This or That: Masculine vs. Feminine

bed tom stringer

{This bedroom by Tom Stringer includes a great mix of masculine and feminine items.}

Generally speaking, I would assume that the majority of us would describe our design aesthetic as a marriage of styles: high end items mixed with bargains, antique mixed with modern, and of course, masculine mixed with feminine. I know that when I decorate, I try to keep things balanced. Shiny, glamorous items can certainly use a hint of crisp, tailored shapes and fabrics to achieve an ideal mix. However, let’s pretend that for today only, you have to define your personal decorating style as either masculine or feminine. It’s just black or white, no grey areas, no blending of styles. What side do you veer towards the most when it comes to your style: masculine or feminine? If you had to choose one of the bedrooms below, which would it be?

fem masc

San Francisco 2008 059

{Master Bedroom from the 2008 San Francisco Decorators Showcase}


renovation style

{An Ultra-Feminine Bedroom from Renovation Style}

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Tell Me What You Think! leave a comment...

  1. Feminine all the way – and I would definitely choose that feminine bedroom – so girly and beautifully decorated. When a room is way too masculine, I find them somewhat cold and not as cozy. I guess that masculine bedroom is perfect for a bachelor pad.

    Have a great day!


  2. It depends who is by your side! 🙂

    Really, I don’t think you should put only your personality in a room when divided with others. I you have a man sleeping on your bed and he’s there for good (and he’s good too 😉 ) I think you need to balance your personalities. All pink is for when you were a little girl, if you didn’t have that by then and it’s still your “dream” to have a pink room, use it with some brown to balance. If your don’t share your bedroom with anybody, at least not for too long.. well, then go bananas! 🙂

    Balance is always the key for any design. So, not too feminine, not too masculine. Both! Connecting with each other. Like a good relationship.

    BTW, Paloma, go take a look at JESSICA ALBA’S HOUSE at my blog today… she’s renting it… furnished!!! Let me know if you like it.


    Luciane at

  3. I live at the crux of this design dilemma, but increasingly with time, I’ve found I’d likely veer into the masculine when it comes to a bedroom — especially one for a couple.
    That said, I do love how someone like Kara Mann is able to create these streamlined bedrooms that bridge the gender gap.

  4. Masculine for this gal. I never quite liked the idea of subjecting any man to an overly feminine bedroom. I try to inject my husbands personality into our home. Thank goodness however that he’s not into Harley memorabilia (although we both ride motorcycles) or has a bobble-head collection

    Have a great Wed. my dear ~ Deb

  5. I generally veer towards masculine bedrooms, but if choosing between these two bedrooms, I would go with the feminine bedroom from Renovation Style. Although, I don’t really consider this room feminine but a mix of both styles. While the color palate is certainly feminine, I think the the simplicity in way the bed is dressed, geometric Hicks drapes and bedside lamp lends itself to a masculine flavor.

  6. I am 100% feminine, but I really do try to bring in a masculine edge or moment here and there. When it happens naturally, its great. When I am self-conscious about it it looks ridiculous, and kind of drag-y. I am definitely a feminine but I appreciate both.

  7. As one of the very girliest girls on the planet, I am shocked to realize I really do prefer masculine interiors.
    Fresh flowers are all that is needed to make it feminine enough.
    Great post!

  8. Is it just me, or is the rug in the top photo off center? The only way a rug would fit in my bedroom would be if it were off center, and I’ve been hesitant to do it. But now I’m thinking it might be OK…

  9. Love this question! I’m surprised how easy it was for me to answer, I’m immediately drawn to the masculine room. I’m going to keep that in mind for future inspiration- thanks!

  10. while i happen to like the first two rooms better, a bit of change of fabric and color could shift any of the spaces to cater to one gender or the other. but i can’t imagine anyone who would turn down a visit to any one of the three rooms.

  11. I almost always lean towards the masculine room, but in this case I have to go woth the feminine room. The oly bed + la fiorentina curtains + weinrib pillows = obsessed! Love the table lamp as well

    x A