask permission’. Just kidding. Kinda. I ask for my husband’s opinion a lot but he doesn’t always agree with me. This usually ends in me saying something like “you aren’t understanding my vision” or “you don’t know what you’re talking about”. Ah, love.

  5. Great tips!!! I love Virginia’s…marry a man that lets you go hog-wild :)

  6. Roeshel says:

    Perfect time of the year to give this thought. Great tips, everyone! (Thanks, Kelly!) Luckily, I have free reign when it comes to decorating and DIY but I am considerate of his suggestions and likes (well, for the most part. Example: I have no idea why we have HUGE 1980s speakers that are not serving any purpose…I just use them as accent/side tables since they can’t go. lol!)

  7. Bliss says:

    Here at the ranch my husband lets me make most of the deco decisions, so I make every one with him in mind. Since he rarely has an unfavorable opinion on a decorating matter, when he does I always pay attention to it.

    Bliss

  8. Love this post! What a great idea — thanks for including me! :)

  9. Great post! I’m not married yet but I cringe a little inside when my boyfriend wants to put his gaming stuff out on display. I always feel bad but some of the figures are so ugly haha

  10. After 6 months of marriage (today!), the hubs and I are learning! He’s more prone to letting me do what I want and then voicing his dislike afterwards…which is the wrong way to go about things. He’s learning to give more feedback along the way and I’m still trying to figure out what his style is. :)

    • Kelly says:

      Congrats on 6 months today! We’re still figuring this all out too between Andy and me, but I’m finding that the existence of pinterest helps a TON. I can show him pics of what I’m talking about and he can say yay or nay based on that.

  11. I love this post! Luckily my hubs really likes my style (I’m not uber feminine) and probably wouldn’t object to anything unless I painted something pink. But luckily, I’m not a pink fan either, so we’re all good :).

  12. I have to agree with Sarah. My husband expects that our house will look totally different if I ever have a day all to myself at home. I try really hard to let him have one room in the house that is his… mostly his. And no, it’s not the garage or bathroom. :) Really, he is quite accepting of my addiction to decorating and DIY’g as long as he doesn’t have to do alot of the projects with me. (It’s just not his thing.) Still, I always run my ideas through him because I totally respect his opinion, even if he doesn’t see how that blue chair would totally rock my world!! Great post! I loved reading everyone tips!

  13. Virginia says:

    I love all of these Kelly! Thanks sooo much for including me! And yes, that chair would change your life!! :) luv ya!!

  14. My favorite advise is “to marry a man who lets you go hogwild in the decorating department.” I think that is what I did. He always complains but in the end lets me do whatever I want.

  15. Thanks for including me! I loved reading through all of these…it sounds like we all have some pretty flexible men (we wouldn’t be DIY bloggers if that wasn’t he case, right?). Any partner that can appreciate your passion is a keeper.

    I just bought my husband new surround sound for his birthday….nothing like junking up a room with a bunch of big black speakers… it’s called “compromise.”

  16. My best advice? Take on projects together. When we joined households, I was worried about giving up design autonomy. After my marriage ended, complete home decor/design freedom was something I experienced for the first time (and loved). It felt great to never compromise.

    But it feels greater to share my home with someone I love–and part of what I love about him is his willingness to build a true home with me. It is absolutely true that every project we’ve done is better because we’ve done it together. We don’t always agree, but we always listen to each other and wait until we do agree.

    It’s working so far!

  17. Aww such good advice. My husband usually goes along with things and I do ask him his thoughts first if we are doing a main living area. The one thing we can’t agree on though is tv size…..he always wants a huge flatscreen and I just can’t accept that eyesore in the living room! Love the firplace/tv compromise mentioned above, but for the size my husband wants we will need a bigger house with separate mancave. Sheesh

  18. YAY, I’m so honored to be in such a great group!! I love all of the advice … headed out to CVS now to get that awesome bear/rose/heart combo, too. :)

  19. What great advice, ladies! I am very lucky that my husband seems to like the same style as me. He gets a little nervous when he walks in from being out of town, but usually loves whatever I have done. Either that or he’s a really good liar :)

  20. Laura Beth says:

    This is such a great round up of advice! I too am lucky that my hubby kind of lets me do my thing…even went as far to put a monthly diy/home improvement tab in our budget. I’m a lucky lady :o)

  21. Great tips! We use this age old system: Dh decides all the big things, I decide all the small things. Oh and I decide what is big and small ;) But seriously I think I have quite a masculine style – or at least pretty gender neutral style, so we rarely have to “de-feminize” if that is a term :)

  22. Great advice from some pretty smart ladies! My husband doesn’t care too much about our home decor as long as the living room gets the biggest TV ;)

  23. it is hard sometimes to include my husband in decorating the house..our styles are very different, but we can agree on a few things! I do try to keep it masculine at least, too many ruffles stirs up trouble lol

  24. Great post! I think it’s important to marry an accountant who isn’t home for 4 months. In May he’ll be like “When you’d get that rug?” And I’ll be like “I’ve had it for quite awhile.” He won’t question me further.

  25. Ah I love this! Luckily, Nick and I are usually on the same page about decorating. If one of us is adamant about something, the other generally concedes. We are the king and queen of buying things and not using them for years, so if we don’t like it later we typically don’t remember who was to blame anyway!

  26. Maybe it’s not a coincidence that all these design bloggers have husbands who don’t have too many rules regarding decorating. I told my husband “we need to talk about colour for the bedroom” and his reply was “I like colour. Use some”. Coincidence that I married him? Not!

  27. This is all such great advice! Home decor is such a compromise, luckily men usually don’t mind as long as it’s comfortable and convenient! ;)

  28. Katie @ pps says:

    These are so great!! Our realtor kept telling Aaorn, “happy wife, happy life” when we were looking for our current house. You have funny contributors, too. :-)

  29. I love these! People are just too funny!! This is all great advice though, seriously. :)

  30. My husband has always had a strong opinion about our decor, but after 13 years of marriage he has almost completely acquiesced and deferred to me. Last year I actually picked out and bought furniture for our living room without his consult — it was so liberating! Funny thing is, I think he likes the decor in our home now more than ever. See? Men just need to stay out of the decorating equation and everything will go so much more smoothly! lol

  31. Paige says:

    My husband is massively opinionated so I’ve just figured out I have to give a little to get a little. We just moved and when we moved, we decided that one bedroom was going to be an office. I was dreaming of matching glorious white desks with tan and blue decorations/curtains and artwork. He was dreaming of a big screen tv and a futon with a table for his computer. We compromised. I took my desk out of the office and moved it to our bedroom (Where I’ll be able to work better anyway since video games won’t be blasting in my ear) and he got his “man cave.” All of a sudden, he was much more amendable to the pub height dining table I wanted and gave up the theater sectional couch he wanted for a style I wanted more. He also didn’t complain much when we left Wal-mart and Target and Ross with all kinds of curtain rods and other random stuff that he really is clueless about.

    I’ve also realized that if I take him to the store and ask his opinion, he will more than likely hate it. If I go to the store and buy it and bring it home, he likes it. It’s crazy, but it’s true.

  32. Anna says:

    any advice for when you and your husband disagree on bigger things (like, say wall-to-wall carpeting vs. hard wood floors?)?

  33. Mel says:

    I wonder how I could convince my husband to get rid of those two huge ugly black office chairs standing UNUSED! in our home office/ guestroom. So far his arguments beat mine: they are comfortable and we might need them later. BUT THEY ARE JUST SO UGLY! (and one of them was my worst ever super functional birtday gift from him uhh)

    Love your blog btw. :-)

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