- Talk - Take some time to discuss your vision of the space to be designed. If you are not sure what you want, look at some design magazines together and tear out what either one of you likes. No judgments allowed! If this part isn't so easy for you, jot down some questions you would like to ask your partner regarding his/her likes and dislikes for room décor or remodel. In addition, write some questions down such as, how involved would you like to be in the project, do you feel flexible about some issues. If so, which ones. If not, which ones. How would you like to feel in the space you're designing. How neat or organized would you like to keep the space? Is there anything from your past that you would like represented in the room? What would you like from ME during the project. What can I expect of YOU during the project. Use these questions and others that may apply to your specific project.
Okay, now you've identified some areas that can become your foundation for ongoing communication during the process of your design. That's great!
- Check In - Do you have your outline or notes all ready to refresh your memory as to what is important to you and your partner throughout the project? At times of stress, we all tend to "forget" that our partner's needs are important too. So keep going back to your list, sit down and communicate. Ask one another, "How am I doing about respecting your needs,"
"Are you speaking up so I don't have to mind reed what your needs are?" "Do you feel as though you're as involved as you would like to be up to this point in the project?" "Do you think we're on budget?"
Any questions you have of your partner should be asked at least once a week. Take at least 5 minutes and lay all your concerns and questions out on the table. Remember…listen to what your partner says. There's no room for defensiveness in this process.
Do your best to communicate your needs, hear what your partner has to say and collaborate. Compromising becomes easier when the talking and check-in are in place!
- Let Go - If you know that something is very important to your spouse and has just so-so meaning to you, let go and allow your partner to enjoy the receiving. Remember this entire process of designing your home together is about giving and receiving. Wouldn't you like to have a sense of joy and pride at how you worked on the project practically and emotionally together?
What to keep in mind as you design a bedroom together -- the 4 "R's"
The bedroom is to be used ONLY for:
Keep the fifth "R" OUT of the bedroom… that is Resentment!
About Rachelle Goodfriend
Rachelle Goodfriend of Goodfriend Design Group is a highly regarded interior designer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Goodfriend's design expertise has an added dimension: it is informed by her credentials and experience as a psychotherapist counseling individuals and couples for over for twenty-five years. Her unique talent in weaving together design elements that express the shared values and passions of her clients has attracted media attention throughout the Bay Area, including a significant consulting role for the on-going series on HGTV, "Get it Together." Goodfriend created a Couples Design Questionnaire for the series, which drives the outcome of the homes designed. She is featured in the current August issue of San Francisco magazine, and has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Business Times along with other regional media. She will be appearing in August as an expert on color design on for the TV program "Dream Home" with Lisa Quinn.