How to Combine Masculine and Feminine Styles

Decorating can be challenging when two people with very different styles move in together. See how we redesigned a small condo with a mix of modern and rustic to make one happy home.  

Photo By: Sam Zachrich

Photo By: Sam Zachrich

Photo By: Sam Zachrich

Photo By: Sam Zachrich

Photo By: Sam Zachrich

Photo By: Sam Zachrich

Photo By: Sam Zachrich

Photo By: Sam Zachrich

Photo By: Sam Zachrich

Photo By: Sam Zachrich

Photo By: Sam Zachrich

Photo By: Sam Zachrich

Photo By: Sam Zachrich

Photo By: Sam Zachrich

His and Hers

Moving in together can be complicated, don’t let decorating add to the confusion. In this Ventura, California redesign we mixed textures and materials to find the right balance for this couple. 

Finished Metals

Zinc-metal panels were installed to cover up the dated fireplace and add a masculine touch. Zinc is a readily available remodeling material, and the look can be altered with copper sulfate to evoke a deep, slate black tone. 

Before: Unusual Wall Art

Homeowner Mike is a martial artist and stunt-fight coordinator. He has a working collection of weapons that were hung all over the house, taking up valuable wall space, and looking a bit chaotic for his girlfriend, Deb. 

Stylized Arrangement

By consolidating the sculptural swords and knives over the dining table, this arrangement of the weapons turned into cool wall art, and a seriously great conversation starter for dinner guests.

Decorate With Your Hobby

When Mike introduced Deb to archery, she fell in love with it. Since then she’s shot many an apple off a fence post. With feathered pink and orange tips, her arrows look gorgeous tucked into the corner near the fireplace for a bit of woodsy flair. 

A Perfect Partner Compromise

An oversized sofa in a tailored, tweed fabric is the perfect fit for 6’5” Mike, and its gorgeous styling met all Deb’s requirements for a classic, transitional design style.

Everybody's Favorite Color

What’s the most common favorite color for both men and women? It’s blue, of course! This petite chair with a square profile and a nail-head trim brings a touch of color to a modern space, in a look they both agree on. The nail head trim added a touch of glam that Deb loved, especially in contrast with the darker elements in the space.

Add Extra Built-Ins

Gender-balancing white, modern cabinets were installed in the living room for extra storage. The white cabinets disappear into the wall, creating a streamlined look. Topped with smoky gray glass, they are a minimalist’s dream, and offer plenty of storage for Mike’s shoes, the dog's leash and a lot of other miscellanous stuff.

Display What You Love

Both Mike and Deb are avid readers so their books were mingled and displayed by color on the shelving. 

Put Furniture on Casters

This rustic wood and metal coffee table satisfies both Mike and Deb’s style. It’s chic and contemporary, yet rustic enough they can put their feet up on it. Both agree that their favorite feature is the wheels hidden under the lower shelf, so the table can easily be moved when not in use. 

Add a Throw for Hygge

Adding a little layer of comfort to the living room was as simple as draping a cream and black tasseled throw on the back of the sofa. It breaks up the gray fabric and makes it easy to grab when nights get chilly.  

Soothing Color Palette

The bedroom walls went from peachy-pink to cool gray. Fresh white linens paired with the sophisticated gray makes the room feel calming and classy. To make the room seem larger and give it an airy feel, floor-to-ceiling white curtains were hung over the window. 

Use the Walls

Elements like the wall-mounted pendant lamps hung over the bedside table speaks to Mike’s more industrial style. Plus, they leave more space on the nightstand for practical items like books and water glasses.

Textures Taken From Apparel

A collection of vintage leather belts was upcycled to make a headboard. It adds a touch of rich texture to the room, and gives a masculine counterpoint to an otherwise feminine space.

A chunky, sweater-knit pillow is a cheeky complement to the warm, leather headboard. Because it’s white, the pillow lets the headboard “do the talking” and adds an unexpected texture. 

Storage Vanity

An under-used corner was turned into laundry storage and a makeup vanity. The tabletop can be folded down when not in use. The cabinet on the left solves a storage issue for both of them; it houses pull-out laundry sorting bins. The artwork mounted on the wall hides a secret storage space for all of Deb’s makeup and jewelry. 

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The House Counselor