Before we get into the part of this post where all the action happens, let me just start off by telling you a little bit about arguments in our house. Or the lack thereof. As you all know, Lincoln and I are pretty peaceful and quiet people. We are probably a little addicted to harmony and some might say to an extend that is not normal. But it works for us. When there is something that we disagree on, we usually just

1. voice our opposite opinions

2. go to separate parts of the house still grumbling over the fact that the other one doesn’t agree

3. tend separately to whatever makes each of us feel better while still thinking about what the other one said and starting to see the other side of the coin. Then about half an hour later:

4. come back together silently admitting that we understand the other position and find a compromise for this particular problem.

And there you go – crisis averted. Considering that this strategy has worked for some pretty big topics in the past (getting married, where to live, when to have kids), it was quite surprising that we clashed over something as small as a shelf in Milo’s room last week. Sooo, our previous owner had left a few small items in the home. Half of them were trashed and the other half were not a 100% what we would have picked, but kind of useful. In the two smaller bedrooms they had installed wall shelves on two sides of the room. Good for putting stuff far away from Milo, we thought.

Well, as it turned out the shelves were only half as practical as we had assumed, because they are just a tad too high for me to reach them and therefore only usable for items that need to be more permanently rather than temporarily out of reach. Over the last few weeks they were fulfilling the sole function of collecting dust and unwanted items. Not a very pretty view and definitely not part of my vision for Milo’s room makeover. Lincoln thought otherwise. Unlike me, he is tall enough to reach the shelfs, and he wants to use them for storage. Period.

Nicola: But they are visually chopping up the wall. I need the space for pictures and the leaf and the tree that I want to paint.

Lincoln: But they are practical

Nicola: But they don’t fit in the room design.

Lincoln: But they are practical.

After only five minutes of discussing I had Lincoln give up the shelf on the right hand wall so that I have more space for painting the tree. Victory!!! So, sneaky me started taking the shelf down while Lincoln was still sleeping the next morning and while I was at it, might as well take the other one down too. BIIIIIIG mistake! Man, was I in trouble. All day. Even when I came home from work in the evening, Lincoln was still mad that I went behind his back and took the second shelf down. I guess he was right that I shouldn’t have taken the whole hand when he reached me one finger. Unfortunately, once I have figured out what I want and am on a design mission like that, there is very little rationality guiding my actions. It’s like trying to stop an artist from using the red paint when he is trying to paint a fire.

When it comes to design style our tastes are usually not very far apart, but very particular when it comes to details. Linc likes it a little bit more traditional shapes, minimalistic, practical, and plain. Me likey more contemporary shapes, full of coordinated decor items, pretty, and colorful. Let’s talk about ceiling light options for Milo’s room: Lincoln would prefer recessed lights that are out of the way and simply do their job of lighting the room and that’s it. I would like a fun decorative light that not only lights, but is also a piece of art in itself. Something like this (see tutorial how to DIY here):

Anyway, the whole shelf ordeal ended with a compromise: The second shelf had to go up on the wall again, but I painted it the same color as the wall to make it a little more invisible and only somewhat eye-friendly items are allowed to be stored on them in an organized way. (And secretly I think to myself that in a year we will reconsider the whole issue if there is still only junk up there.) Here is our compromise:

What is your take on organization? Put stuff away or organize on open shelves? Do you have any tips on how to resolve home decor disputes peacefully?