Unless you're stranded on a remote island somewhere in the South Pacific, you've no doubt witnessed the glut of home improvement shows sweeping millions off their feet, onto their couches, and into the living rooms of prime-time couples caught in the act of remodeling. At the flip of a clicker, it seems everyone's going hammer happy. And home decorating, which was once a girls-only pastime, is fast becoming her guy's favorite sport.
Thanks in part to our "good friend" Bob Vila, and a horde of cable shows such as Trading Spaces, Weekend Warriors, and While You Were Out, for the first time in history, both men and women are eager to find personal satisfaction as they together collaborate and decorate the living rooms, laundry rooms, and powder rooms of their dreams. In fact, this do-it-yourself phenomenon has spawned an entire cable network (diy) and website (www.diynet.com).
According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, this trend in home enthusiasm has permanently moved into the neighborhood. The NARI says we'll spend $175 billion on home renovations this year, which is up from $150 billion in 2000. So chances are high that you and your spouse will consider, at some point, trying your hand at home improvement.
But remodeling is only part of the equation. Another part is how to remodel and keep your marriage in tip-top shape. Before you start tearing down walls, add these seven relational "tools" to your work belt.
1. Discover your decorating personalities.
When it comes to choosing styles and designs, most of us need help wading through the plethora of choices available. To ease this issue, designer Diane Love, author of the book Yes No Design, invites you to discover your decorating personality. She suggests gathering a stack of home magazines and selecting nine rooms from those magazines that you really love, and nine rooms you really can't stand. Then look back at your positive photos and select one item in each room that most attracts you. Study its shape and features. Maybe you're drawn to the sofa, window, or rug. According to Love, if you find yourself choosing symmetrical objects, you may have a more ordered decorating personality and will be happiest in rooms with even lines and balanced elements. If you lean toward eclectic, asymmetrical compositions, you probably have what she calls a sentimental decorating personality.