Wednesday, March 28, 2012

When Couples' Design Styles Clash by Lea Placek

Hi everyone! Lea here, with some design tips for the week.

I was recently asked to touch on a great topic... What do you do when two tastes collide when a couple lives together? Take Contemporary Glamour with rich soft lines and color against Modern decor with straight lines with bold colors, how do you make it look pulled together?

  • One might think it is easier than it seems. In fashion it is easier to pull off a soft glamorous look, but with BOLD colors, but inside the home it poses a challenge.

    Marie-Noelle Swiderski, the managing director of the Dubai-based interior design firm Blanchard, suggests that you both go away and do your homework. "Instead of going around shops pointing things out to each other in order to better disagree, I think people should each go their own way, collect magazine cuttings of things they like and present these to their partner, explaining why they like the things that they like in those images."
    This process will also enable you to get a better idea of your own likes and dislikes, and you may be surprised at the findings. "You'll see a picture and think you like everything but actually you might just like the leg of that sofa, or that particular colour, or that general mood. It's all very well saying you want a modern theme, but what exactly do you mean when you say modern? Show examples of what is in your mind. As they say, an image can speak a thousand words," Swiderski says.
    "This will allow you to get to know your spouse a little better, which is never a bad thing, and you might discover that you actually have more in common, design-wise, then you initially thought."
    The key is communication and compromise, says Helou. As with most areas of a relationship, it's a matter of finding the right balance. This could either mean trying to blend your differing  styles within one space or dividing your home into different areas where different styles prevail. 
    Here are a few of my favorite pictures of well blended "multi-style embracing" spaces of soft contemporary with touches of glamour and modern bold color. These looks could be achieved by adding just a few bold colored pillows, art, or lighting in a room. Or you could embrace the Modern edge more by upholstering a large piece in the room in a bold color and using mirrored and metallic accents to pop the "glamour".  The key is to have enough of a neutral base (i.e. grey walls or wallpaper, or timeless black and white palette) to pull off both looks perfectly!  
    Using the sofa and the art for the pop of bold against soft contemporary design
    Going bold with geometric window treatments and black walls!

  • Grey walls with soft contemporary lines with modern art and a pop of bold color in an accessory
  • Grey walls with mirrors and metallic for glamour, a pop of bold color in an accessory

  • Glamourous bedroom in all neutrals with mirrored and metallic modern accents
Clean modern lines with bold color and softer art and window treatments

clean modern lines with soft color

  • BOLD Lighting and trim paired with a classic neutral Hollywood Glamour Style

    I want to emphasize that I am not a certified marriage counselor, but I have come across this dilema more times than I would prefer to with clients. So, if you find yourself in this predicament, I encourage you to use todays technology to help focus you and your partners efforts to a happy medium.
    With modern resources like Pinterest,,, and HGTV at your fingertips, you can add images of ideas you each like to your "file", and then, like getting dressed for a big event, put everything on, and then each take one image away (of the others') and viola...compromise :)
    If you have any questions or comments, please share! Also, if you would love me to help you tackle your design dilemma, send me a message or post a comment.

    See you next week!

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