Saturday, March 03, 2012

The Things We Carry

Check out the second story, an excerpt from the Cash Laramie series with a Nik Morton penned episode, on FIRES ON THE PLAIN.

(Not our hallway)

We recently redid our front hallway and the job necessitated taking down a lot of stuff and storing it for two weeks because it was a dusty dirty job. When the time came to restore order, it seemed like a good time to sort through the accessories, artwork, books, and plants and discard some, bring some new things into the room, change the look. Update the dining room on one side of the hall and living room on the other. Perhaps have a more minimalist look.

I was very surprised to find how many items, we disagreed on. Paintings I liked, Phil was tired of. Plants he liked were dull and messy to me. He was sick of a quilt I hung in the dining room and found no charm in my magic ball that changes colors. He was tired of the vases across the fireplace, I thought a lot of the books could go upstairs or better still to a charity. He wanted to bring back a ceramic piece we had over the fireplace a few years back. None of this amounted to a fight (okay, maybe the quilt did) but we seemed to have very different ideas of what to change.

Would this be true in your house? Do you and your housemate differ on how the rooms should look. Most of you men could probably care less, but would you let your wife pick the paint color and hang the paintings without any input from you?

Is redecorating as combative as putting the lights on a Christmas tree used to be?

19 comments:

Jerry House said...

Very seldom will you find our house looking the same from day to day. Entire rooms would switch around, Furniture would be rearranged or replaced. For two years our house was painted Barbie/Pepto Bismol Pink because our granddaughter (then three) thought it was a beautiful color. No matter what we do it looks great and is comfortable to live in because Kitty has a great sense of design.

pattinase (abbott) said...

We used to do that-change everything around. But lifting that sofa became more challenging.

F.T. Bradley: said...

Now that we rent again (Air Force move), we care less. But when we owned our house, I was always painting and decorating. My husband let me do whatever :-)

But big furniture purchases, we decide together.

Chad said...

We're usually pretty good about compromising. There's only really two things we consistently clash on. Maria thinks I have too many books everywhere and I don't want any Addams family chic rooms. I love my wife, but as I've gotten older, that thought of rooms with black walls makes me want to slit my wrists.

George said...

I cede all authority on decorating to Diane. She has fashion sense and I don't.

Anonymous said...

As you know, Patti, I am not good with change. As you also know from having seen it, our main decor is books. Yes, Jackie picked most of the room colors (I did pick one) but for the most part I have no problem with her taking the lead in decorating matters.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Funny that, Chad. We used to have chocolate walls, vibrant wallpaper. Now everything has faded to neutrals. I think it's because we're always thinking we will move. At least, until our house lost half of its value that is.
Phil has pretty good taste. But sometimes we are moving in opposite directions.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Our main decor is books too. Two walls of books in living room, one wall in Phil's room, and seven good sized bookcases in other rooms. My kid's houses look just the same so we raised them well.

Deb said...

Not much conflict as I do most of the decorating and make most of the choices (with my husband's buy-in, of course); but I must admit neither of us has a particularly vibrant sense of style. If we're trying to decide what to do about a room--as we are right now with one child in college and one of her siblings clamoring for her bedroom--we have to have several family discussions before we agree.

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - As ever, really interesting question! I'm fortunate that my Mr. and I pretty much agree on decor. However, we do have our differences, and it's part of the overall negotiation of our relationship, I think.

Dorte H said...

My husband and I agree on most things, but it is not always easy to please our young daughters ;)

But when it comes to Christmas decorations, it´s very simple: we let them decorate and enjoy the result.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Megan loved to decorate but never could get my son interested and he still isn't.

Richard S. Wheeler said...

I have the perfect arrangement: my wife lives in Billings, where she's an English professor, while I live in Livingston, where I live a dissolute life writing fiction. She didn't like the red I painted my bathroom, but since she doesn't live here, it didn't evoke any crises. Once we bought a painting jointly; it was an oil portrait of three of our friends, and it hangs in my living room. So I share my home with friends each day.

pattinase (abbott) said...

We've known other professors with that arrangement. Amazing to me a marriage can stand up to it that stress.

David Cranmer said...

Thanks for the plug at the top, Patti.

Cap'n Bob said...

I own the upstairs, my wife the downstairs. My area looks like a scene from Hoarders, hers like a normal house. Whenever she complains that we need something I say fine, go buy it. But I was smart enough to maintain separate accounts for our funds from the getgo so she demurs when it comes to spending her own money. Fights? Let's just say it's a tribute to my forebearance that I'm not doing 20-to-life for homicide in the second degree.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Now that is a short story. Don't blame me if I steal it.

Richard S. Wheeler said...

Douglas C. Jones, a formidable novelist, retired University of Wisconsin journalism professor, and army officer, was on the brink of divorce from his wife in their later years in Little Rock. But what they did was divide up the three-story house, with each having a suite on one floor, and the kitchen and dining area in common. Pretty soon they were enjoying dining together, and pretty soon they were back in love, which lasted the rest of his life. He told the story himself.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I guess if couples can remarry, they can also reunite. Every marriage is different, I guess.