Your dream home is likely very different from your neighbours — or your parents, or your siblings. So why is it so surprising that even between a devoted couple, the idea of transforming bricks and timber into a home can cause more than a little friction?
Gone are the days — thank goodness — when even discussing the look and feel of the family home was a no-no and ‘father knew best’. Gone, too, is the assumption that the modern man has the stylistic and aesthetic sense of the average fence post. Today renovations and interior design is a team sport, but a recent US survey shows that we’re still pushing for different priorities.
Here’s where the sexes agree — a big bedroom with plenty of space is a must. A living space with room to entertain, spilling out onto a patio or deck will cause no arguments. But then the data takes a twist. Men — perhaps inspired by top TV chefs — are the ones who strongly insist on a thoroughly modern kitchen. Ladies opt for ample storage space next on the list. Then opinions converge again for point number four — a his and hers bathroom with twin sinks. Anyone who has woken up too early and grabbed the wrong shaving kit will appreciate this innovation. At the extreme end of the spectrum, it seems that women are thinking practically while the guys are all about social occasions.
Female correspondents wished for an ample garden space for a kitchen garden, indulging the modern trend for organic and home grown food and herbs. They’d also prefer a separate hobby and craft room, study or office space. Men, predictably, voted for a big garage and workshop, games room or man cave, and a BBQ area — places focussed on friends and bonding.
Of course, any home renovation is a compromise. It’s not a shock to find that an in-home bowling alley may not be your wife’s favourite idea, but it is a cue to start a conversation. After all, it’s not just changing rooms — things like style, colour, flooring, curtains and furniture will all shape your day to day world for years to come. Interior designers — and psychologists — advise compromising on the little things to build a harmonious big picture.