Someone recently asked me how Johnny and I have navigated through decorating a home together and if we just happened to agree on everything. Which made me laugh because that is definitely not the case. There was actually a line in the book A Man Called Ove that I’m currently reading that so accurately sums up Johnny and I that I need to share it.
“All the things Ove’s wife has bought are ‘lovely’ or ‘homely’. Everything Ove buys is useful. Stuff with a function.”
When we first bought our house, I vividly remember having a major argument about blinds vs curtains. Johnny was anti-curtains because he believed blinds were more practical and curtains were just frivolous. And I ignorantly stated that I might just “get rid of” the expensive, custom blinds that came with the house, out of spite. We’ve come a long way… (we kept the blinds and added curtains, in case you’re wondering.)
Keep in mind this has been a journey and that we are definitely not perfect. *Cue our most recent argument about the practicality (and price tag) of two lounge-style chairs in the living room when a second couch would be “much more practical and cost the same”. Here is what we have found works for us:
Identify your home decor “values”.
Johnny and I have quite similar values and so we try to make decisions for our home while holding those in mind. Some shared values we have are that we never want our home to feel cluttered, we only want to have things in our home that we absolutely love or need, and we want our home to feel like a safe haven for us both. The budget is also crucial to consider – my taste is generally more expensive than his so if it’s something I love and am certain I want, I will plan and save and not purchase impulsively. Have conversations about what is important to you both and determine what your “non-negotiable’s” are.
Figure out your buying process.
I am typically the one who does research and finds the options when we are adding something to our home because I love doing that and Johnny gets bored/tired after about 4 minutes of looking. However, he has strong opinions on the things he does not like. So basically our dynamic is that I search for lots of options that I like and then he has veto power if he really hates something. I try to respect that because I think it’s important that we both like what is coming into our home. Then, I choose from what remains and we are typically both happy. He usually really likes my choices when things all come together but it took him a while to trust that I would choose well (he had a fear when we got married that I would fill our home with “trinkets and giant vases” haha)
Release some control.
There are certain areas of the house where Johnny has a lot stronger opinions and that hold more meaning for him (our basement den for example… it’s basically his man cave so I tried not to get too involved) and the same goes for me (the living room/entryway are my favourite areas of the house). Sometimes it’s just important to let go of some of the control if it is not something that means a lot to you.
These are the things that have worked for us. Your list might be entirely different depending on your dynamic, personalities, etc. But I think it ultimately comes down to respecting each other. Take the time to chat about these things and really understand what is most important to the other and then go from there. Happy home making!