Respecting the Luxury Shower Curtain and Other Design Disagreements
Being the type of friend that I am–and being the design enthusiasts that I am–I’m always willing to lend a hand to help friends redecorate or redesign their apartments. I like to think I help them refine their design choices and make it easier for them to think about what their overall goals are. Which is why the other day I found myself laughing because a friend really wanted a luxury shower curtain for her bathroom.
In retrospect, laughing was probably the wrong response. After all, a luxury shower curtain has some clear benefits over plan ones, including their sturdiness and color/design choices. But to me it seemed like an odd thing to budget for and certainly not to my person tastes. However, my friend got offended because to her it was important.
I think many of us who help friends design have run into a situation where you completely disagree over where the design should go. Be it a luxury shower curtain or something old-plated or a terrible color choice, there are always details that people won’t like in others design choices. And it’d be easy to let these choices come between a collaboration.
But the thing is, we have to remember, when we’re helping friends, we’re not collaborating. We’re helping. We’re not there to tell our friends to choose, to desire their luxury shower curtain or love of a hideous frame. That’s their choice. And once we voice our disagreement, that should be it. After all, if we’re helping our friends build the kind of home they want it should ultimately be just that–the home they want.
We need to respect that not everyone will want the same things in a room as we would. Me? I’d rather have a nice bathroom mirror than a luxury shower curtain, but that’s me. If my friend was helping me I’d expect her to respect that choice just as much as I should respect her to have a luxury shower curtain. It’s not our place to dictate others design choices–it’s our job to help implement them and make sure that their vision comes across as best as it can.
This, of course, goes beyond design. We should always respect someone else’s personal preferences, even if they aren’t ours. If we have offered to help (or if we’re being paid to help) we should do just that–help, without judgment. We may object. We may suggest. But if we’re not helping the person see their vision, then maybe it’s better if we don’t help at all. As for me, I apologized for laughing and made up for it by painting the cabinets.