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Sheri & Bob Stritof

Compromise Chic an Alternative to Decorating Tug of War?

By January 28, 2013

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Through the years, deciding on what sofa or chair to buy or which wallpaper to use has been one of our marriage's unresolved issues. Sometimes, if we can't readily agree on a purchase, we use a solution we created for us. Whichever one of us feels the most passionate about the sofa, counter top, etc. comes up with three choices. Then, the other chooses which one of those three we'll buy. This decision making has given our home a lived-in look that will never win an award, but it suits us.

But there are other options for couples. In a Wall Street Journal article, Lauren Mechling provides one. She mentions that photographer Fritz von der Schulenburg and writer Karen Howes offer couples "a blueprint for what might be termed compromise chic -- an 'everyone wins' blend of Puritan plainness and cozy sensuality" in their book Luxurious Minimalism.

Lauren Mechling: "Some couples never master such diplomacy. Marriage counselors and doctors John and Julie Schwartz Gottman, who lead marriage seminars at the Gottman Relationship Institute, classify aesthetic disagreements as "perpetual problems"--seemingly small conflicts that repeatedly crop up and threaten to drive a couple apart. 'If somebody doesn't feel understood, it can sit there festering and trickle out into the rest of the marriage,' said Ms. Gottman."
Lauren Mechling. "Can Decor Save a Marriage?" Wall Street Journal. 1/26/2013. pg. D.1.

Another option -- not recommended by us -- is the one given by Jackie Collins who won't share a space with a man. "I don't think I ever could do it again. I have very distinctive tastes and I'm not going to concede to anybody," she said.
Source: Michelle Manetti. "Home Decor Can Either Ruin Or Save Your Marriage, Apparently." HuffingtonPost.com. 1/28/2013.

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