Decorating: Improve The Home And Relationships


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By Barbara Kaplan –

Why are women expected to know how to decorate a home? Traditionally, when a woman gets married she is expected to be the one to decorate the home. Even before she is married, she may feel the responsibility to be the homemaker and therefore the family decorator. Bachelors are considered inept in this area and always seeking help with buying and making furnishings decisions.

Well, this isn’t true! This has not been my experience in my practice. In very many cases, the husband has been very involved and in several cases taken over the project and worked mainly with me. I am not sure why, but one answer may be that I always engage the husband and actually insist he be part of the first or second meeting with me. Once this happens, he becomes more comfortable and the mystery of decorating is dissolved and the fear becomes minimized or completely removed. He is now experiencing the process and therefore appreciates his wife’s efforts and feels important to her and to the process.

I have seen it many times: connecting in this way strengthens relationships and brings couples closer. Contrary to what sometimes is said – that building a home or decorating can be stressful – when everyone feels important to the project and that their input is valued, the project improves and so does the relationship.

There is another benefit. This collaboration has also proven to result in a distinctive design outcome because both people bring their taste and style to the project resulting in a one-of-a-kind blend that is unique to the couple. I like to call this 1 + 1 = 3. They have now created a “look” that is solely theirs. We don’t want to live in someone else’s taste and style, particularly if we really don’t like it, but when there is discussion and we bring in the three elements of the Bajaro Method: understanding, accepting, allowing; then there is harmony and the project can move forward. It also results in a happy outcome when the project is completed. It will eliminate mistakes and needless expenditure.

On the other hand, the single person has the opportunity to totally express themselves in his or her most personal environment – the home. It’s important before beginning to make decorating changes or choices to explore your taste, separate from what you grew up with or have become influenced by through friends or media. Then you can create an environment that is truly yours and in which you feel connected and comfortable.

The most important thing to remember, when decorating for yourself or with someone else is that it has to “feel right” and to recognize when it doesn’t. You may not know why, but your feeling is real and you must listen to it. If it feels right you will love your design choices and feel happy living in the space you created.

Always remember, rooms have no feelings, YOU do!

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