Don’t you want to please him?   He lives here, too.  I know, in a way you are having a difficult enough time just getting it right, the last thing you want is to have to sell your ideas to him now that you’ve finally got it figured out. How frustrating. But, think for a second, how much more frustrating it would be if he/she ‘frankly did not give a damn’ (as Rhett said to Scarlet, in Gone With The Wind). That would mean that after all this trouble and trying and deciding and doing… no one noticed, or at least no one who lives with you and really matters to you… noticed. What a bummer!! So… go sell your ideas. He might have a few of his own and how much more fun to go shopping in that Gallery together. Talk the Gallery owner out of a glass of Champagne on a Friday evening and then go on to one of those late night suppers you two used to enjoy. All the while, you’ll be listening to his/her ideas; whichever one of you is working too many hours to be involved in this whole thing. But this other party is demonstrating that they care.

He / she wants to know, wants to have a little input in the project. Okay, you’re listening, incorporating, adding his tastes and choices to your font of knowledge. Isn’t this more fun?

My daughter once had a huge row with her “intended” about him wanting to hang his …….lovely…… metal sign: PARKING FOR COWBOYS FANS, ONLY over the fireplace.

She handled the whole situation somewhat poorly. This is the time to make alternate hanging suggestions. How about the Garage? Are you likely to get away with that? Or will that elicit a raised fist, and the bellowing voice of a stabbed heifer. You say, “How about the hallway to the garage?” Maybe, this is a good time to establish his areas, in which he can hang ANYTHING… ANYTHING AT ALL. Well, possibly not pin up girls with the staple in their belly button, if you have small children at home.

What you do NOT say is, “look, I’m charge of decorating around here. Your taste is all in your mouth.” That is not the best way to get him/her interested in your latest high passion of buying and appreciating Fine Arts. We are getting away from the subject at hand, where to hang this newest acquisition? It is a visual game, hang it in the room that you decided on and try to leave it for a minimum of 3 days to FEEL how it feels to live with it there. Then, keep moving it around until you find the right room.

Allow a ‘screw up’ !! This is an idea that may work for you and keeping peace in the family. Go ahead and do what he wants and have you both live with it for a week or two.

MAYBE, he really is right??? Stranger things have happened. You could learn something, at least something about what he likes. Or, you can prove to him, that he actually likes it better your way after living with his choices for a few weeks. Plus, the next time, you now have ‘some points’ to do it your way; savvy? Remember, you married this guy for a bunch of reasons. Let’s explore his taste in decorating. You can always change it back just before the big dinner party for his/your Company, or if the relatives are due to arrive.

YOUR TASTE: and why you should trust it

I have come to realize that this game is not just a matter of taste, or knowledge. After 18 years of self-employment, listening, listening, listening, trying to be intuitive and figure out what the clients wants or thinks, which is sometimes very different from what he/she says: WELL, I made this astounding discovery. People actually SEE COLORS DIFFERENTLY. I am not referring only to the 1 in every 16 men in the U.S. who is color-blind. I mean everyone, out there, sees colors in their own individual spectrum. It was a blindingly surprising discovery, made only after a great deal of 2nd guessing myself and trying to prove that theory wrong. It is merely experience. The conclusion HERE is, go with your gut feelings. Remember, you are the one (the family) who is going to live with this Art. It needs to please you. And, maybe, just maybe, the way you perceive colors is quite different than the Framer across the table from you. Try a few different framers. Just like Doctors or C P A’s you will finally, happily, discover someone with whom you are completely compatible. Remember that.

