Let’s say you walk into the family room and your husband is sitting on the couch watching his favorite Sunday sports. You announce to him, “honey we need a new state-of-the-art flat screen television.” How fast do you think you’d be in the car on your way to Best Buy? Does a New York minute sound about right? Now let’s try another scenario same setting. “Honey, I think we need new drapes for the living room and while we are at it, we should get some accent pillows to match”. What do you think is response is going to be? Yep – dead silence. He’s thinking what’s in it for me? What’s this going to cost? The benefits of a new television are completely different than the benefits of new drapes. He’s thinking about how versatile and inexpensive sheets can be. What he doesn’t know is, it will cost less to buy the drapes than the flat screen, especially by shopping on the Internet, but he won’t get it. It’s not his passion. Don’t despair; you can get his support with the right approach.
We don’t like paying for stuff when we can’t figure out how the price was calculated. Everyone hates to overpay, but a man’s ego can be crushed if they get taken. Hiring a decorator can scare a guy more than the IRS. The decorating world has a tendency to be unaccountable. It’s difficult to compare pricing with private label fabrics and unknown labor rates and hourly fees. You don’t get to know the final price until the decorator has been in your home two or three times over a few weeks. They befriend you over the weeks, comment on your lovely children and become part of the “family”. When you get hit with the price, it can be a very uncomfortable situation with your new best friend – sorry I mean your decorator. As a husband, the last thing I want to hear is that “it seems expensive, but I really like her”.
You can go the retail route. I am sure your husband is dying to spend his weekends in home decor retail stores. Retail can mean a few visits to the store and visits by the retailer’s measuring people to your home. It can be very time consuming. You ever see those guys sitting on benches outside the stores? Yep, drape shopping.
Let’s face it; you are never going to make him passionate about drapes. The ridicule approach is not going to get it done. Comments about not being fully evolved and knuckle dragger won’t inspire a love for fabric and drapes. Don’t tell him how your friend’s husband was very involved when she decorated her home. You know where that’s going. So if you can’t criticize or bagger him into submission, what do you do? Here are some suggestions based on being a guy who believes the screen isn’t big enough or flat enough!
1. Be up front and tell him that you are going to do the drapes in the living room. Let him know you are 100% committed to looking at alternative ways to do this project. Your goal is to have beautiful drapes made without eating into his weekends and overpaying. Tell him that thousands of people are successfully using the Internet to decorate their homes and you are going to do all the initial research. However, you want his help to pick the right drape style and the right fabric. Let him know that all the pricing on the Internet is known right up front without any sales pressure. No scary end of job hourly time bills and no comments on how lovely your children are.
2. Start your Internet research. Do a Google search on “Custom Window Treatments” and check out the companies. Look at the drape styles. Narrow the choice down to two or three styles. Look at the fabrics you like and price out your drapes. Print out the detail with the prices and show them to your husband. Pick the right time. Don’t try to get his attention when the game is going into double overtime. Trust me, he will appreciate knowing the price up-front and in all likelihood start to embrace the process. Ask for his help in deciding on the drape style. Get his input on the fabrics you are considering.
3. There is a measuring component to the project. You should print out the measuring instructions. Get your husband’s help measuring. It is his chance to put on his tool belt and strut his handyman stuff. “Step aside Miss while I take care of this”. It’s okay to tell him that when it comes to measuring, he is second to none. Did I mention that we have huge egos and love to hear how great you think we are?
4. Look though the thousands of fabrics on-line. Narrow it down to your color, style and texture you prefer. Order free swatches. Don’t order too many, it just makes the process more confusing. Once the swatches arrive, immediately eliminate the ones that don’t work for you. Don’t show your husband any fabric you hate because that’s the one he’ll love. Work together to decide on the final choice. Don’t accept the “you make the choice” typical husband position. It’s better to get his opinion now rather than when the drapes arrive. Believe it or not, sometimes men can be a little insensitive. He could walk in the room when the drapes arrive and say something completely manly and insulting like “at least the measuring is right”. If you carefully engage your husband in this process, just for a second, imagine if he picks a fabric you love and you can say, “Wow, you have great taste, that’s the exact one I was leaning towards”. We are talking dinner date with that kind of talk.
So imagine, your husband being completely supportive and involved in the process. He didn’t have to deal with a decorator and the unknown. He didn’t have to spend his weekends in a retail home decor store. You both completed a great project together and you saved a lot of time and money in the process.