Are You Speaking the Same Language?
It's not often that I have the opportunity to see commercials as we don't have cable in the house. However, our traveling adventure from two weeks ago did afford us the experience of enjoying a little hotel tv while underway to Manitoba. While tuning in to whatever caught our interest (I think it was MASH) a Home Depot commercial came on. It showed a couple looking to buy a new fridge, and the husband pointedly said, 'Just a fridge. NO bells and whistles.' and marched off in search of his replacement unit. The wife, before following with the salesperson, pulled the salesperson aside and said, 'I want bells and whistles. At the very least, a water dispenser.' before she marched after her hubby, salesperson in tow. The commercial goes on to talk about the great pricing they have on fridges and that you can get all the bells and whistles for a great deal, etc etc but that's not what caught my attention.
What caught my attention is something I've seen over and over again, both in my role as a designer, and in my past roles in sales.
The mandate from either party in a couple is not the same.
What I mean is this: Mr. & Mrs. Smith come in to purchase something. Mr. Smith wants a low price, the cheapest available option. Mrs. Smith, on the other hand, wants something a little better. Rather than having had the discussion previously and having a unified decision ahead of time, the couple gives mixed messages to the person trying to help them. The unfortunate side effect is that whomever the salesperson is, now has the tricky task of trying to appease both parties.
Are We Even In The Same Chapter?
Lord knows, there have been many times that my guy and I have had differing ideas. Most often, we have an agreed baseline but that doesn't always mean that our endgame is the same. I might be willing to pay more to achieve a certain aesthetic (surprise, surprise) while he may not understand the need for something to look appealing. But, most of the time, we are on the same page.
Other times, it's definitely a 'Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus' moment and I'm not even sure we're in the same chapter, nevermind the same page. And when that happens, it is a supremely frustrating decision making moment which can at times lead to a heated exchange of words.
We are not alone in this. Any person in any relationship (romantic or otherwise) has experienced this.
But what does that mean when it comes to your home?
Mars, Venus & The Shared Home...
Couples looking to make changes to their home may find themselves trying to navigate a veritable minefield of decisions. Sadly, many renovations and new home builds have resulted in divorce or separation of couples all over the world. However, it doesn't have to be that way.
Yes, renovations/building is stressful. Yes, there's 1001 decisions to be made from start to finish. And yes, each of you has your own vision and opinion of how the final result should look.
Here is where hiring a pro is especially worth every penny. If you have a professional who really takes the time to sort out what each of you truly needs and really wants, often she/he can create a solution that appeases both parties.
Additionally, a great design professional helps balance out the give and take with reason and logic. Sometimes what Mrs. Smith wants is purely an aesthetic choice but perhaps, if we apply that desire in one location, we can balance that out with something Mr. Smith wants in another place in the house. Also, it doesn't always have to be 'my way' or 'your way'. There is often a solution that combines both directions into an even better direction that a great design professional can suggest to you.
Taking It Home...
What's the take away here? Well, besides the obvious benefit to hiring a fabulous design professional that makes the entire process easier on both of you (not to mention saving time, money and potential legal fees), it's also important to reach a fairly unified decision BEFORE you need to make your purchase decision. Like everything in a relationship, it involves a little give and take (on both sides) and in the end, neither one of you may be over the moon but if you're both mostly happy and satisfied, that's a great ending!
If you're still not sure how to do that, what my guy and I often do is take several trips to look at what we're needing to purchase and then go back home to see what, of the options available, works best for our home. Almost every time, something that one of us was absolutely determined we needed, wasn't available in the size, style or budget that we had in mind, or, we realized that the cheapest option was actually going to fall apart in a few months anyway.
My last piece of advice? Know when it's not worth the effort. If he's determined to have a urinal in the basement bathroom or she's adamant that she wants storage for 40 pairs of shoes, if it's not actually hurting you or impacting your life adversely, make like Frozen and "Let It Go". Both my guy and I have had those moments and in truth, it makes our relationship so much stronger.
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Thank You & Good Night!
As always, thank you for supporting me and for following the blog. If you, or someone you know, wants or needs help creating a home you love, please connect with me and let's start the conversation.