Gender-Neutral Apartment Design

Homeowner uses gray, pink and neutral hues to blend feminine and masculine style in a dramatic way.

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Before: Petite and Purposeless

When Rue magazine's co-founder and editor-in-chief, Crystal Gentilello, first moved into her apartment, its room's modest dimensions made it difficult to decide which room to assign to which purpose: living, dining or sleeping.

Dining for Six

To fully use each room in her San Francisco apartment, Crystal created a space plan that would allow seating for up to six in her dining room, a sleeping and lounging space in her bedroom, and a comfortable gathering area as well as a small workstation in her living room. A drop leaf in Crystal's pedestal-base table transforms the top from a 42-inch circle to an oval spanning six feet in length.

Framed Mirrors

Instead of using art as the focal point in her dining room, Crystal opted for architectural-style framed mirrors that play with scale and also help bounce light around the otherwise dark room. The dining room walls are painted a dark gray-green shade from Benjamin Moore called Chelsea Gray to add a subtle touch of drama.

Pocket Doors

Originally installed to separate the bedroom from a small parlor, the pocket doors now add privacy between the bedroom and the dining room.

Pretty and Pink

Farrow & Ball's Pink Ground was Crystal's color of choice for her bedroom walls. Although the main areas of the apartment are gender-neutral, dark and bordering on masculine, she wanted to keep her bedroom light and airy. By sticking with a queen-sized bed instead of a king, she freed up enough floor space to also incorporate a chaise for reading.

Bronze Details

To keep the bedroom decidedly more feminine than the rest of the apartment, Crystal chose a headboard upholstered in soft white silk linen and adorned with bronze nail heads, which gives the girly piece a little bit of a masculine vibe. The young editor notes, "I was against using silver accents in the bedroom simply because it evoked a princess-like feeling that I did not want in the apartment. I actually spray-painted some of the hardware bronze, such as the hardware on the side table next to the bed and the drawer pulls on the dresser."

Black and White, Just Right

In order to take the focus off of her teensy-weensy bathroom's lack of square footage, Crystal had the walls painted with 4-inch black and white stripes, using basic white and a bluish-black from Benjamin Moore called Silhouette.

Mixed-and-Matched Entryway

Upon entry to Crystal's apartment, she is greeted by a mashup of masculine and feminine styles throughout the apartment. A pair of antlers is hung on the wall just above a glossy black Victorian chair upholstered in a black-and-white graphic print. The walls are painted a beige tone from Farrow & Ball called Cornforth White.

Luxe Living Room Hues

Determined to create a home with a completely different look than her previous apartment in Chicago, Crystal decided to use mostly dark tones to achieve a moody, borderline masculine look. The walls in the living room were painted with Farrow & Ball's Downpipe.

Gender-Neutral Design

In keeping with her objective to create a home that was dark, dramatic and gender-neutral, Crystal combined a balance of masculine and feminine design elements into the decoration of her living room.

Soft Meets Industrial

For elements of masculinity, Crystal incorporated industrial-style pieces into the living room, including a console table made of rustic wood and iron. An antique milk carrier contains worn iron finials and vintage books.

Feminine Focal Point

To help bounce light around her small living room, Crystal incorporated a classic French-style mirror with feminine lines.