Mankind generally seems to have an innate desire for balance. This is perfectly demonstrated in the children’s storybook “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”. Goldilocks does not want her porridge to be too hot or too cold, her chair too big or too small, nor her bed too soft or too hard. She wants these things to be “just right”.
As we discuss different aspects of balance in the next few Design 101 posts we are basically talking about how to get a room to feel “just right”.
Today I’m going to be talking about the balance between masculinity and femininity.
There are some general colors, patterns, shapes, and elements to design and decor that read more masculine or feminine.
These groupings are not absolute truths but common perceptions. For example there is no decree that declares pink as a girl color but most people do connect the color as being feminine. Here are two illustrations.
Do you think this room is more feminine or more masculine?
And how about this room? Does it read more feminine or masculine?
To me the first room reads feminine and the second masculine. Here are some common qualities of masculine and feminine design elements.
Now that I have listed some of the masculine and feminine design traits it might be fun to go back up to the mostly feminine and the mostly masculine room photos and see what particular elements created that vibe. For example, the shiny mirrors and soft rug in the feminine office and the wood tones and hard brick in the masculine room.
Unless the room is a girl’s bedroom or a boy’s bedroom I prefer rooms that have a balance of both masculine and feminine traits. The rooms below are great examples of designers who orchestrated this beautiful blend of masculine and feminine features. See if you can identify which furnishings and décor read more masculine and which read more feminine.
I’m in love with these rooms!
(Masculine Features of this room- Color and boxy shapes of the built-ins, art on the wall, color of the chair, color, shape, and plainness of the rug, boxy wood trim on wall around the door, boxy ottomans. Feminine Features of this room- shiny and ornate chandelier, intricate design on base of side table, color and tufting of ottomans, curvy light above chair, curvy little legs on chair, bright colors of some of the decorative books)
(Masculine Features of this room- striped rug, boxy club chairs, squared coffee table, wood tones of furnishings, plain lines of floor lamp, shape of mirror. brown color of throw, wrought iron material on legs and décor items. Feminine features of this room- blue pastels, flowers, shiny mirror, shiny table lamp bases, curves of pinch pleated drapes, the soft material of the throw, curved lines of slipper chairs, glass top on coffee table, round shape of decorative balls and plate)