by Loaf

Gender neutral decorating tips

Katherine Rañeses Katherine Rañeses

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So, you've finally decided to move in with the boyfriend (or vice versa) or you're newlyweds who have bought their first home together and are looking forward to decorating the space without the interference of the in-laws and other extended relatives trying to persuade you to keep the giant wooden spoon and fork set or convince you how your home just isn't complete without a picture of The Las Supper hanging by the dining room table. It's an exciting and fun time, but it can get frustrating when your interior design preferences are different. With each of you bringing his and her own sets of furniture, knick-knacks, and tastes when it comes to decorating, it may be an uphill battle to wrestle with what you should keep, toss, and buy.

That said, here are a few top tips that help you meld the aesthetics of the masculine and feminine into a gender-bending each space until it looks like something the both of you would like to come home to, with an irresistible vibe full of artful detail and feminine, organic touches that'll make you both want to kick your feet up and enjoy your home that you created together.

Tip #1: Start with a neutral base

Pure white or dove gray walls are always great place to start with and go really well with art pieces or statement walls with deep blue and teal hues. Mix and match the furniture with soft, velvet tufted chairs against bold, industrial lights or do the opposite and pair a delicate chandelier with a brown leather sofa. If you have no choice in the furniture, play around with the art on the walls and hang dreamy watercolor paintings with loud, contemporary posters instead.

Tip #2: Incorporate your personalities into the space

Having an androgynous look to a space doesn't mean it should be devoid of your personalities. If you're a mixologist in the making, show off your mini bar and collection of spirits while he showcases the fruits of his labor in your organic garden in the same space. Add your quirks to your home workspaces and show your personalities off with a toy, collectible, or even a little pot of rosemary situated amidst your collection of Star Wars memorabilia and colored pens cluttering the desk. The idea is to keep it contained to a space that is truly your own while maintaining that his-and-her balance in other parts of the home.

Tip #3: Pick a statement color

 Living room by Loaf
Loaf

Pudding sofa

Loaf

What's a color you and your partner can really get behind with and enjoy? You may both really like rose gold, or a bright turquoise blue, or even black—so it would be a good idea to incorporate the color theme into a few statement pieces around the home while keeping everything else in various shades of white, cream, or gray. Look up palettes and color combination ideas online, and see how they can fit into your space. It doesn't even have to be expensive, just simply refurbish some of the furniture you own with the statement hue in mind and have the upholsterer do all the work for you.

Tip #4: Soften masculine-looking spaces with feminine accents

 Kitchen by Hend Krichen
Hend Krichen

Tunisia Made Vases and jars

Hend Krichen

Sometimes a room can look overwhelmingly masculine, like the kitchen with the steel stove, sink, and other appliances against a big, cold marble table. Soften any room with small feminine touches, like a vase of flowers, pastel accents, as well as glass and crystal accent pieces that catch the light.

Tip #5: Pick a theme and work with that!

A lot of Filipino households still make use a lot of the old, traditional furniture made of narra, rattan, abaca, and other indigenous materials. Use that to your advantage and decorate around it, making the beautiful artisan pieces the focal point of your home. Look into tropical, Indonesian, or West Indie designs. Pick out details that the both of you can appreciate before going shopping for pieces that would compliment what you already have. Succulents, split philodendrons, and fiddle-leaf fig trees also help in bringing life into your home, so don't forget about those!

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