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How to Survive a Home Renovation as a Couple (Without Hating Your SO)

Photo credit: iStock

Photo credit: iStock

We’ve seen it portrayed dozens of times on home design shows: one spouse leaves for the weekend while the other tackles a truly impressive room renovation. When the spouses return, they are treated to a brand new space that’s perfectly attuned to their style. (And all they had to do was flee for the weekend!)

While it’s a lovely vision and we’d kill to make it on one of these shows (HGTV, we’re waiting), most couples who undertake a home renovation don’t have such a stress-free experience. In fact, it can get bumpy. Really bumpy. So, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we’ve rounded up our best home renovation survival techniques. You (and your SO), will thank us. 

-Define your aesthetics. We said it once and we’ll say it again, you and your partner need to be on the same page, because the reality is if you’re a fan of Scandinavian minimalism and he has a penchant for rustic charm, it’s unlikely you’ll land on the same page without a pre-project sit-down.

-Make compromises. So, you’ve sat down with your SO and figured out he does, in fact, have a penchant for rustic charm, while you’re still lusting over Scandinavian minimalism. Break these styles down. Which aspects, exactly, make you fawn over these home design styles? Does he favor salvaged materials? Try integrating a modern, recycled wood table into your kitchen. Do you like pristine whites? Paint the cabinets. Rather than thinking of big-picture aesthetics, consider the details. Believe us: those are much easier to compromise on.

-Establish a budget. As much as we hate to admit it: money remains one of those hot-button topics for many couples. By picking out splurge purchases up-front (hello, that gorgeous recycled wood table), you’ll have a better idea of which items are absolute musts. Similarly, consider cost-cutting measures together. If you work together to determine splurges and steals, you’ll have a more integrative planning process that reflects both of your tastes and ideas.

-Enjoy the process. Sure, it might get dusty, and you may be without a functioning family room for a while, but the reality is: you’re going to have a glorious new space to call your own. If you can maintain that mindset and keep disagreements to a minimum, we’re positive your relationship will emerge stronger than ever.

Need more advice? The Philly Home Show is coming to the Pennsylvania Convention Center on February 12th through 14th, and February 19th through 21st. There will be dozens of home design experts on staff to help you navigate your home upgrade. Click here to purchase your tickets.