Beyond Black Leather Recliners

Beyond Black Leather Recliners

“Men and women must contribute synergistically to the process of creating a beautiful life at home. This is something that should be thought through carefully if we are going to feel true satisfaction and pleasure of creating and living in a home together.” Alexandra Stoddard

I often hear from clients and friends that their husbands have poor taste, no interest in decorating, or leave the entire process of decorating up to the wife. If you live in a home with a man, I hope that you consider his tastes, even if you think he has questionable taste! I know that can be scary if you live with a man who is all about black leather furniture, but hang with me here! Homes will simply not be authentically beautiful, in my opinion, if a husband and wife live there and the husband’s tastes are not taken in to consideration.

Find subtle ways to include him in the process if he appears disinterested! Consider his hobbies, what colors he seems drawn to, where he likes to nap, his size, his interests in and out of the home.

You’ll find out more about his taste as you include him in small ways. If you see a beautiful painting, you can comment on it and ask him how he feels about it. Does he like the frame? What about the texture or intensity of color? Show him pictures of rooms in a magazine and ask him what he likes about them, or dislikes. Over time, you will begin to discover styles and colors you can both agree on, or ways you can incorporate things he is drawn to with things you like.

I know many men appear disinterested, or you are afraid of the results of including him. I completely understand! You’d prefer to just do it yourself because you trust yourself to come up with something you will love! But trust me, if you want a home that has depth, meaning, authenticity and is truly a home, it is the combination of your taste and his that make it a beautiful place to be for both of you.

It may not be 100% YOU, but living as a couple is not about being 100% YOU. It is blending your taste with his taste and coming up with something more beautifully layered and complex than you alone. And it doesn’t have to include black leather recliners any more than it has to include all frilly pink things in every nook and cranny. Find ways to compromise and include the best of both of your taste!

This is important: you want to compromise on matters of opinion and personal taste, not on matters of good taste or good design. If something is tasteful, just not exactly YOUR favorite, you can compromise and it will work in the grand scheme of things. And honestly, I think the house will actually look better for it. More real, more layers, more interest, less perfectly staged. That is just my opinion.

I know some of you may throw rotten tomatoes at me, but I am just putting it out there. What you do with it is up to you!

Photo: Pieter Estersohn, designer John Bottitt, from Cottage Living online