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How to deal with an unwanted gift from the in-laws?

So this might seem like a rather minor issue, but...

My husband's parents recently gave us a rather expensive painting as a gift. It's very nice, but it absolutely does not go with my decorating scheme and on top of that I really just hate it. I don't want to offend them, my husband is really close with them and they are the nicest people (even if they're only just starting to warm up to me), but I really don't want that hanging in my house. Last time they came to visit they even asked why it wasn't hung up yet, so DH went and hung it up and now I just shudder every time I look at it.

How do I deal with this without anyone getting offended? I would just take it down and put it up when they come to visit, but I feel like hubby would get upset about that. He even got mad when I said I didn't like it.

Re: How to deal with an unwanted gift from the in-laws?

  • Maybe set up a scenario where you are painting the trim in your house or ceilings and "accidently" get paint on it. Oops, sorry, darn.

    Is it good enough to donate to your library or any signifigance enough to give to a museum?

    Could you accidently trip and fall into it and ruin it?

    I suggest these ways since it seems your husband likes and wants it.

    If your husband also didn't want it, I'd say just trash it or give to goodwill.

  • If your husband likes it and he has a room that he uses as his own personal space- a den, a spare bedroom, a garage, whatever- have him put it up in there. When the in-laws ask, you both can tell them that he wanted it specifically in his space because he likes it so much. You won't have to look at it, he gets to appreciate it, and no damage is required. Win-win. 
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  • imagejez_girl:
    If your husband likes it and he has a room that he uses as his own personal space- a den, a spare bedroom, a garage, whatever- have him put it up in there. When the in-laws ask, you both can tell them that he wanted it specifically in his space because he likes it so much. You won't have to look at it, he gets to appreciate it, and no damage is required. Win-win. 

    this. Also, I always thought it was a terrible idea to gift someone a painting. What if the person receiving it has the complete opposite taste as the buyer (which is the case here)? Now that person has to come up with a way to pretend they really like something that they don't.

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  • imageJennifer102011:

    imagejez_girl:
    If your husband likes it and he has a room that he uses as his own personal space- a den, a spare bedroom, a garage, whatever- have him put it up in there. When the in-laws ask, you both can tell them that he wanted it specifically in his space because he likes it so much. You won't have to look at it, he gets to appreciate it, and no damage is required. Win-win. 

    this. Also, I always thought it was a terrible idea to gift someone a painting. What if the person receiving it has the complete opposite taste as the buyer (which is the case here)? Now that person has to come up with a way to pretend they really like something that they don't.

    Ohhhhhhh yeaaaaa.....I know all about this. My MIL gave me a painting  - of an Armenian monastery - last year at my bridal shower. It's not horrible, but definitely not something I would have picked out because it's just not my taste. Art is such a subjective and personal thing, it's never a good idea to give someone art - unless you are absolutely certain you know what kind of taste they have. Like, if my mother, who is actually an artist, were to pick out something for me, I'd probably like it because we have similar taste. My MIL, on the other hand, we are so polar opposite. But yea, my mother said the look on my face when I opened the painting was priceless. lol and now my H & I are going to be moving into our new home in a few weeks and I have no idea where I am going to put this thing because it's definitely not going to match any color scheme we have planned for the house.....

  • You learn to deal. Don't say anything. Since you aren't the only one in the house you are not the only one who has say in what items get to come in. If your husband likes it let the man keep it. Being huge into decorating I get what you are feeling. I love things in my house a certain way. But things won't always go my way. It's better to just accept that
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  • Art doesn't have to be matchy-matchy.

    If it doesn't speak to you, hang it in DH's office/mancave.

  • It annoys me that he is mad because you said you did not like the painting. It is not like you said you did not like his parents. Maybe when they warm up to you they will know your taste and style. There is nothing wrong with not liking it and that is something you need to address with your DH.

    If there isn't a room he can hang it then hang it behind the sofa. That way when you  are sitting down you don't have to see it. Thank them for the painting and hope they don't buy any other artwork.

    Out of curiosity what was the subject or style of the painting?

  • imageMy2cents4u:

    It annoys me that he is mad because you said you did not like the painting. It is not like you said you did not like his parents. Maybe when they warm up to you they will know your taste and style. There is nothing wrong with not liking it and that is something you need to address with your DH.

