Drawer Pulls, Self Image and Divorce: A Renovation Lesson

There are a lot of choices to be made when you’re going through a renovation. For example, you need to determine a lot of styles and finishes and fixtures. There are overarching styles, and then all the details. Apparently another biggie is whether to stay together with your significant other.

According to a 2013 Houzz Survey on Relationships and Remodeling, 12% of people admit to considering separating or divorcing during their remodel. If you’ve been through a remodel or a design/build, you are probably thinking what I’m thinking. Which is, “Hells yeah, they do! Probably more like 112%!”

I have some other stats, based entirely on anecdotal evidence, which could serve as a warning to the wiser among us or simply a foreshadowing to the uninitiated and eager:

  • Approximately 87% of people are driven to drink more than usual during a reno;
  • 41% consider taking up exotic dancing so they can afford to upgrade their appliances;
  • 64% think that contractors live in an alternate universe with an inexplicable time warp;
  • 77% are alarmed at their partner’s inability to make a concise decision;
  • Conversely, 33% are alarmed at their partner’s rashness; and
  • 99% are shocked -- overwhelmed, really -- at the sheer number of products and options available for every room of their home.

Sure, these are purely anecdotal, but, you get what I’m talking about. You’re doing it; you’re pulling the trigger to get closer to the home you envision, or that expresses who you are, or makes you plain happy. That's the first big step, and now it’s all about decisions, decisions, decisions!

Take drawer pulls, for example. There are at least 42 million different options out there. And each one says a lot about you as an individual should you choose it! You think I’m kidding. I, for example, am pleased with the drawer pulls we chose for the kitchen because I feel they say, “She is clean, efficient, sleek.” Right on! But, I failed miserably in the master bathroom. I thought I was going for spa-like but ended with something a bit more “crafty-earthy.” They might make some people think of an earnest woman in a caftan taking pottery out of her kiln with her purring cats nearby and her ortho-friendly shoes kicked haphazardly by the door. Maybe with the wafting scent of patchouli. My drawer pulls say that about me. And, though a lovely portrait indeed, not what I’m going for! And I am pretty sure my husband isn’t either. Someday I will change those out, and also second-guess whether or not my husband is hanging on to an idealistic, potentially hairy, image of me.

The sleek me.

Because details like these speak volumes. Maybe no one is listening, but you will hear the echo each time you walk into the room. At least until you the change them out. And before you groan about what a hassle it is to do, think about the hassle those 12% will go through to change out their spouse.

The hairy me

So, the bottom line is that you need to expect to make a lot of choices and a lot of decisions, which will require a bit of research. And that's the FUN part! Get yourself set up on Houzz and Pinterest. Peruse the supplier sites and make a wish list. Ask yourself what you’re trying to say, what you might convey, and what works in your home and for your lifestyle. And, the moral of the story: Know thyself, know thy spouse and enjoy the process of creating your shared space!

By Bridget Gorman Wendling

Jul 18th 2014 Luis Leonzo

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