We’ve all been into those rooms or even those entire homes that seem to be overwhelmingly masculine or completely feminine. You can usually spot the signs of either, whether it’s a room full of leather, or on the flip side, one with a pastel color palette and floral patterns.
The stereotypical things we associated with male versus female design aren’t all that can lead our mind to feel a room is strongly leaning one way—there are more subtle things at play as well. For example, rooms that have a lot of detail tend to be viewed as feminine while modern, sleek lines and shapes are generally seen as masculine on their own.
For some people, having a very strong sense of the masculine or feminine may work in their home, but then there are other times when you want to find a balance between the two concepts. Maybe it’s for a reason—perhaps your spouse would like a little more input in the design of your home. On the other hand, maybe you just like the idea of having a room that doesn’t lean too far in either direction, but instead is seamlessly balanced.
There are ways you can incorporate both sides of the scale and create harmony between design elements.
There are some textures that often make us automatically think “masculine,” like leather and naturally-inspired textures like what you’ll find with exposed brick or wood, while softness brings our minds in the opposite direction.
To balance the feeling of a room, pair different textures.
In the room below you’ll see this happening in such a simple way—the soft throw on the modern sofa gives a nice sense of opposing textures and keeps the space from going too far in either direction.
The room below seems feminine thanks to the open, bright and airy sense you get as well as the infusion of floral accessories, but the inclusion of a rich leather chair, dark wood tones the dramatic chandelier keep the space balanced.
As I mentioned above, one of the telling signs of a room that’s heavily masculine is a simpler, more streamlined look.
If you have a room that’s favoring the masculine, just adding a variety of visually stimulating accessories can create a sense of balance.
In the picture below you’ll see that while the room and the furnishings are dark and include fabrics and textures like leather, just the simplest details, in the form of pink, go a long way.
The bedroom can be one of the trickiest places to meld together male and female-inspired design energy. The room below is a great example of how it can be done—while the bed is sumptuous, layered and luxurious and the headboard and chandelier seem quintessentially female, the combination of rustic wood on the ceiling and the wood of some of the furnishings maintain that ideal equilibrium.
Another great example is the living area below. While the room gives you a big dose of glamour, the luxe elements are juxtaposed by the dark color palette and the stark, industrial-inspired lines of the coffee table and lamp.