Happy Monday to all of you! I’m really excited to be sharing this QA today with you. It’s with cutie Ryan Brown (formerly of Flipping Out) who is hosting a new TLC show called Spouse vs. House. (Spouse vs. House is now on Tuesday nights at 8/7c.) If you think your spouse or partner knows you like the back of your hand, ask yourself if he could design and renovate a room in the house to your liking without you knowing! Couples are separated for three weeks and while one partner gets to work on a “doll’s lhouse” dream room, the other must accomplish the redo on their own. Talk about some of the design and domestic dramz that will surface! All in good spirits though and to think you could come away with a hubby armed and educated with do-it-yourself techniques…priceless, right?!
What aspect of the design/decorating process did the couples on your show struggle with most? I’d be curious to know what the hubbies did or didn’t get about their wives?
The couples had a variety struggles over the 3 weeks that the show covers. I think it is safe to say that the most challenging issue was not the design of the house – but being apart from their significant other. Not a single one of the couples had ever been apart that long.
As far as the remodel was concerned – I think the biggest issue for the guys was realizing just how much work there was – and how much they rely on their wives/girlfriend. They would go tearing into the house without really planning on what they were doing or how much it would cost. In this respect, I think most of the women would have been a bit more calculating.
The women’s biggest struggles was trusting their own design sense. These ladies all had it in them – but were mostly afraid they would make the wrong decisions. Also, a number of times I heard, “I just hope he was listening all those times I dragged him to the furniture stores. I hope something sunk in.”
Did having your daughter Chloe influence or change your design viewpoints and aesthetics as a couple?
ABSOLUTELY!!! Without a doubt. The overall look of my designs has not changed so much, but the way I implement things has considerably. For instance, the fabric I use for upholstery now is much more durable and forgiving. If I can’t wash it – its not in my house. And that’s not to say what you do can’t look sophisticated and grown up – it definitely can. There are so many great kid friendly options out there. Since most of my clients have little ones, or are planning on starting families, I’m all about interiors that are functional and beautiful.
I love the concept of the Doll’s House where one of the spouses gets to work with you on creating their dream room. It’s such a rare opportunity to focus on a personal dream or style statement, especially for busy moms! Any tips on how moms can do this own their own?
I think this is one of the big messages of Spouse vs House. As I mentioned before, so many women spend time reading blogs like yours, compiling magazine clippings of rooms they love, etc, but are just afraid to take the leap. Design is completely subjective – if it makes you feel good then go for it! People don’t give themselves enough design credit.
What aspects of renovation/decorating do you tell couples to focus on as well as what are things not to “sweat the small stuff” over?
I truly believe that the space we live in needs to be a place that makes you happy. Rejuvenates, inspires, relaxes you. Now, trust me, I know kids in a house can make that dream seem impossible, but everyone can have something in every room that makes them smile. Inevitably there will be differences of opinion when it comes to design with couples, but its about finding a compromise both in your taste and relationship.
As far as not sweating the small stuff – I’m a big believer that a house should look lived in. Don’t freak out when you get your first scratch on your new floors, or a stain on your countertops. I think these things all add character and make a house a home.