Husbands Shouldn't Be Allowed to Make Home Decor Decisions

husband and wife picking paint colors

It all started when we bought our first house together two years ago. Prior to that we had been living in a small condo in the city, which we also owned, but for some reason we always agreed on decorating decisions. Add in another 1,200 square feet? And all that synchronicity was gone like the wind.

Our first fight was about color in the living room. The former owners had painted the living room and sitting room a horrifying forest green, which they'd then made worse by inserting bits of patterned, gold wallpaper into framed squares. It was ugly, indeed, and on that we agreed.

On everything else? Not so much. Should the walls be gray (like I wanted)? Should we paint the woodwork to lighten it up (like I wanted)? Should we buy a gray couch (like we wanted)? Or an orange one (like I did)?

You get the idea. I started telling friends of our fights, which were becoming epic and the one thing most all of them agreed on was this: Men have NO business making decorating decisions.

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OK, OK. I realize it's sexist and unfair, but it's also kind of true. Men have a lot of things in this world -- better pay, no need to go through labor, outside plumbing. Can we ladies just have this one? Please? For the love of all things holy?!

For my husband and me, the fights soon escalated beyond our home and onto Facebook. Should we pick this couch or this one? This color or that? Does a man even have the right to have an opinion about his living room?!

The reaction was mixed. Some said it was archaic and sexist to even suggest he didn't. While other believed -- as I do -- that women should be allowed to design the home alone. He has veto power, but not necessarily a "plan." It's kind of like a wedding that way. The groom matters, but it's the bride's day.

As for my life mate, he could not have cared any less about our wedding, but decorating was a whole other story.

I found an orange couch I loved. It was a designer original, one of a kind. A mid-century modern couch, it had been refurbished and reupholstered and would have looked amazing in our living room accented by the orange tiled mirror and colorful rugs we bought in Morocco. Plus it would have brightened up the dark paneling my husband insisted we keep.

"HELL no," he said upon seeing the couch. His objections were many. First, he thought she was charging too much (she may have been), but also: "it's ugly and not comfortable."

ARE YOU CRAZY?! IT'S AMAZING AND ORIGINAL, I may or may not have shouted. But he would not be deterred. We fought for days. I negotiated with the designer and got a better price. Still, he would not budge.

Finally I had to concede defeat. I couldn't very well purchase it without his approval and there was no way he was coming around. The next few weeks were all a flutter with fights -- "I think we should go with leather," I told him.

NO WAY, he said. It was too hard to take care of with out three kids and cat and dog.

"You are wrong," I told him. My vast experience told me leather was actually BETTER when it comes to pets and kids. Back and forth we went. Until one weekend my parents came into the city and took the kids for the weekend so we could go furniture shopping.

We went to a few stores in New Jersey and others in Brooklyn and Manhattan. And finally we found it. The gray couch he wanted in leather like I wanted. A couch and love seat like I wanted (he wanted a sectional) and nice quilting like he wanted. It was perfect. It was ours.

We agreed on first sight.

A few transactions later and a harried delivery from the store, we now have a couch we both love. Oddly enough, the same thing happened with our wall color.

I will still say a husband shouldn't care about decorating his house, but I'll also concede that I'm glad my husband vetoed that orange couch. He was right. I was wrong.

Now we have something we both love -- and much more important things to fight about. Like the color of the TV stand.

Does your husband care about decorating?


Image ©iStock.com/kali9

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