Decorating Battle of the Sexes

We were intrigued at recent research by Homebase, which reveals that 25% of UK males would not trust their partners enough to decorate the home without their help and input. In addition, 30% of males would have concerns over the ability of their female partners to hang a picture. We all know that battles of the sexes occur in all walks of life so it was certainly interesting to look further at some of the statistics the Homebase research gathered.

It seems women are also concerned about their other half’s ability when it comes to interior projects. The research showed that 28% of women in the UK have major concerns about their partner’s lack of focus, as they are “great at starting projects, but not so good at finishing!” Women nationwide will no doubt relate to the ever-dripping tap, half fitted kitchens, and un-papered sitting room walls.

Men on the other hand have total confidence in their interior decorating abilities believing they can turn their vision and inspiration into reality. In contrast, a surprising one fifth of females struggle to recreate the looks they have seen in magazines or admired in friend’s homes.

Two thirds of UK females admitted they would not trust their partners to decorate the house. Interestingly, 25% said that their partners in general “often have different ideas about what looks good”. Despite these concerns and worries, UK women do rate the abilities of partners and 27% of all women in the research group were impressed with a partner’s decorating ability.

On the other hand, a staggering 60% of UK men admit to feeling nervous when their partner announces they are going to start a home improvement project.
Homebase held an in store campaign to help people overcome their decorating hang-ups and gain confidence. But, what else can be done to prevent a decorating standoff between partners?

Take a Course Together

Men and women in the professional world of interior design operate in a climate of mutual respect for each others talents, so a course here at Absolute Academy could be just the job for a couple’s weekend away. Combine romance with learning interior decorating skills and return home in harmony to complete those decorating projects.

Explore Interior Design Together

Sitting down and enjoying a pot of tea and some Interiors and Decorating Magazines together will give you a chance to compare notes and find out each others likes and dislikes and help come up with a project you are both happy with. As an aside to the women, try to have a couple of brochures from the German supermarkets handy – there are usually specials on offer in power tools and other DIY must have equipment. This will help to retain interest!

Go Shopping

The large DIY superstore these days is not all about drills, nuts, bolts, and planks of 2 x 4. Most stores have a startling array of paints, wallpapers, decorative motifs, lighting, furnishings, fabrics, and wallpapers. Bedding and the finishing touches are also available enabling you to choose your decorating tools and materials as well as your accessories. It is a great way to plan your project and be sure to take measurements with you. A spot of lunch to discuss strategy rounds the trip off nicely.


Finally, compromise is the solution to many issues between the sexes when it comes to interior design. Colour for example is often a minefield with one partner who likes vibrant bold colours and another who prefers neutrals and earth colours. A compromise could be reached through the use of wall testers with possibly a base colour in neutrals accented with the bolder choice of the other partner.

This type of compromise can be reached with fabric as well. One partner may love busy floral patterns and the other plain, subtle classic fabrics. A possible compromise could be plain fabrics on soft furnishings and curtains with patterned contrast pieces such as cushions and trims.

There are always strong feelings on television placement in the room. These days TVs are enormous and can look somewhat incongruous in a traditional room setting. Decisions need to be made whether to hide the TV behind screens or in a cabinet or have full frontal exposure!

The battle of the sexes’ interior design style need not be impossible, exploration together and proper planning will result in a decorating project that reveals the partnership of the interior design couple.

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