I like to make sweeping generalizations about what Men and Women are supposed to like. I also like to start posts with bold statements like that to prove a point. A good friend of mine in college (who now lives in a remote african country) would probably be able to tell me the name of this writing style, and how to change it for the better.
Anyway, as a guy, I got a very late start on figuring out what I actually like. Sometime in College, I realized something. I actually needed creativity, beauty, and personalization in the spaces that I lived in. Many Women have had more years on that road of awareness, and therefore, make up the larger population of designers, fashion professionals, and for that matter, Bloggers.
Whitney and I have changed the furniture in our house about 27 times in 5 years of marriage. The interesting thing is that every single time that we do it, we look at each other and say..."We really nailed it this time"..."this one is perfect." The point is, design is an evolution, and the sooner that you accept that, the more comfortable you will be with your space, your spouse, and your couch.
The above picture is a good starting point for what many couples are dealing with. I am sure that because I (KEVIN) chose the "She likes" pictures, that maybe they aren't the best representation of WHITNEY'S actual likes, but that is not the point.
WHEN TWO PEOPLE WITH GOOD TASTE AND DIFFERENT LIKES, CRASH INTO EACH OTHER IN A ROOM, WHO WINS? WHERE DO YOU START?
1. BREAK DOWN THE ROOMS THAT YOU BOTH LIKE INTO THEIR BASIC ELEMENTS. DECONSTRUCT "WHY" YOU EACH LIKE WHAT YOU LIKE.
(Is it just the color you like? is it the single art piece, and you really didn't notice anything else? Is it just a really good photograph??)
2. Start BIG. Rooms take shape because of large signature furniture pieces. These come in two varieties. The "HEY LOOK AT ME!" Couch, Picture, etc, or the "Don't mind me, I am just here to blend in. Focus on something else please." Whitney and I error on the side that Physically Large Purchases should blend in. Change a $20 bold pillow, or paint some picture frames white. Keep your head on straight when you begin.
3. Be Brave. Change is scary. New is hard. Don't project your fears, anger, frustration, or anything else onto anyone else. Don't design too late at night, or when you are hungry, or with palpable stress in the room. This is an adventure in every sense of the word. Make it so.
WHERE DO YOU START? LEAVE YOUR INSIGHT IN THE COMMENTS. HOW HAS YOUR DESIGN PROCESS WORKED?