Chris and I have been renovating our homes, side by side for the last 13 years. We’re currently on our 4th home and not only are we still alive, but we love each other more today! Of course there’s been bumps along the way, but here’s a few things we’ve learned about renovating or doing projects with your partner, even if they’re a bit skeptical.
First and foremost and above all, be prepared with visual examples of your ideas. It’s likely you’ve been pinning things to Pinterest, scrolling Instagram, maybe gathering inspiration for years and you’ve got a few ideas. Other people not so much, and there’s nothing wrong with that! Your partner hears you want to paint the balusters black and they can’t picture that because they’ve never seen it. If they didn’t grow up with that being “normal” then they might have no idea what that would look like. So show them! Do a bit of research, gather some inspo photos, or maybe draw out what you want. I promise you’ll spend so much less time trying to convince them if you come prepared with visuals!
You have to have a budget, period! And there needs to be room for your partner to have a say. In our very first apartment, we budgeted $25 a month for home decor and projects. It was small, but we were able to let the budget rollover month-to-month and with time the budget grew! Not everybody wants to spend money on home projects, but they might feel better about it if there’s a clear budget. Make sure they have a budget for what they want to do as well!
It’s not about winning because you’re on the same team! When Chris and I got married, our furniture preferences also merged. I valued style, he valued function, and together we decided to not compromise one over the other. Style and function can co-exist and we make that a priority because it matters to the both of us. Compromises will have to be made but don’t think of it as a loss. I would also suggest only speaking up for what you truly care about. You can’t have a passionate opinion about everything, so take a backseat on decisions that you aren’t as important to you. Subsequently this will give more weight to your voice over decisions that are more important to you!
Whether it’s budget, something found, a problem, a delay, communicate immediately! Both of you should be kept in the loop about any bumps along the way. Also, just a good life rule is to NOT shoot the messenger! Again, you’re on the same team and you’re figuring this out together.
Home renovations can be quite the cause for contention! It’s important essential to have a space in your home to retreat to during this stressful time. This is how you’re going to feel grounded and connected amidst the chaos. One of the many reasons why we didn’t work on our bedroom until after the dust in the kitchen settled, so to speak.
You don’t have to post any before and after photos if you don’t want, BUT I’m telling you it can be easy to lose sight of how far you’ve come. Take pictures of every stage to keep a positive perspective when you’re really feeling defeat mid-renovation. Also, be sure to pause, take it all in, and allow yourself to celebrate along the way! It’s easy for negativity and skepticism to creep in, but celebrating progress can keep up the positive momentum.
There, I said it. You have my permission to play loud music, order takeout, make a date out of it. If you don’t make it fun, then what’s the point in any of it?
Pack up a picnic basket, head to the park, and leave it all behind. Don’t speak of it, don’t think of it, and just be present taking time off. I promise it will still be there waiting for you.
I would say if your partner is skeptical about making any home updates whether DIY, or hired out, you might have to work a little harder. Here’s some advice I would give to someone dealing with a partner full of doubt.
Try asking for their input! Try saying, “I’d really like to rearrange the living room, is there something you’d like included in that?” Be willing to listen to their feedback and troubleshoot together.
Do the heavy lifting or find someone to do the heavy lifting. Recently I wanted to move the piano and I knew Chris was going to be less than thrilled about it, so I found movers to do it! Of course he had no problem because he didn’t have to break his back. I’ve spent many days painting walls and while Chris was out working because sometimes I wanted to paint more than he did so I took matters into my own hands.
Lastly, I would try to present a game plan of all the steps that will need to happen to do a project. List it all out and decide which steps you’re willing to do, which steps you’ll need help with, and which steps you’re hiring out.
Hope this helps!
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We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
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Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
The next project we’re checking off our 2023 project list is the mudroom! This used to be the laundry room until we built out a much bigger, better laundry room upstairs. So, in the meantime, this space has been exclusively Cricket’s room. Cricket will still have a special space here, but we’re transforming this dingy […]
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Make yourself right at home
Make yourself right at home