Ways to find balance between masculinity and femininity in your interior

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A good friend of mine just bought her first house… Big congratulations M! And of course I was dying to know how she wanted to decorate it. Finding out what styles make people click is weirdly exciting for me! Guess it comes with the job description… Anyways, she mentioned that she likes a style that is modern minimalist in a way but balances that by making it more feminine… blurring traditions of masculine and feminine seems to be happening everywhere just look at fashion. Since I am somewhat obsessed with maintaining balance in all areas of life what better thing to post about.So style aside, what is masculine and what is feminine? This bedroom seemed the perfect example of the difference. The base, and even the wall colour is the same. But with just a few changes in the lamps, art, and duvet covers turned it from a bachelor pad to a bachelorettes. So what makes one feminine and the other masculine…. here I go analysing again : ) it happens to be one of my favourite things to do.

Picture

Colours: 

  • The masculine has more black in the lamp and artwork with a strong punch of bold colour.
  • The feminine has pale pink flowers and red upholstered bench with more white in the bed which makes the space lighter and more feminine because of the softer tones of colour.

Materials: 

  • The masculine has more hard materials like the mirror, and the metal base to the table lamp.
  • The feminine has softer materials in the upholstered bench, and fabric holding the painting.

Forms:

  • The masculine has more square forms in the lamp and mirror.
  • The feminine has more curved forms lamp, flowers, and bench.

But these are not the only things to consider…..Texture, patterns and layers also play a big part on whether a space can feel more hard and masculine or soft and feminine. Take these two images for example.

The image on the left feels more masculine because there is less of a variety of textures, plus there are less items in the room in general which means there are less layers, and there is an absence of patterned fabrics or furnishings.The image on the right feels more feminine because there are patterns in the cushions and artwork. A big mix of hard and soft textures throughout the space and lots more things that create layers to look at.BUT… of course these are not hard and fast rules… there are always exceptions like this masculine space below.
Filled with oodles of textures, and pattern its the colour scheme and industrial style here that keeps it feeling masculine.So where is the balance?
For each of us its personal and about finding where you lay on each of these axis. For me when I looked at what I prefer out of each of the below, and totalled them up and I ended up pretty much dead middle… how ironic knowing my obsession for balance. Which side do you prefer?
MASCULINE
dark colours
bold colours
hard materials
angled edges
less texture
few things
no pattern
FEMININE
light colours
soft colours
soft materials
soft curves
lots of texture
lots of things
mixing different patterns
It doesn’t matter if it is more masculine or feminine. The process also helped me think more about what I like in an interior and when you can clearly define what you like and dislike you are halfway there to a great interior that fits you.

The other great thing about thinking this way is that you can fix your interior by tweaking each axis… If your place is feeling too masculine for you look at each of these and think and define where you pad is at for each. There might be a lack of curved forms, so a sculpture and soft blanket or a patterned cushion might be a quick fix. Or if its just way too feminine, you might see that you need to introduce more black or hard edged forms into your space or take those extra cushions off the sofa. Play with what you like on each axis until it feels more right… our is still a work in process and I expect it forever will be.

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