Floral touches are often used to adorn feminine decor.

How to Decorate in a Feminine Way

by D Ann Kross

Feminine décor embraces romantic styles and is influenced by elements like lace and flowers. To give your space a feminine style, incorporate soft pastels of pink, green and lavender. Opt for soft, tactile fabrics, such as velvets, satins and silks, over cotton duck or heavy textures. And add ruffles, ribbons and bows to promote feminine décor on bedding, window coverings and accessories, such as bed pillows, drapery panels and table skirts.

Feminine Fabric Influences

A room that incorporates a feminine approach includes a variety of complementary fabrics on furniture, draperies, valances and table covers. Feminine fabrics feature floral designs, embroidered details, eyelet lace, silk moirés, French toiles and decorative satin brocades. Support a feminine interior by layering in a variety of fabrics with a common color scheme that reinforces an overall design statement. For example, combine a large floral pattern with a miniature floral print on bedcoverings, matching one of the predominant colors to a brocade or silk fabric on draperies. Opt to include decorative embellishments, such as tasseled tiebacks, to demonstrate your feminine approach to details.

Feminine Colors and Finishes

Colors associated with femininity are easy to identify. Most shades and tints of pink, peach, purple, coral, rose and yellow are considered feminine, whether used alone or together. Floral colors, such as most rose varieties, are common to feminine schemes. Feminine finishes on furniture and accessories include hand-painted and white wood tones. For instance, a painted or white-washed finish with a hand-painted floral motif will add feminine appeal to wood accent pieces. Iridescent finishes, on the other hand, can add luster to fabrics and metal surfaces by softening colors with a frosted overlay.

Feminine Furnishings

For feminine flair, add accent furniture with curves and movement. You can do this by layering in an arched back settee with curved arms into your bedroom sitting area. Chaise lounges also promote a feminine statement with their inviting one-armed design that can be traced to early fainting couches, which were designed to appeal to refined ladies of previous generations. European furniture influences, such as French Provincial, demonstrate curved profiles, rounded edges and ornate carved details to satisfy feminine tastes. If you're looking for a unique feminine piece, consider re-purposing an antique dresser with curved details into a decorative sink base in your powder room. You can have the top cut and fitted to accommodate a hand-painted oval porcelain bowl and old-fashioned brass fixtures.

Feminine Accessories

Hand-painted privacy screens, dressing tables with large mirrors and over-sized antique rugs with fringe are often found in a lady's boudoir. Add a series of decorative hat boxes, framed floral art or a needlepoint collection to maximize a feminine statement. Freshen up a tired jewelry box with hand-painted flowers and leaves, or purchase a stick-on appliqué kit at a craft store. Lace table runners can be under-lined with a contrasting fabric in a feminine color for extra impact, and can be used on dining room tables, buffets and dressers for a practical and romantic feminine touch.

About the Author

As an allied ASID member, D'Ann Kross co-owned and managed an Interior design business serving the greater New Orleans area for 20 years, and has been the lead designer for a major home furnishings franchise. She has published several articles as a contributing editor for "Gulf Coast Woman Magazine."

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