There are many subjects of conversation in this world that can pitch husband against wife and family member against family member. These ranges from politics to education, child-bearing, finances, in-laws issues; and whether or not the wall should be done in wallpaper, or painted in a particular colour in order for the wall to be a background.
With a little background in Christian family life counselling, it is usually the case that when people come together to marry and raise a family, many factors demanding compatibility and adaptation come up for discussion.
Cultural preferences, hobbies, habits, diets, faith and faith-based sentiments; career, job and employment show up on the discussion table. Seldom do we discuss décor, whether their preferences regarding certain elements agree or vary.
Generally, a defined environment or space does not change until a person is introduced into it. Everything in a given space begins to change at the occupancy of an individual.
More serious changes take place when more than one person occupy that defined space.
• Ventilation becomes a problem
• Smells and odours are introduced
• Privacy is challenged
• Vision or view is obstructed because of movement
• Definition and demarcation of territories comes up – “my space” or “your space”?
• Personalisation of space starts breeding conflicts and then intolerance begins to set in.
Truth be told, the value of space is not ultimately the product of its function but of its atmosphere and its occupants. We may get a space by creating a roof over a walled perimeter but it is not simply created by protecting a void from the weather.
In the nutshell, a house is not a shelter for items but a place for people to live in just like a factory is not a shelter for machines but a place for humans to work in.
Interestingly, a church or a sacred building is to inspire man, not God.
The whole point of ‘function’ is to create spaces that reflect the dignity of man. The builder may define the function of a space, but we manipulate our environment with everything we do.
We are not responsible for its functions, but essentially for its quality of the environment within any given space we occupy.
With this background, homes with more than one occupant are bound to have some conflict of space usage, space definition, and space manipulation and generally which décor is acceptable, mutual or otherwise.
We will look further next week at particular challenges or conflicts within co-occupancy and co-decorating.