How to Talk To Your Spouse About That Kitchen Remodel

discussing kitchen design with spouse


Remodeling is stressful. We know! And that stress is compounded when a spouse isn’t exactly ready or willing to make the big leap.

Maybe they’re not comfortable with the cost, maybe they’re worried it’ll upset their routine. Maybe they can’t imagine getting rid of that wonderful starfish wallpaper… whatever the hesitation, the only way to get everyone on the same page is open communication and planning (and lots of it).

Set expectations

A remodel is a huge commitment. There are so many decisions to be made, schedules to accommodate, costs, materials, and designs to consider… you need to work as a team to keep everyone happy and be satisfied with the result.

Talk often and set goals early. Agree on a budget, set the ground rules, and decide how you can best work together and compromise. Preempt disagreements by deciding together what stays, what goes, and which choices need both parties’ approval.

It’s not the most glamorous step, but if you start from a place of cooperation and mutual understanding, your remodel will go that much smoother from the start and you won’t have to figure out boundaries as you go.

Expect disagreements and learn to compromise

There are thousands of choices to be made, and chances are you’ll disagree on a good number of them. This is fine. This is normal! And recognizing it early gives you time to prepare.

Blend your styles, interests, and needs to create a space that is uniquely you (the plural you). Work together on nailing down a basic canvas or theme to keep the design cohesive.

If you’re unable to compromise on certain items, perhaps you can agree to disagree. Divide and conquer sticky choices by task or area — perhaps you can agree to choose the cabinet finish if your partner chooses the appliances.

If you’re really having problems working together, it may be a good idea to do a small project together first — like building a birdhouse or planting a garden to practice compromise. And whatever happens, don’t let design disagreements turn into relationship issues. Remember: in the end, it’s just a house.

Hire a designer and contractor you trust

To stay in budget, on schedule, and ensure the absolute best result, you need to hire a rock solid team that can do the job right the first time. Your cousin may be an excellent contractor and DIY may seem like the cheaper option, but trust us — we’ve seen it all. You’ll be happier with accountable professionals working in your home than trying to tackle everything yourself on weekends.

Professional designers can provide enormous relief for couples struggling to reach compromise. An experienced designer is able to pick up on and combine design cues to mesh your individual tastes into something very compatible and mutually pleasing. An outside opinion and impartial eye is invaluable to give distance to the project and help you maintain even heads.

Marsh Kitchens has more than a century of experience in custom kitchens and design. If you’re considering a remodel, give one of our talented designers a call to see how we can make your remodel as smooth as possible!