Design Tip Tuesday: Gender Neutral Spaces

Designing a gender-neutral space can be very difficult. Do you and your spouse agree on the overall look in feel of your home? I know I was surprised when my husband voiced his opinion about decor of our home. That was not something I would of thought he cared about. Talking to other couples we found that we weren’t alone. It’s a common goal for many to want a collective atmosphere in the home that the whole family will enjoy. A space that marries both masculine and feminine beautifully in one space. This design tip is centered on finding that balance. The key to designing a gender-neutral room doesn’t mean choosing androgynous furniture or a neutral palette. By marrying classically masculine and feminine textures, colors, patterns, shapes, and objects, your room will achieve a pleasing balance that will make men, women, and children alike feel comfortable. Whether you’re decorating a man cave or a young girl’s room, a first apartment for newlyweds or a family home, here are tips for creating a gender-neutral space.

#1 Let Opposites Attract If you’re starting with a masculine room with dark-wood floors, deep-gray walls, and industrial windows, soften it with vases of flowers, sculptures, mirrored furniture, pretty wall sconces, or anything else that helps balance the masculine energy. Give a living room full of frilly florals a dose of testosterone with a rugged coffee table or trunk, an industrial light fixture, or a coat of dark paint.

#2 Pair Objects That Get Along But Don’t Match Nobody says your bedside tables or light fixtures have to be identical twins. Simply make sure they have something in common—be it color, material, or overall size—to help them peacefully coexist. Place pendant lights that are similar in size but varying in shape on either side of the couch. Select matching vintage industrial lights, one in blue gray, the other in salmon pink, on either side of the bed. Mix square and round pillows. Pick two different chairs for your bistro table.

#3 Use Hard and Soft Textures If you’ve got a contemporary metal desk, throw a sheepskin on your office chair to add softness. A farmhouse dining table will benefit from a set of velvet-upholstered chairs. Place a fluffy rug on a polished concrete floor. When it comes to fabric and wallpaper, go bold and mix florals with stripes and plaids instead of choosing a neutral pattern. Lighten up an all-gray room with touches of gold or pink. Toughen up a delicate upholstered French armchair by re-covering it in a pinstripe suiting fabric.

#4 Play with Color and Pattern Keep a feminine little girl’s room from looking too sweet with baby blues, burnt orange or doses of apple red. Soften up a chocolate-brown midcentury sofa with a peach-colored rug. Tone down an elaborately carved bed frame with a coat of black paint or rustic washed linen sheets. Have fun with your color! And who said color has to be on the walls. Keep it simple with whites and grays on the walls and liven up the space with colorful toys and furniture.

#5 Mix Straight and Curved Lines One of the easiest ways to create a balanced room is by pairing straight, angular lines with soft curves and rounded shapes. Complement a pair of masculine club chairs with sequined pillows, a shag rug, and a round coffee table. Arrange a kidney-shaped desk with a linear task chair.

I hope this helped inspire you in your home design adventures! Have fun with it!