How To Redecorate in Secret

HOW TO REDECORATE IN SECRET West U design blogger Joni Webb confesses to the plan she had been pursuing all along: “How do you redecorate without your husband really noticing? If I had told Ben I was going to redo the entire downstairs, he would have had a heart attack. In order to save his life, I never told him. Instead, the changes were done a little bit at a time over the course of a few years. Slowly, slowly, and quietly. Once the countertops had been paid for and forgotten about, I had the walls painted. Well, they needed it anyway!! Once the walls were gray, I lived with the old yellow silk ticking curtains for a while before I changed them out for the grayish taffeta. And who would ever notice a few new slipcovers anyway? Certainly Ben didn’t. He pays so little attention to what I’m doing around the house, he is still oblivious that I have been redecorating for the past couple of years all with a grand scheme in mind.” [Cote de Texas] Photo: Joni Webb

7 Comment

  • my spousal unit returns from a weekend trip away, he spends the first day back trying to find where I’ve hidden all the new stuff. I do keep the tags on them. If he doesn’t object during the return period… they stay.

  • So I’m one of those rare husbands who does most of the house decor. Please set aside any sexist remarks and preconceived notions :) I just wanted to add that I practice this exact method as well, but just in case you do get caught…I always just say that if she doesn’t like it, she has to return. The receipt is still in the top drawer. She rarely takes the time the time to bother over one item.

  • oy. thanks for this!! – Commenters. please be kind! haha!!!


  • I have frequent nick nack attacks. When my spouse leaves town I walk around the house de-nick nacking as I go. I hide away all of the crap that I get tired of seeing. It is a refreshing, liberating expeience…dreaming of minimalism.

  • When my husband is away I rearrange the furniture. When I am away he straightens up (i.e., he makes stacks). Happy, happy marriage!

  • How do you solve the “over” or “under” problem?

    My other half loves to play games with the TP. He’s “over” and I’m “under”.

    I know, it’s not decorating as such but it’s sure a PITA.

    I’ve decided that in the house we are currently renovating, there will be 2 different toilet paper holders. HIS and HERS.

  • I have learned to fear Fridays. That’s heavy trash day. I have come home from work Friday evening to find my bathroom carpet (yes, I know but that’s what we had) gone and a bare concrete floor. I have come home from work Friday evening and found the kitchen wallpaper half stripped. It’s not so much that I don’t want to remodel, it’s that I don’t want to live six months with the house a mess, and that’s usually about how long it takes when you do it yourself as you have time and money. My wife is definitely of the “it’s easier to seek forgiveness than permission” philosophy, at least where demolition is concerned!