Don’t be Sleepless in Seattle because of design differences with your partner. Here are tips from a Seattle interior designer to get started and work thru your different tastes.
Are you and your partner planning a remodel, new furnishings such as an area rug, art, accessories or window treatments? In my everyday design work, I find couples have trouble typically in SIX areas which leads to conflict and unfinished or stalled project. Here are the problem areas and remedies to resolve those design differences and get your project moving.
· Color Translating a color selection from a small sample is daunting. Plus, one partner may like bold, vibrant colors and the other soft neutrals. There are helpful websites such as www.myperfectcolor.com that show combinations. Narrow the selection and then test the colors using a mini-can on your wall first.
· Style Use magazines to identify likes and dislikes. Independently, select rooms, styles of furniture, arrangements and accessories. Then each partner can share the vision they have of the project. This is also a good opportunity to discuss the budget.
· Fabric The exchange of information from magazines shows who likes what with textures and patterns. I find one partner may prefer something floral or printed and the other plains. Use this information and decide if a floral might be on a pillow instead of a chair. Discuss smooth, soft fabrics vs. flat and also if leather is a preference.
· Television I know I will encounter strong feelings about the placement of the TV. Today the large, black screens dominate. How exposed will it be? Will it be hidden or front and center. I find most family rooms fully expose the TV as this is the gathering place for family and friends.
. Windows In the Northwest, light is very important so windows are mostly exposed. Saving furniture and fabric from excessive sunlight is a consideration so some light control is important. Heat gain and heat loss are also important. Who wants what? Again the magazine exercise is a chance to voice likes and dislikes. Do you like shades, fabric, side panels and so on.
. Clutter I generally find one partner is a neatnik and the other is less concerned with messes. I recommend drawers, baskets and boxes to keep organized. Get in the habit of clearing off surfaces daily. Group collections of objects for impact and decide which room is best for display.
The most important element of this exploration for a successful remodel is a PLAN. I work with my clients to integrate the information into a strategy of selections, finish specifications and final choices. The finished room reveals a design that is a partnership.
In my weekly enewsletter, I regularly offer resourceful sources and tips to explore as you dip your toes into a new project. Alternatively, you can receive quick solutions by email.
What works best for you readers when you design with your partner?