One of the most common challenges that designers face is bringing differing opinions on design together in one space. A good designer will be able to take different opinions and make them come together so that both parties, or more, are satisfied with the solutions. Usually, but not always, couples will come to their positions from different perspectives.
As a rule, women are most concerned with the aesthetics of a room or home. They want it to have a certain “look” or “feeling”. They are also concerned with the function of the treatments, but the look is usually what is most important to them. They will often spend many hours searching for the “perfect” fabric or style, while other factors that might be more important to a man are usually reserved for the final discussions. These would include price, function, and a million other technical issues.
Again, as a rule, but not without exception, men are most often concerned with different issues than their spouses. What does it cost? What does it weigh? How long will it last? Are their any other options? Can it be motorized? Did you notice that these questions do not deal with the same type of concerns as their wives? There was not a question about style or color or “feeling”.
I write this not to accentuate stereotypes, but to show that men and women look at design concerns from different standpoints. The good news is that this falls into the “different sides of the same coin” scenario. Even though the man and woman are looking at the same “coin”, or in this case room, they are still looking at the same “coin.” One will see the “heads,” or style concerns, and the other is seeing the “tails,” or technical issues. But in the end, if you ask them if they both want the “coin” in question, the answer will be “Yes,” even if the view of the item is completely different.
The job of the designer is to find the solution, or “coin” that best suits each party’s needs. Usually this is doable. There are so many great options in design that are available these days. The point that you should take from this commentary is that two people looking at the same design issue from different places will have two different opinions. It will seem as though they can’t come to an agreement. It is the role of a good designer to be able to help parties chose a product fits the needs of all concerned.
One final caveat; men, if you don’t feel extraordinarily strongly about a certain idea in your home design project, let your partner have her way!!! Trust me, in time you won’t know the difference, and she will be happy. If you insist on your way, and it comes out wrong for any reason, you will never hear the end of it. Reflect on that before you make your final decision. When you use a designer, it’s their job to see the issue from both sides and make a STRONG recommendation as to which choices will accommodate both opinions.
Of course, if you just blindly accept your designer’s recommendation and you don’t like the way it turns out, then you can both blame the designer. Either way, the designer becomes an aid to your relationship. (Of course I’m kidding here, If your designer lets you do something “wrong” or made “ugly” choices you hired the wrong designer!)