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Designing With the Cro-Magnon Male

As an early description of the male species, Cro-Magnons had a strong and hardy robust build. The body was generally heavy, strong and muscular. Somehow through the changes of time, powerful thinking of the Cro-Magnon male hasn't progressed when it comes to changes in their home.
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As an early description of the male species, Cro-Magnons had a strong and hardy robust build. The body was generally heavy, strong and muscular. Somehow through the changes of time, powerful thinking of the Cro-Magnon male hasn't progressed when it comes to changes in their home. Their thought process sometimes interferes with interjecting strong ideas and options causing delay and resulting in halting a design project.

Getting a call to work with new clients who request updating the interior of their 1960's, 70's, 80's or 90's style home is always a little challenging, especially when one of the rooms to be considered for change would be the living room. Needing new paint colors for the walls, replacing wall to wall carpeting with hardwood floors, new furniture an area rug and window treatments are all necessities in order to pull it all together. The first red flag at the initial consultation is the old brick fireplace. The husband refuses to update or modify the original fireplace brick which is ugly and outdated resulting in an unbalanced newly designed room when completed. Absolutely no painting of the fireplace, no molding fascia and there is no budget to cover the brick with tile, marble or stone. My advice to this thinking is if you are going to put money into updating your home, follow through with every detail. There is nothing worse than going through the process of detailing a design plan when the focal point of a room will stick out like a sore thumb. What's the point of updating when one's eye will go right to the old brick fireplace? When there is no budget to totally revamp the look of the fireplace with stone, marble or tile, suggesting a less costly option would be first to paint the brick or secondly to box out the existing brick with drywall, shadowbox molding and paint. All in all there is an easy solution.

Another Cro-Magnon remodeling decision is not to paint the existing dark stained woodwork. Why? If the design of the new room needs to be brightened and especially if using light or pastel paint colors on the walls, white woodwork is a must. Darker saturated wall colors can work well with darker woodwork. The same theory applies to dark kitchen cabinets. If there is no budget for new kitchen cabinets, painting is an option. Trying to convince the Cro-Magnon male to agree to the newly updated painted wood is a challenge.

Let's talk about his recliner from his college days. Why does the Cro-Magnon body refuse to update the snack crumb, germ infested oversized recliner. There are so many nice fitting new recliner options on the furniture market today which would serve the same purpose and provide better back support than his old and tired model. Not to mention the fact of which the husband refuses to let the wife remove his prized possession from its long life position of facing the television dead on.

Another stumbling block in designing for the Cro-Magnon male is how to handle his proud purchase of the largest flat screen television that will fit into the room; forget about considering if it will it fit into the scale of the room. His solution, angle it in the corner of the room to for a better view, even though the edge of the television infringes on the space of the window by blocking half of the light entering the room. Sometimes the TV just needs to be mounted over the newly designed or redesigned fireplace.

Let your designer assist with these types of design battles. This is what a professional designer is paid to do. To offer options, suggestions and solutions for an updated design style the couple can live with.