Convince Your Honey to Let You Tackle the Decor

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The problem of how to decorate shared interior spaces probably goes back to cave dwelling times. Almost everyone seems to have some kind of roadblock when it comes to blending design styles. He wants a ceiling fan, you want to rip the blades off said fan and burn them in a bonfire. She wants all white everything, he wants dark colors and a huge black leather sofa. What do you do? Here are a few tips to help you convince your boyfriend/husband/girlfriend/wife/significant other to let you take on an interior design project.

convince your honey to let you tackle the interior design

 1) Be Prepared

Take the time to collect pictures of the look you are going for in the room. We can’t let other people climb into our minds (yet), so creating a physical inspiration board, or even a Pinterest board that includes pictures of rooms, products, fabric samples, and even a few descriptive words will help to capture the overall feeling you’re going for. These images enable the person you’re talking to to develop an idea of what’s in your mind. You can only do so much with words, especially if someone is not really into design jargon or lingo. As you are putting the board together, be aware of your significant other’s preferences. For example, if you are living with someone that likes ultra modern design, you are probably  not going to get away with painting the walls pink and having a flowery duvet, no matter how modern you think it is.


Convince your honey to let you tackle to decor
2) Be the confident second chicken.

In his book, The Opposite of Worry, Lawrence Cohen, Ph.D. discusses that many animals play dead, lie down and don’t move, when they are too scared to run away or fight against predators. In Dr. Cohen’s experiments, when he induced one baby chicken to play dead and let another chicken run around freely, the immobilized chicken got up much more quickly than if both chickens were immobilized (playing dead), at the same time. He concluded that frightened chickens look to each other to determine if their environment is safe. If one chicken is already up and running around, the second chicken concludes that there must not be anything to fear, so it gets up and joins the second chicken. The same kind of thing happens with people. Do you want to trust someone with an important task that you don’t feel comfortable doing if they seem as nervous and scared as you are about it? Probably not. You would most likely want to be on the same team as a person who seems confident and capable. In general, we assume that if someone seems to know what they’re doing, they must actually know what they’re doing. Be the confident second chicken when you are discussing design with your special person. Look them directly in the eyes, put your shoulders back, smile, and be calm. You are the confident second chicken, you’ve got this.


Convince your honey to let you tackle the decor

3) Use keywords your person can relate to.

You probably know your honey better than anyone. What  is important to them? Is it comfort? Value? Maybe they really want some storage for their various “collections.” Whatever it is,  try to integrate 2-3 of these important things into you design, and highlight them on your inspiration board. This way, you can be sure that your honey can identify with your design idea. Try to stay away from design-y buzz words when you know they will have no idea what you are talking about.


Get your honey to let you tackle the decor

4) Emphasize your previous accomplishments while downplaying the difficulty of interior design.

Try to think of the things that you’ve accomplished in your life since you’ve been with the person you’re convincing. The accomplishment can be anything, either physical or mental. Did you run a marathon? Overcome a difficult coworker or boss to finish a tough project at work? Complete your first triathlon? Finish a degree or certificate program? Lose 5 pounds before your friend’s wedding? It can literally be any accomplishment that you had to put some kind of work or thought into.

So once you have your accomplishment, end your discussion with something like “I ran a marathon with huge blisters on my feet and chaffed nipples for the last 10 miles, I think I can pick out a comforter!” or “I’ve dealt with Edna second guessing every decision I’ve made for the past 5 months while I programed the new website, I think I can pick a couple of paint colors!” Do you see what I mean?  One has nothing to do with the other, but bringing up your past successes makes you appear to be competent and dedicated to tasks you initiate.

Do you have any surefire ways to get your honey to let you take on an interior design project? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love hearing about everyone’s juicy solutions!



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