Insider Solutions

Let Go of the Past—Find Your Own Style

Wives frequently ask me: "How can my husband and I agree on things to purchase for our home??

We are all different—and those differences attract us to each other. They can also cause the greatest conflicts. Not until they understand each other and are able to openly communicate are they able to find common ground. When that happens, they realize they have enough similarities to overlook their differences.

Couples bring strong beliefs into a relationship without knowing where they originated. Those beliefs come from our histories, from the homes of friends and neighbors, or from magazines. When this occurs, ask yourself, "Is there lasting value to this look for me?? You must decide if you love it. Is it part of "your interior design? (your internal design or feelings), or is it the influence of something you saw and liked but that doesn't have lasting value for you? Will you like it tomorrow?

Then ask: "Is this a representation of my authentic self?? Is this how you want to live every day? Do you feel good doing so? When you can be honest and discover your true taste, you can talk with your significant other to see where your tastes are similar.

Couples are always amazed at how many things they both like when they strip away the beliefs, tastes and ideas that don't belong to them. They become more open and free to listen to the other person. Then, they can create a look together and build their own history, traditions and memories. Honesty is key. Remember to speak from your heart.

Interior design can be fun and not a battle of the sexes. For example, his modern and her country French can now be the popular Santa Barbara look. The red he loved and the blue she loved became eggplant, offset by adding burnt orange and gold. The most important thing is that everyone stays open to new discoveries and possibilities.

Three elements are necessary to make design choices:

  1. Understanding - learning about yourself. You must become aware of your needs and wants for your environment. Your environment should serve and support you, while giving you the look you love.
  2. Acceptance - the ability to accommodate all the things involved in making the project happen, such as budgeting, letting go of old ideas and items, and being open to the new.
  3. Allowing - giving yourself permission to proceed, no matter what it takes to see it through.

When you, as an individual, have addressed each element, you can then explore them as a couple. If you have children, they, too, can be brought into the discussion and their ideas combined to create your family's style.

Because, remember, "Rooms have no feelings, you do!?

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