Where can I hang this after I get it home? Vision of a non-empathetic Husband saying in a loud voice “hang it in the garage.” Let’s have that discussion right now about men (or the current counterpart, whoever did not participate in the choosing of this cool Piece) have rights too. Part of the reason for this little handbook is to be a 3rd party influence in the decision-making process for the two of you. If you two have definitely opposing views, maybe dividing up the house into his spaces and your spaces is a good solution. Maybe, he only needs one inviolate space for himself. By the way, do not get into decoration mode in that space if it ‘sets him off’. That’s what HIS space means; “no touchy.” You know that is rather good, in a way; you no longer have to dust that room?!? Perhaps, this compromise will give you the latitude to decorate in your style everywhere else in the house. Perhaps, “halfies” will have to be the rule for you two, in order to keep this amazing guy interested in your projects. Have you considered how wonderful it is that you have a spouse who CARES? Far better is the husband who cares about the Art in his home and expresses this in many ways. Cool!! Applaud this.

Okay… on to: “getting along with that headstrong guy you married”, even if, just between us, his taste is all in his mouth. Don’t fight with your spouse about it, if it is not going to matter five years from now. Compromises by you at what feels like 50%…. From the other guy’s point of view, only FEELS like 25%. You have to go 80% to make it feel like 50% to the receiver. And, hey, what’s wrong with a few screw ups? In the Fine Arts field there is no such thing as wrong…. Just wrong Art choices together. Keep this in mind. If he really wants that “darn” COWBOYS SIGN, figure out a way to build a theme around that for some small area of your ‘abode’. Try it for a month… and by that method allow him to decide he likes your style in Fine Arts better. Or, low & behold, via this method you may discover, he has some great ideas…. different than yours, but, not bad! Live a little…. Open up. Feel what it is like to be inside someone else’s psyche.

They like Brights, sometimes… so bright it puts your eye out. Yeah, it took me a while, also to realize it was not just the occasional man who liked BRIGHTS. After 18 years in the Gallery business it became clear to me… quite a few men do not see pastels. This routine of beige on beige with raised florals (embossed) in the paper… ‘Gag me with a stick’ is the reaction I got… a lot… from the male persuasion. Same, same with light pinks, sweet yellows, beigy-salmon, lovely peach, any shades of lightest blues… with few exceptions men don’t like that ‘mauve or pastel stuff’. The exceptions being (50% of the time) that Gay Dude whom you love to hang out with? Remember him? He is so fun to shop with. He would like the pastels, the under-spoken Pieces. But not the real he-man types. Finally, after years & years, I decided, they simply couldn’t see those colors. It wasn’t because it was too feminine; it was not enough color, not enough difference between colors. Their eyes don’t perceive as many shades as women do, I think. ……(Now this is just experience not a scientific experiment conducted painstakingly over 10 years, ho, ho, ho at government expense.)…..

I think, you should try it on your guy. I bet he’ll be a whole lot happier with those high-energy Pieces using equally high-energy colors.

Where to hang the “Oh, My God… the horned stuffed “thing” he loves? He lives here too. Didn’t your Momma ever tell you life is about compromise, and that doubles for marriage, triple for home decorating. Yes, we just had the discussion about… isn’t it great he cares? Okay, where can you put his trophies from Alaskan hunting trips, or fraternity party hi-jinks? Garage you’re saying loudly. Well… do you want him to spend all his time in the garage?

Not, the bedroom, for his stuff. Most men expect the master bedroom to be romantic, soft and feminine. That is a given, in fact they are sometimes put off if you do not exercise that privilege. Think, how about a whole other bedroom for him (just for his stuff, if you have a huge house) or study or workshop. Put all of his delightful things in there together. Do it tastefully not helter-skelter. That will show that you appreciate him. This is a plus; you have some control over the look of that room, without taking away his privilege to own ‘his stuff’. If he had the same taste in Art as you, you probably would not have fallen in love with him, in the first place. Remember that Gay Dude we were talking about, the one who is so fun to go Art Shopping with? Well, if he was your husband, he’d be the one who’d come floating out of your bedroom one night dressed “fit to kill” in one of your daughter’s ballerina tutu’s and ever so lovely camisole with matching be-ribboned hat. Now, that is frustration!! This is little stuff. Where to hang his Art? Take it on as a project. Do it smartly, he’ll love you for it.