A couple of months ago, my husband and I got into one of those “I can’t believe we’re talking about this” arguments…
“This is NOT going up in the house,” I told him. “I’m serious.”
“Just wait and see how they look on the wall,” he replied smiling, holding a black frame over our living room couch.
The source of our argument was a set of three drawings of SpongeBob SquarePants. But not your ordinary SpongeBob SquarePants. It was cholo SpongeBob SquarePants.
For the next few days, Max and I argued, begged, and negotiated where SpongeBob should live (Max: “That’s SO sick!” Me: “That’s SO ugly!”). Max wanted to add them to our kitchen gallery wall. I thought they would look lovely in the garage.
On day three we were still stuck. So we decided to do something we had never done with an argument: we posted an Instagram poll.
For the next 24 hours we kept track of the “house vs garage” count. Finally, the voting was over, and praise the good Lord (!), the people declared that SpongeBob and his Bikini Bottom crew belonged in the garage.
Today, I mostly stand by my decision. But part of me feels torn. Because I want both of Max’s tastes to shine through in our home. (If I didn’t, our whole house would be covered floral wallpaper and quirky animal drawings.) But even though Max has shot down lots of ideas, we’re honestly going with most of my suggestions.
Which makes me wonder if most couples have one person who makes all the home decor choices? If not, how do they co-design peacefully?
Since we moved in together, our friends Trenton and Keeley have been renovating a 1973 Airstream with a cool mid-century modern aesthetic. So I asked Keeley how they went about decorating.
“We usually agree on overall moods, but sometimes disagree on decor choices, since I’m a maximalist and Trenton is a minimalist,” she told me. “But if one of us doesn’t like the other’s suggestion, we just don’t do it. It helps us avoid stupid arguments.”
This year, as Max and I tackle more home projects, I will be open to how he expresses himself. Because the prints you hang on your walls and the colors you paint your rooms are reflections of who you are. And the way he views the world adds so much richness to mine — like his love of classic cars and four-mile hikes among redwood trees.
While I’m not holding my breath maybe one day i will even find something in cholo spongebob. But until that day comes, he stays in the garage.
So I’m curious, how do you and your loved ones make design decisions? Does one person take the lead? Are you naturally attuned, or do you have opposite tastes? I would very much like to hear.