One of the questions we get most often from couples is: how do we mix our styles? This is a topic we know a lot about not just as decorators, but as home stagers, too, because in home staging it is a priority to use gender-neutral décor to sell homes.
It may seem impossible to create décor that both men and women will feel comfortable in, but some of the best design comes from mixing feminine and masculine elements. It’s entirely possible to create a space both genders will feel inspired by. To do this, it comes down to understanding the elements commonly associated with each gender so you can find a unique and interesting way to combine them in your own home (or a home you are staging to sell).
Of course, these are just guidelines. Personal taste varies for either gender, but this post focuses on the most popular styles to help you find your perfect in-between look.
Here are our decorating tips on mixing masculine and feminine décor:
How to Mix Masculine and Feminine Décor
As a general guideline, darker colors tend to be considered more masculine while lighter colors are associated with femininity. Of course, this isn’t a hard and fast rule, but it can be helpful when trying to blend styles. Color can be a strong component in creating a gender-neutral space. For example, you can do a dark sofa with light-colored throw pillows or one darker accent wall while the rest are light.
Simple geometric and abstract patterns with harsh lines are masculine patterns, while florals, damask, and whimsical patterns like polka dots are more feminine. You can mix the two together to create a nice balance between the two, such as layering a floral pattern over a geometric one. Of course, you can always meet in the middle with circles or stripes, which are both gender neutral and can be swung in either direction based on color and what they are paired with.
Masculine décor typically has a more minimalist style, so accessories are also kept to a minimum, and they are usually made of strong materials like wood and metal. Feminine décor is usually softer and more elegant. These two themes can contrast each other for to make the space more dynamic or you can look for objects that fall somewhere in between.
When it comes to furniture, neutral is easy to achieve. Masculine furniture tends to be large, dark, and made of durable materials like leather. Feminine furniture is lighter, has softer edges, and is made of softer fabrics. For something gender neutral, focus on contemporary lines and mid-range colors.
There are two ways to mix masculine and feminine styles: go with décor and colors that are in-between the two or let the styles contrast each other. Contrast is a great way to create a more dynamic, interesting space and is also very effective at cultivating a gender-neutral vibe that isn’t boring. Contrast light colors with dark, soft edges with hard lines, and elegant accessories with rough textures.