Let’s be real ladies (and gents), sometimes convincing your significant other to undertake a major renovation is the most challenging part of the whole project…am I right? Take it from me, my husband didn’t see the value in updating our out-of-date kitchen. He was perfectly fine with our passé oak cabinets, chipped Formica counters, and dingy laminate flooring. I, on the other hand, was convinced that we needed to improve the efficiency and visual appeal of our kitchen. Plus, I didn’t spend years negotiating tariffs and product pricing with clients to back down from a project that I was far more passionate about… my kitchen. So, after getting nowhere with my husband, I decided to employ some of the very same tactics I used in the business world and negotiate my way to my dream kitchen.
When it comes to negotiation, there are many tried and true tactics; however, I found three simple approaches that not only transformed my drab kitchen, but turned my biggest opponent into my greatest ally. In the end, my once opposing husband, helped me install everything from flooring to backsplashes and even bought me a newer, more energy efficient gas range/electric oven combo. If you don’t think these tactics will work, I dare you to give them a shot.
Open and honest communication is the foundation of any relationship. Whether it is with your spouse or a business partner, trust me when I say; don’t underestimate the power of listening. Talk with your spouse about their wants and needs for your “hypothetical”, at this point, remodel. Would they appreciate a designated space to stash projects, or perhaps a convenient device charging station? If you can get them talking about aspects of your remodel, no matter how small, it will open the doors of communication and will provide you with an opportunity to share your vision. The bottom line is listening builds a basis of trust and respect.
Understand the Counter Arguments:
Perhaps your significant other is worried about costs, the down time during construction, etc. The more you know and understand about their concerns, the easier it is for you to address them. If they are worried about the cost of installing expensive custom cabinets, you can reassure them by providing information about new, high-quality Ready-to-Assemble cabinet options. If they don’t see the value in stainless steel appliances, especially when a perfectly good dishwasher is still in use; you can share how upgrading appliances to energy-efficient models could actually save you money. The point is, you need to take the time to hear their point-of-view so you can better understand them. When you listen to their concerns you also have a better chance of influencing them. Wink wink.
Find a Win-Win Solution
Most couples automatically assume their views are so different that finding middle ground is near impossible, but if you have truly tackled the first steps you will be much better armed to find a win-win solution. Get creative with resolutions that compromise and are favorable to both parties. If your significant other doesn’t want countless construction crews in the house, but you are determined to have a custom, tailored look why not meet in the middle and find Do-It-Yourself options. The added benefit is, when you save labor costs you can splurge for a higher end product and still end up under budget, especially with RTA (Ready-to-Assemble) options.
Remember, when you take on a large renovation project, like a kitchen remodel, it isn’t just about you. There are many factors to understand and personalities to please. When you listen to your spouse’s concerns, understand their point of view and find common ground you are much more likely to get the kitchen of your dreams, while pleasing your significant other.