My husband thinks my decor ideas are old-fashioned. We've been in our house for 12 years, and we hope to retire and sell it in five. When we moved in, we kept all our furniture and even painted with the same colors, which I still love. Would redoing everything be worth the fights and stress now or should we wait until we sell?
-T., from Arlington, Texas
A: Congratulations on thinking ahead - that is smart. Many people decorate their houses just once or maybe twice in their lifetime. Whatever trend is popular at the time when people buy their first house is often the style they stick with, and they replace pieces only if they wear out.
Other people, like me, love to change things frequently, redoing the whole style whenever they move. In fact, I've sold many of my previous houses fully furnished!
The key is to find a balance between what makes you and your husband happy. You share the house, so he should have a say in what goes. I also think that getting a new look is a great way to celebrate your retirement.
Normally, I would say if you're staying in your house for five years or more, you should redecorate while you have time to enjoy it. But if you're moving to a smaller place, I recommend waiting. Furniture you buy now may not suit your new house, or even fit into it.
A freshening will probably help you maximize your sales price when that time comes. Meet some interior designers or decorators with home-staging experience. A good one will propose new decorating ideas and a few neutral key pieces, and you may not need to change much when you go to sell.
You have some time to sort this out, fortunately. Make it a fun adventure. Spend some time shopping with your husband, looking at magazines, visiting model homes and furniture stores, and trying hard to find styles you both like. Perhaps you can compromise on color, or by room. Let him choose the family room and you do the bedroom, for example.
Let me know how it goes.