I’m not thinking about excesses like in a past thread, where a guy complains it is hard to sleep in the bed because his wife has cluttered it up with comforters, lacy bedspreads, draperies and a gazillion throw pillows.
But I would like to know if guys, generally, appreciate the ways in which their spouse tries to make the home more cosy and comfortable. (Usually the woman does this, but apply reversed genders where necessary). Things like setting out flowers and houseplants. Trying to make sure that whatever stuff you have matches other stuff you have, or is pleasing to the eye. Choosing decorations and rotating them according to the seasons. Things like that.
We have what are called ‘curtain decisions’ in our marriage. They are so named because once Lady Chance changed the curtains in our front hallway and this exchange occured:
Me: Huh. When did you change the curtains in the hallway?
Her: 10 months ago.
It has long been my policy that ‘I don’t give a damn and am not going to notice’ so she can do whatever she wants.
This is not without it’s problems. She has always been the packrat sort and collects things. I am not. In fact, in my youth I moved so often that I went to 10 schools before graduating high school. I learned to pack light and to consider the inconvenience of moving things to be great than the joy of having things.
Not so Lady Chance. Six weeks ago we moved states. Now in South Carolina there are, no fooling, several large boxes downstairs that she labeled ‘1000 small breakable things’ that I am not opening. There is simply no percentage in my going anywhere near those. There’s no way to win. I assume (hope) she’ll get around to them sooner or later. I also opened one that was filled with 100 empty butter tubs. I threw it out while mentally tallying the cost to move that box across four states.
Jonathan Chance, yeah, spouses with packrats tendencies can clutter up a home fast and think it is an improvement. But for this discussion, let’s not consider packrats of either sex. I am talking about reasonable home making skills.
aceplace57, have you told your wife this? Believe me, this is one of the most profound compliments you can give a woman if she prides herself on her home making skills.
We’re both male, and we live in adjoining houses. Everything in his house is tidy, immaculate and totally utilitarian. I, on the other hand, am chronically behind in housework, but my house is the one with houseplants, flowers, teddy bears, stuff that I’ve picked up on my travels, etc. My partner spends so much time cleaning his house (not that it needs it) that he forgets to just sit back and enjoy it.
Early in our relationship we tried living together. We will never make that mistake again.
My husband and I are both involved in decorating the house, and he is much more likely to pick out interesting things for the place than I am. I am the mistress of picking out paint color (he hates to paint and doesn’t like pissing about with 10 shades of yellow), but he is much better at selecting patterns for, say, curtains, and digging up unique knick-knacks. I tend to pick out super-plain things, while he is more adventurous, but we both like the end result.
My wife likes throw pillows, I have never understood that point (she won’t even let me throw them.) They just get in the way and I am constantly moving them out of the way so I can sit down. But … my wife likes them so I live with them. She lives with my habits too.
All in all I appreciate the efforts my wife makes to keep our house livable and attractive. I don’t always agree with her that the things she does are usefull or attractive but that is her area of interest and I don’t normally meddle.
Hm, in our house, neither of us care about decorating. So I would say my husband is as appreciative of my non-efforts as he needs to be. That is not to say our place is a sty. It’s fairly tidy and ordered. Just not decorated. Bookcases hold books. End tabley-things are there to have sodas and books and laptops and cats on them. The sofa’s from IKEA with fully machine-washable upholstery.
I tend to find “decorated” rooms overbearing and uncomfortable, myself. I basically never want to own a thing I’m afraid to “ruin” through normal use. Homey and cozy, for me, is comfort and ease, not formal matchy-matchy-ness. If my husband wanted to do a lot of formal decorating, I would probably object. Otherwise, I wouldn’t care either way unless it made work for me. For instance, I find cut flowers to be quite depressing, but I guess if they really thrilled my husband I wouldn’t stop him. But if if he tried to claim he was doing it for me, or for “us” and then tried to assign me responsibilities vis-a-vis the flowers, I would laugh at him.
