Wednesday, August 26, 2009


After deciding which house to buy, a newly married couple would want to decorate and equip the house to their taste and needs. However, two people would have some similar and opposing views and aspirations. Furnishing a house is not merely an exercise of putting things into the building; it is also an exercise where by the aesthetics of the house would be a result. Therefore, what they purchase is not only relevant for the needs of daily existence in that building they want to call home but also later on for the offspring that would follow.
The taste of a man would definitely differ from that of a woman. This is something that couples living together must understand. However, when it comes to buying furniture and putting up fixtures in a house, they tend to forget this fundamental difference. One would want to impose their likes and dislikes on the other.
Basically, as a practical man, I find this problem easy to solve. All new married couples need do is divide their requirements into three categories. What the man needs, what the woman needs and what they both need and when children come along later, a fourth category can be added – what the children need.
However, it is never easy to have clear cut demarcation lines between the categories and often there is not enough space to accommodate all the categories into a small house that initial couples would have purchased. Therefore, there are lots of compromises! Setting up home is really part of the long series of tests new couples get to see if their marriage is made in heaven or in hell!
BASIC NECESSITIES yet they can cause conflicts
In the Kitchen:
Yes, we need kitchen equipment so that food can be prepared and cooked. Many feel that this is the domain of the women and men should stay out of decision making here. However, very often the women who are suppose to make the kitchen into their second most frequent visited room is not savvy enough to understand the technical qualities of modern kitchen equipment? Therefore, when deciding on the type of stove you may need or whether a fridge should have the freezer compartment at the top or bottom and whether you need a hood or an extractor fan in the kitchen, there is a need for consultation between the man and the woman. Failure to do so will result in equipping a vital room in the house with white elephants and making it rather unpleasant to do the regular daily chaos of preparing food!
In the Bedroom:
We spend practically two thirds of our day in the bedroom! Shouldn’t this room which take up more than half our time at home be the most important room? How often we find young couples just throwing a mat on the floor and lying on it night after night? Wow, I wouldn’t want to share their experiences on it!
Having a comfortable bed, mattress and pillows (Dutch wives if necessary) is most important for a good night’s rest as well as other activities. Without them, many couples will wake up in a nasty mood and not be ready to start a new day properly. Since most couple share the same double bed, it is most vital that they decide together what sort of bed they want.
In the living room:
Here again is a common domain. They spend some time here to relax, to read or to watch and to listen to music. Men and women have different body shapes thus different type of chair would be needed. Friends and relatives (including the frightful mother-in-law) who may visit once in a while can do with lesser comfortable chairs. What is most important is the man and the woman of the house get a nook to rest their butts comfortably after a long day of work to enjoy watching their favourite TV program or listen to their selection of music or read the papers or a book.
Do not forget the lighting and an ambience of the room. After all, it is from here that the couple move up to the bedroom and if the mood is not set correctly, what may follow or may not follow in the bedroom will be affected. Whether we get offspring or not may be at stake!
So, this week, I have merely touched on certain rooms I feel need to be equipped with some sensitivity. My writing partner may tell you her views from a woman’s perspective. I tried this week to be more neutral (as if I can). Next week we talk about a huge headache – budgeting and finances!

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