Interior design for couples is one of the hottest, most popular types of design these days. In the past, men have not taken the initiative to actually be involved in the interior design of their homes, often resulting in very female orientated, elegant designs that are beautiful although not exactly appealing to the Saturday afternoon football crew. This type of design is often beautiful and can be ideal in certain situations. Although, more and more men today are interested in helping to decide what their home looks like on the inside!
Beware! Interior design for couples can put you (the designer) into a bit of a hot seat in the battle of the sexes. Here are a few tips on how to avoid disaster. First of all, always communicate with and listen to what both parties involved envision as being their dream space. Many times one party or the other will be much more dominate in the planning and conversations then the other. Take note of this and pay special attention to the quiet party by asking the questions and making sure to offer them the opportunity to express themselves. In this aspect of interior design for couples, you are the mediator. Take both sides into careful consideration before doing any planning.
During planning stages, again, be sure to include both parties in the process and if one person is noticeably quiet during the conversation, don't be shy to point things out that might be important to them. This way, you tend to buffer any arguments or resentment that may arise from your interjection of a neutral opinion or thoughts. If there are any problems, remind them both that your vision is to create a space that is pleasant and acceptable to both of them and that interior design for couples can be unpleasant but it is very easy to work within both person's boundaries in order to ensure that everyone is happy with the outcome.
If you see certain situations that you, as a designer can find ways to compromise in order to fit things into both peoples' expectations this is key. Also, stress to both parties involved that a little give and a little take is vital when discussing and planning interior design for couples and that while they won't always reach the same conclusion, if they both make some trade offs it will create an environment they are both comfortable in.
If all else fails, encourage both people when making references to certain aspects of one another's design ideas that they are good ideas that can be compatible with the other's thoughts. Whenever dealing with interior design for couples, a certain "he says, she says" attitude is likely to arise at some point and it is your job as the designer to see that things work out smoothly and in the best interest of both people.
Color and furniture are normally the main items that are disagreed upon in interior design for couples. Suggest to the female counterpart that the leather sofa her husband is interested in can be a very classic and comfortable edition to any living space. Explain to her husband that the peach color she is looking for can actually be considered a light beige. You would be surprised what miracles a little bit of convincing can do when carried out in the right manner.
If neither party is willing to compromise, I have seen for instances when the designer actually had both of the couple write down their design needs/wants and do a point by point comparison/bargaining session that allowed each person an equal amount of yes and nos. Sound ridiculously childish? Be prepared!