How To Compromise Over Decorating Your Home When You Can’t Agree

| | | | | |

Do you find yourselves fighting over decorating?  Here’s what to do when you can’t agree.

I have a pretty strong suspicion that knowing how to compromise over decorating your home is one that many, many couples struggle with at some point in their relationship!  Once upon a time, I, myself, was once a victim of “WeCan’tAgreeSoWeDon’tDoAnything-itis”.

spring decorations on a gray chestPin

I’m certainly no expert in human relationships, but maybe you will find it helpful if I tell you how my husband (aka Pookie) and I have learned to resolve our decorating differences.  Let me tell you – it was quite entertaining to “interview” Pookie for this article. 😀


This one kind of smacked us in the face early in our marriage.  Someone has to have the “authority” to make the final decision.  If not, you’ll either be stuck and do nothing – or if you force the situation, one (or both) of you may wind up feeling hurt, angry and/or resentful.

It’s all about learning how to compromise.  We both have different passions – mine is interior design and Pookie’s is all things cars.  So, the basic agreement that works for us is that when it comes to the cars, yard and exterior of our home, Pookie gets 60% of the vote and I get 40%.

When it comes to making decisions about the interior of our home, I get the 60% and Pookie gets the 40%.  Pookie and I agree that when it comes to making decisions about our home and cars, having this agreement in place is one of the best things that we’ve done as a couple.

Pookie weighs in: I recognize that the design of the interior of the house matters more to Suzy than to me.  I do care and have an opinion about it, but it isn’t my passion.  BUT – when it comes to cars, that’s a whole ‘nother ball of wax.  I’m joking – sort of.  

kitchen with white cabinets and a gray islandPin


One of the biggest challenges that I think many couples face, is to not let our feelings and emotions get the upper hand.  When that happens, you have the perfect recipe brewing for a fight over decorating.

Remember that HE isn’t wrong and neither are YOU!  It’s simply a matter of each of us having our own opinions and likes and dislikes.  Try not to take the difference of opinion personally and be respectful of the other person’s preference.  (I’m preaching to the choir here, btw.  😀 )

Pookie weighs in: There are times when we both have a strong opinion about what should be done, which for us, can lead to frustration, anger and bickering.  When that happens, we table the subject for a few hours (or days), then come back together for more discussion when we’ve both calmed down.

neutral accent chair with pillow and throwPin



Oh boy, this one took me a looong time to realize and then ultimately accept!  Bottom line – a man’s brain is wired differently than a woman’s.  It just is.

We communicate and express ourselves differently.  (You should have been here when we were discussing the board and batten treatment that we just added to our foyer.  Talk about communication differences!)

I realize this is a generalization and there are various degrees of these differences, but overall, I believe this can have a huge impact on most of our decision making in all aspects of life as a couple.

I know what a challenge this can be so I wrote a post about blending masculine and feminine decorating styles, which you can read by clicking HERE.

Pookie weighs in: When it comes to design, my desires are heavily influenced by the cost, functionality and engineering behind the design.  My preferences are more minimalist than Suzy’s.  However – I love log cabin style!  I love rustic, stone, wood leather and carved bear statues.  Oh yeah – and fewer pillows!!

Suzy’s view: Me?  I’d love to throw all those annoying concerns out the window.  I just want it to be pretty!

breakfast room with farmhouse table, gray chairs and rustic open shelvesPin



Don’t try to rush an agreement.  I’ve found that using inspiration photos from Pinterest often does a better job of getting my idea across than me trying to explain it.  Surprisingly, Pookie can’t read my mind and isn’t able to see the end result that I have in my head.  Give the other person time to mull your idea over and think about it.

Pookie weighs in: When it comes to choosing colors, I only have eight crayons in my box, but Suzy has sixty-four!  To me, gray is gray, but to Suzy, gray is griege, gray is taupe, gray is blue-gray, etc.  Then there’s light gray, dark gray, charcoal gray…you get the picture.  We’ve learned that to resolve our disagreements over color choices, we should try lots of different samples and live with them for several days or weeks.  We’ve always been able to find a good compromise, that we’re both happy with that way.

Suzy’s view: He’s right!  If it were up to me, the entire interior of our home would have been painted some shade of gray.  Pookie didn’t agree, so the compromise was to find a beige paint color that had gray undertones.   We lived with a wall of large paint samples for weeks until we found one that we could agree on!  BTW – we wound up using Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige throughout our home.  Glad you resisted me on that one, Pookie!

family room with neutral furniture and white entertainment centerPin



Well…first of all, refer back to tips 1, 2 and 3.  I recommend having discussions that have nothing to do with a specific project, but will lead to a general agreement between the two on you of how to handle disagreements when they happen.  Trust me – unless you are an exception to the rule – you will need to know how to compromise about what to do inside your home!

