His and her decorating can be tough. Generally men don't want to live in overly feminine spaces and vice versa. Fortunately it's easy to create a gender-neutral space that is both stylish and comfortable for men and women.
Time Required: n/a
- Choose a Color Scheme
- The key to creating a gender-neutral color scheme is balance. Choose a neutral color for the walls such as gray, brown, taupe or cream. Paint all the trim white to create a crisp, grounding foundation.
- Add color with furniture and accessories. Choose those that both parties love and make sure that all of the accent colors compliment each other (try to limit the number of accent colors to two or three or the room can get visually cluttered).
- Find Furniture
- Choose furniture that is comfortable but not overly decorative. Avoid elaborately carved items and heavy materials. Use pieces that are streamlined but not severe. For example, Lawson, Bridgewater, and Slipper sofas are all great. They're simple, but have soft, curved elements to them as well.
- Think About Fabrics
- Patterned fabrics are great to use but avoid those traditionally associated with either feminine or masculine sensibilities. Large floral patterns and traditional plaids fall into these categories. Instead think about using stripes or other geometric designs. (The same goes for wallpaper if you choose to use it.) Use a variety of different textures to add depth.
- Keep Window Treatments Simple
- Avoid billowing curtains and opt instead for something streamlined. Roman shades or shutters are terrific options. Simple curtains that hang to the floor can also be used but avoid decorative accents like tassels or frilly valances.
- Use a Variety of Decorative Accents
- Let each person choose some decorative accessories they love to fill bookshelves and mantels – this is what personalizes the space. Don't worry too much about things looking perfect or you'll end up with a home that looks more like a showcase. When it comes to decorative accents a mix of shapes, textures and styles is desirable. However, with that said, avoid over-the-top feminine and masculine items. Remember, it's all about balance.
- Balance and Compromise
- There will always be differences of opinion when it comes to decorating for men and women so you have to be willing to compromise. For example, if she is desperate to have a pretty antique chair, have it covered in a masculine fabric (such as a classic Louis XIV chair covered in a gray flannel). If he insists on a minimalist and linear entertainment unit, make sure it's made from a material she finds pleasing to look at and touch. Not only are these great ways to compromise but also they will create a more unique and less matched and formulaic room.