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Interior Designer/Relationship Saver

I recently found this quote and loved it, it’s so true isn’t it?

relationship quote


But how I would change it to better relate to my world is this:

Every relationship has it’s problems, but what makes it strong is when you still want to be in it after you’ve gone through a renovation together.

Now if the first quote was true, OMG this one is gospel!  I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve said my business card should read

Melanie Gaboriault — Interior Designer/Relationship Saver

A renovation is stressful.  So is building a new house.  In fact I heard once that both of those two events rank right up there in the top 5 of life’s biggest stresses.  So it’s no wonder that as a designer I have felt the need to impart some relationship saving skills through the process of working with my clients.

Take one couple I worked with for instance.  He’s a pretty easy going guy, and through the process of choosing the elements of their complete home renovation he reminded us of such saying “She can have whatever she wants as long as I get x, y and z.”  So overall, he acquiesced to her except when it came to the x, y and z of the decision making.  And in regards to those things he did care, he would not budge — to the point that I had to separate them in the plumbing fixture showroom in fear it may come to fisticuffs.  Seriously.  All over the shape of a sink.

But really, was it really about the shape of the sink?  No, not really.  It’s about each person having his or her thoughts and feelings considered and present in the end design.  That’s all.  I get that. So then here comes that dreaded word — COMPROMISE.  But that’s what it’s really all about isn’t it?

A home is a reflection of the people that live within it’s walls.  And if all of these people aren’t fairly represented, it can lead to resentment, and like I sad – damn near fisticuffs.

So for me, listening A LOT is imperative, and making sure that I incorporate the needs and wants and wishes of the whole decision making unit – whomever is part of that group.  Who knew that working with an interior designer could actually help save your relationship?

I had another couple for instance who were on totally opposite sides of the colour spectrum.  She wanted their family room to be nothing but greys and beiges, and he wanted vibrant colour throughout!  Ay yi yi, that was a tough one.  In fact, it was the contractor who pulled me into the mix when they were at a total stop work situation.  The couple was literally paralyzed to make a decision because they could not get on the same page.  I talked to each of them, tried to understand what each one was trying to create, and then put some ideas together that would work for both of them.  This is how it turned out:

Seal1 kitchen3

We kept the walls a very light grey to complement the fireplace wall tile, but did one purple feature wall (he insisted on purple!)

We then carried that purple into the all white kitchen.  I injected some purple glass tile in with the white backsplash tile to marry the components in the open concept space.

The custom wall art was something I found that would support his love for all things cars but at the same time ‘centralize’ the theme – so it replaced the numerous car posters and framed prints he had and had wanted to disperse about the room but that she wanted no part of…they were both able instead to come to love ONE fabulous piece of art.

So it can be done.  She got her grey wall, grey sofa, grey floor, even grey trim.  And he got his bursts of colour that were carefully chosen.  WIN-WIN!

So if you’re embarking on a renovation and want to come out of it still married, consider hiring an Interior Designer ;)  In fact, I’m now adding to my title “Design Coach” because in many instances, its what I am, and I’m not afraid to put you in your corners.





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