Pookie weighs in: Suzy is much more concerned with form over function, unless she realizes that considering the function is a requirement.  When I don’t agree with her design opinion, my first tactic is to remind her of the cost and why I believe her idea is impractical.  I’m an engineer, so I don’t have the creative brain that Suzy does.  Ultimately, she has 60% of the vote when it comes to the interior of the house, so there’s always that.

Suzy’s view: Yes, I use my 60% voting power frequently, but I always try to consider your ideas.  You often have good suggestions, if I just listen!  When you truly have a strong opposing opinion about something, I do my best to find a compromise instead of going forward with my idea anyway.  The wall behind the desk in our home office is a good example.  I wanted a burlap covered bulletin board and nailheads around the border.  You weren’t keen on that idea at all!  The compromise was the vintage mail sorter that I think we both love.

home office with bookcase, desk and antique mail sorter on the wallPin

Well, that’s our take on how we handle our home design disagreements.  We aren’t perfect, but we try our best to honor that 60/40 agreement that we made!  Do you have any suggestions for how you handle disagreements over your home?

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Thank goodness my husband and I make a great team. Sometimes it takes a while for us to make a decision but in the end we do. Years ago some wise man told my husband, remember…happy wife, happy life!!

  2. Pam Ballard says:

    Love Laurens comment. Fits me too! My husband wants modern, I love shabby. I am trying to mix the two! The garage is his which drives me crazy. All his exercise equipment which means I can never park my car in the garage. Love your posts.

  3. Suzy, I have had that very same 8 crayons versus 64 crayons conversion.
    Shades make all the difference !

  4. Such an interesting post which I thoroughly enjoyed reading along with the comments. We are about to tackle some home updates later this year and this is a good reminder on how to work together. Loved hearing your hubby’s views – laughed out loud at “fewer pillows”!

  5. I thought it was just us! I’m so glad we are not the only couple that can’t agree on decor. We are learning to compromise though.

  6. You are so right. You do have some great tips ! Thanks for sharing them with us.

  7. Super post, Suzy! Lots of young marrieds would benefit from reading this. 🙂

  8. Your home is lovely and you’ve hit on topics that my hubby and I have frequently had disagreements over. Great tips for how to compromise.

  9. Shirley Cordell says:

    I think your tips and conversation on this topic are so valuable for everyone. I especially like the fact that your husband recognizes your talent for design (it would be next to impossible to ignore) and therefore he knows that even though he may not agree, the end result is going to be a professionally designed look. One extra asset is that money spent on beautiful looking improvements can be a great investment in your homes value. I know, I am a retired realtor.

  10. Beth DeGraff says:

    This is truly some of the best Decorating advice that I received in years ! Thank you Suzy! I have shared it with my husband and he agrees too ! Thank you, thank you, thank you .

  11. Definitely some great tips. You can tell like us, the to of you have gone through a lot of decor updates and renovations. After the second one we learned how to communicate better also.

  12. It usually ends up being $$ that wins and trumps all! lol Great tips. Thanks for sharing at the #InspirationSpotlight Party. Pinned & Shared.

  13. Lol, this is the exact thing that goes on in our house as well! Great tips! We learn as we go, don’t we? I like the 60/40 idea very much! Thank you!

  14. Great post. Loved hearing Pookie’s side of the story too.

  15. Dianne Lanier says:

    My husband and I are fortunate to share the same taste, but if there is a true style issue he refers to me!)

  16. Such sage advice that can be applied to so many situations in life. Thank you for sharing it with us and for the beautiful illustrations.

  17. Great advice! I love your husband’s crayon analogy! Pinterest has helped me to explain my ideas to my husband. Sometimes I wait long enough and he suddenly has a brilliant idea and totally doesn’t remember I suggested it ages ago!!! Pinning and sharing, thanks for linking up to #HomeMattersParty

  18. I think these are fantastic tips! I also get a 60% vote for our home decor and a 40% vote when it comes to electronics. I was 100% a Windows/PC user but here I am now on a mac laptop.

  19. You always have such beautiful photos and ideas, I think I love them all!!
    Thank you for sharing last week on Friday Features
    because they are featured on Friday Features this week!
    Hope you have a great weekend!