Dark leather furniture often apears more masculine.

Mixing Masculine and Feminine Interior Designs

by Renee Rall-Harden

After moving in together, you and your partner may face a decorating dilemma. His home decor style is overtly masculine -- and though you hate to admit it – yours leans to the feminine side. The quintessential stereotypes depict rich, dark colors with classic leather upholstery for masculine and light, pastel colors with curvy, plush furniture for feminine. But after moving in together, you want your combined living space to find a happy middle ground. Marry your masculine and feminine styles to give your home an eclectic and personalized appeal that can be enjoyed by you, your significant other and guests to your home.

1. Colors

Typical feminine color schemes rely heavily on pastels, varying shades of white and vibrant colors such as pink, blue and yellow. Masculine shades run toward the darker spectrum, such as brown, red and black, or include neutral colors gray and tan. Combine the two styles by choosing complimentary colors from each, and mixing and matching throughout the space. For example, paint three walls in a neutral gray color, but add a splash of femininity with a bright jewel-toned accent wall in blue or purple, adorned with colorful photo frames and mirrors.

2. Furniture

Place comfort, style and functionality at the top of your list, whether you are seeking a masculine or feminine vibe. Men typically gravitate towards rugged, leather couches and recliners, while women focus on stylish furniture, made comfortable with pillows and throws. Work both concepts into the room with a combination of leather and brocade upholstery, and choose a coordinated wood grain in each room for continuity. Feminize dark, leather pieces with bright pillows and throws. For lighting, choose functional, trendy lamps that fit well in a combined space. Avoid ostentatious chandeliers or industrial-themed, metallic lamps unless one or the other is needed to balance a space.

3. Window Treatments

Dark, heavy window treatments come off as masculine, while sheer or light-colored curtains add a feminine touch. Choose functional treatments for the space that can be drawn back to allow plenty of light in. For example, a room that contains a dark color theme and leather furniture appears more balanced with sheer curtains, while a room with a pastel color theme can be toned down with a coordinated, yet darker-colored masculine window treatment.

4. Accents and Accessories

Scatter durable, patterned rugs that fit the room's color theme to soften an overly masculine space. Arrange plants and flowers throughout the area to lend a subtle feminine vibe. Personalize the room with accessories that you and your partner have collected over the years. Work to find a good balance in how you display them. If you have just recently moved in together, chances are there is an excess of knickknacks and collection pieces. Decide which items hold the most personal significance and keep a masculine married to feminine balance, and use these to create unique displays. Approach wall art in the same manner. Balance that comic book poster that is priceless to your partner with your own prized "Wicked" theater poster or classic Katharine Hepburn portrait.

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