CA: The Internet has come a long way since you hosted Designing for the Sexes. How has it impacted the way couples resolve their creative conflicts and achieve compromise?
The best way couples can work together is to fully understand each other’s tastes, and the Internet is a great tool they can use to do just that.
Together they’re able to sit down in front of a computer and truly look at countless photographs of interiors, whether it be dining rooms, bedrooms, kitchens . . . anything! It’s all available to be seen and inspired by.
A couple can easily spend hours on Houzz, breezing through pictures, pointing out per interior what they like about a space and what they don’t like. Hopefully, once their search concludes, they’ll really understand what each other likes. It’s only then that they can start to think about the room they’re going to do and start putting together a design which they have learned they both like. This is how compromise comes together.
Ultimately, it’s all about being able to converse and figure out each other likes and dislikes. And the beauty of looking at pictures, whether they’re in a magazine or on the computer, is that they’ll be able to see an interior and instantly figure out if it matches their tastes.
Let’s say, for instance, a couple is planning to remodel their kitchen. After seeing an image online, one could say:
“I love this kitchen! I think it’s gorgeous! Just look at the cabinetry. . . . Look a the glass and how it’s not transparent - It’s translucent, so you can’t see all the dishes and things in it. I just love the fact that there is so little wood.”
Then the husband might say:
“Oh, no. That’s exactly what I don’t like about it. Kitchens are supposed to have nice cabinetry with gorgeous wood.”
And then he’ll keep clicking around, showing her pictures of kitchen after kitchen, all with beautiful wood doors, whether they’re painted or stained. Then -- maybe, after seeing 100s, 1000s of images -- the compromise is that they decide upon having beautiful wood doors with obscure glass.
I mean, can you imagine? In the kitchen, there are just so many things to decide on: The counters . . . What are the counters? Is it tile? (Probably not.) Is it marble? (Maybe.) ...There are a myriad of choices and decisions to be made in this kitchen, alone, and only by looking at and discussing pictures can a couple come to the realization that each of them have their own preferences. And that’s when the word “compromise” steps forward.
Bonus question from Paloma Conteras of La Dolce Vita
Michael Payne: I could talk for hours on what makes a well-designed room, but something that’s often times overlooked is probably the most essential thing: lighting.
Assuming a room is being designed well, functions well, and everyone is happy with the furniture layout, what is oftentimes not taken into consideration is that rooms get dark at night. Half the time we spend in our homes is in the dark, so how it’s lit is absolutely critical.
The most beautiful room in daylight can be destroyed by bad lighting at night. On the other hand, an almost forgettable room in the day can be brought to life at night with really good lighting.
The use of low volt spotlights, art, little pieces of something that’s not particularly important -- like a simple vase holding a gorgeous flower, with a spotlight shining down upon it -- would make a huge impact.
And because I could spend an hour discussing lighting, too, I’m going to go ahead and let that stand as my answer, as well as thank Carla for inviting me to DESIGNED. It’s been a pleasure.
So this is me, Michael Payne, saying goodbye, over and out, and best wishes to you all!