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Hi Friends – I am glad you are here for Coffee With Clare – every Thursday!

Dear Clare:

My husband, Justin, and I recently married.  Help, help, help.  We have lived in a cute, small apartment and now will be buying our first home, and we are due to close in about a month.  My problem – James and I have COMPLETELY different decorating styles.  I want a more light, open and airy contemporary look, and he likes a more cozy, rustic cabin look.  What can we do?  We argue all the time over this.  We will be moving into a smaller 3 bedroom, 2 bath home, and I really want the main living area to be decorated in my taste.

Signed –

Anxious (a/k/a Not a Back Woods Cabin Gal)


Couple watching tv a horror movie,woman cover eyes to not see anymore while the young man are terrified


Dear Andrea:

Check out websites online and magazines for ideas before you ever go out the door shopping.  This may help prevent “World War III” before you even buy your first piece of furniture. One site that is particularly helpful for this is “Houzz”.  If possible, sit down together and see if there are possibly things that you both can agree on (such as paint colors or certain furniture that you both like).  You can even save pictures of styles that you like, so you can access your favorite styles at a later date.  Check it out at:

Second, come to an agreement about the basic things such as color, texture and types of furnishings, and go from there.  Decide what stays and what goes if you are moving some of your furnishings to the new home.  Be willing to give up a few items, too.  Also, try making a list of items that requires both of your approvals (like a dining room set, living room furniture, etc.).  For the main living areas, go out shopping together and try to offer positive ideas and suggestions.  This is where you are going to have to meet 50 – 50 and try to compromise on some, but not ALL of your tastes.

And possibly offer to let him convert one of the bedrooms into a “man cave”!!!!! That’s right!  If you don’t have children, then possibly you could convert one of the extra bedrooms into a “man cave” and let him transform that into HIS place – with his furniture, hobbies, comfy chair and a TV!  In exchange, let him know you would like to decorate one of the main living areas such as the living room and/or kitchen. 

I think you can make this work – but you both may have to give up some things.  Successful marriages (and successful home decorating) are built on understanding that compromise is critical to success!  Good luck!

Readers – feel free to offer some suggestions! 




Friends, I want to hear from you!  I invite you to email your questions, problems and “life challenges” directly to me at:



Clare is a 57-year-old fun loving Italian-American self-proclaimed “Jersey Girl” who believes, “Life ain’t easy street. Life is one of those crazy little city streets, complete with potholes that could swallow your car.” With one foot planted in fun and the other planted firmly in her Christian faith, Clare enjoys making people laugh while helping them navigate life’s “crazy little city streets”. Clare has raised two girls (now grown young adults) with her husband, Michial, Clare is ready to take on the challenges of making new friends through her blog, Life Ain’t Easy Street. With an aim to entertain while addressing topics important to women, Clare’s focus on the positive power of good stories, good friends, inspiring women, and strong faith will have you looking forward to reading the next post. Clare is a freelance writer who lives a real life in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

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  • Christa says:

    I’ve lived with this struggle almost 30 years! You have given great suggestions here, Clare. The alternative to the “mancave” is the “momcave”. I have one and love it!!

  • Awesome suggestions! I have been lucky that my fiance and I have somewhat of the same taste. However, we are currently shopping for a new home and he will have his “mancave” and I will have my “fitnesscave” and we can each decorate it how we want!

    • Clare says:

      Glad you two had pretty much the same taste – that must have helped!. I am glad you each have your own “caves”!!!!! That is wonderful…. not everyone has that option or has enough rooms – but if you do – that is definitely the way to go! 🙂

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