I didn’t vote, as I don’t have a live-in partner. But when I started dating one particular woman, she got all over my shit about painting my apartment. Basically she nagged me until I painted it. And I had to get the curtains that she liked, as what I had were unacceptable.
Before I painted I spackled, as there were thousands of holes left over by previous tenents. I liked my new bare, unholey walls.
Then my GF moved in. She did not believe in bare walls. Every square inch had to have something on it. Within a week the place looked like TGIFridays. When she moved out, the walls were, of course, full of holes.
I try to notice changes to the house and comment. Once in awhile I get absent minded and miss something until she mentions it. We share some decorating tasks, She picks the paint and I apply it. I had to remove some old wallpaper a few years ago when we redid a room.
I’m single now, but in the past I’ve had girlfriends who wanted to decorate my place. I don’t mind in theory, but it’s not something that I care about or want to spend time or money on, both of which I’m expected to do.
I’m fine with it until it interferes with practicality. When I have to move pillows before I can lie down in bed, or I have to pull the printer/scanner out of the alcove space to use it, I get annoyed.
Very well put. When I was a kid, there were towels hanging in the bathroom that we weren’t allowed to use. What’s the point? I can understand getting towels that you like the look of, but if it doesn’t fulfill its nature as a towel first, you might as well just hang a picture. I like museums, but I don’t want to live in one.
I didn’t vote in the poll, however. “Guy here. Not likely to be sharing my home with a partner in the foreseeable future” wasn’t one of the options.
I consider comfort and decor of certain sorts to be functional. Having plants around is good for the human spirit and they also clean the air. I like things to go together in a general aesthetic sense, not in a matched set sense. (Being devoted toward the latter would make rooms less comfortable and less useful.)
I’m curious about what the guys think about this, too. I don’t think my husband cares a lot about how our house is decorated, but maybe he cares more than I know. I don’t care a huge amount, either, so I’m not out constantly shopping for new curtains and throw pillows and stuff.
I did a massive clean of our house for our Halloween party last year, and it was so nice that I decided to clean the basic stuff every Friday. After a few months of doing that, I asked him how he liked our new, cleaner house. He said he hadn’t noticed. Well, on the plus side, it hadn’t bothered him when it was messy, either (as far as I know).
I’m the decorator in the family, but we’re kind of odd in that while I’m female, my tastes tend toward more traditional “masculine” decor. I can’t stand flounces and country kitsch and teddy bears…I decorate with swords, steampunk stuff, and industrial. So the spouse and I tend to agree on decor and he pretty much goes with what I suggest. I admit I have pulled the “I’m the decorator” card on him a couple of times to get him to agree to things he didn’t like as much as I did (like the steamer trunk table from Pottery Barn that I loved and he didn’t…I ended up buying it with my own money but insisted I be allowed to include it in the new living room design). But 90 percent of the time he likes the stuff I pick and I think he appreciates the fact that I try to make the place look nice.
I am, however, the family packrat and I know he gets annoyed with that because I’ve got too damn much stuff. I’m slowly getting rid of a lot of it (by no means even close to hoarder territory–I’ve just got a lot of stuff packed away in closets and*nd industrial. So the spous
My husband is definitely the decorator of the couple, so I voted in the poll as a guy (how gender-transgressive of me!). I am pretty utilitarian, but for the most part I appreciate the things that the hubs has done to make the place look nice. It’s not that I don’t like an attractive, well-decorated home, it’s just that it plain wouldn’t occur to me to paint a wall a new color to compliment the furniture, or add a closet door where there wasn’t one before in order to hide all the coats and shoes. It’s funny though - even people who know me will often compliment me on the looks of the place, no matter how many times I tell people that “everything nice about my home is due to my husband”.
The only times this causes problems are when we disagree over budget - in my mind, getting new carpet because the old one has a tear in it is a “want” (and a pretty low-on-the-totem-pole one), whereas in my husband’s mind it is definitely a need.