    If there isn't a room he can hang it then hang it behind the sofa. That way when you  are sitting down you don't have to see it. Thank them for the painting and hope they don't buy any other artwork.

    Out of curiosity what was the subject or style of the painting?

    What if it is something HE likes?

    Perhaps the IL's got it for them because they knew it was something their son would like?

    Her H is just as entitled to have his opinion and express his annoyance with her acting bratty about a gift as she is to tell him she 'hates' the painting.

     

    ** DOES your H like the painting?

    Are you the only one "allowed" to pick what is in the house or does your H get a say in it too?

     

    If it is ONE painting I say deal with it. 

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  • So what people are saying, is that the OTHER adult in the house (someone who is also paying the expenses) doesnt get any say as to what gets hung in the house?

    There HAS to be some give and take in a marriage.  Because if it is always compromise, then NO ONE gets to be 100% happy. 

    I am betting that there are pieces in the OPs house that DH wasnt 100% into, but he agreed to it because it made his wife happy.  Why cant she do the same?

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  • imageIlumine:

    So what people are saying, is that the OTHER adult in the house (someone who is also paying the expenses) doesnt get any say as to what gets hung in the house?

    There HAS to be some give and take in a marriage.  Because if it is always compromise, then NO ONE gets to be 100% happy. 

    I am betting that there are pieces in the OPs house that DH wasnt 100% into, but he agreed to it because it made his wife happy.  Why cant she do the same?

    No I 100 percent agree with you. In my answer I said let the man keep the painting because she wasn't the only one living there. And I do think he should be able to put it where he wants. 

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  • I want a PIP!

    Was it painted by a family member or close friend? Does it have some emotional signifigance to your DH/his family?

     

  • I hear ya and I understand - but you need to compromise.  DH moved into MY house and I struggle with blending my "vision" and his "tastes".  DH has wildly different tastes than I do.  He grew up in a home where if there was a square inch to put something on the wall, then you better hang something.  My tastes run more towards hanging a statement piece and leaving the rest uncluttered. 

    DH has probably 10 art pieces that are in our attic that will likely never see the light of day because I just think they're butt ugly and I've had to take down some of my stuff that he can't stand as well.  I've acquiesced to hanging two of his prints that match our bedroom colors in our room, not because I like them (in fact, they're not even close to my style), but because  HE likes it and it does indeed match.  I figure that I spend most of my time in there sound asleep anyway and if it makes him happy to see his art on the wall, then that makes me happy too. 

    If your DH loves the painting, then let him hang it in a space you don't regularly use.  As for stopping the un-asked for gifts, that one takes a lot of work.  DH's parents give us a lot of "stuff" and since I'm not a "stuff" person, it is tough.  You can do 1 of 2 things.  Keep it and let it bug you that you have to take it out whenever they are over, or donate the extra "stuff" and get the tax write off and just tell your ILs that you didn't have room for it.  It is beyond rude for any gift giver to ask about a gift after it is given so that part is on them IMHO.

  • I agree with the Mans' Room or his private study

  • imageootmother2:

    I agree with the Mans' Room or his private study

    Why is the husband the one that only gets ONE room in the whole house?  Not for nothing, but he has as much right to hang a picture he likes in the house as she does.,

    And again, I am betting that he doesnt 100% love every single piece of tchotchke SHE has out and about.  Or the colors or the placement. 

    Decorating is ALWAYS hard.  And compromising is always the key.

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  • It's this enormous landscape painting with snow-capped mountains and a lake. I think they assumed I would like it since we live in Colorado right next to the mountains, but I just have to look out the window to see those.
  • And we compromised and hung it in the dining room since we almost never eat in there and it sort of matches the dark wood dining set.
  • "I would just take it down and put it up when they come to visit, but I feel like hubby would get upset about that. He even got mad when I said I didn't like it."

    this is more of an issue. you FEEL like he'd get upset? why not ASK him. if he likes it then thats fine, you dont, but you both need to come to a compromise. i'm sure he knows that you think the world of his parents but that has nothing to do with taking up wall space. is there someplace out of the way? a guest room where you could hang it?

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  • I am totally agree with auntie, if you don?t want to hang it in your home, you can use that painting in your DH's office cabin, he will be happy and his parents will also be happy. Win win situation.
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