Designing for the sexes!

Our House


Several years ago there was a show on HGTV in which a very exuberant host would proudly proclaim with a broad hand gesture, “I’m Michael Payne and THIS is DESIGNING FOOOOR THE SEXES.” Then there would be a half hour where the husband wanted a man cave but the wife wanted a Victorian boudoir and Michael Payne would then help them discover that what they REALLY wanted was a contemporary retreat. It was marriage therapy disguised as a design show.

This is exactly where we are today when it comes to planning for the lake house.

Here’s the conversation we keep having on repeat:

“Oooh, look at this fabulous lamp/table/chair/pillow.”

“What’s it made of?”

“Ummm, _____.”

“Oh. Well, you know it’s going to get destroyed once we start renting the house.” (This is what I call somewhat of an overreaction.)

“Huh? It’s not like we’re not renting it to frat boys.” (This is what I call an underreaction attempting to diffuse the situation.)

“Listen, people are going to tear stuff up.”

“DO YOU WANT EVERYTHING MADE OF RUBBER?!” (This is what we now call a complete gross overreaction and does absolutely nothing to solve the problem. It also does not help if your eyes bug out of your head and you hiss it through your gritted teeth while looking at your loving husband. Ahem.)

Which leads to the main design issue of the house: how to design something beautiful but also extremely functional since we won’t be the only ones using it. Which I GET. I really truly do.  But I’m still about to start gnashing my teeth.  And there’s also the teeny tiny miniscule problem of How Much Things Cost.  (Friends, allow me to give you a teeny tiny piece of advice. Carefully consider not making any large purchases (i.e., houses) in the near vicinity of tax season. You will already be forking the big bucks over to The Man which will be exceedingly stressful on top of thinking about other relatively large purchases (i.e., appliances) for your house. This is what could be termed A Stressful Situation. There will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Again. Also file this under #FirstWorldProblems)

Victoria Elizabeth Barnes (author of one of my most favorite posts ever) hilariously nailed it in this post about construction stress and marriage, although thankfully we are neither living in it nor are we doing it ourselves. Lord have mercy.

So, what can you do? Compromise, compromise, compromise. It means that both of us –  perfectionists and control freaks alike – have to let go a little for the sake of the larger goal.

For the record, though, we did manage to score a major deal on a fantastic couch at Dillard’s last week – and it was the easiest sofa purchase we have ever made.

And that concludes this episode of Designing for the Sexes.

End scene.

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with love,

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