Creating a home where every member of your family feels welcome is essential for creating that love coming home feeling. This is something to be especially mindful of where couples or larger families are concerned. Finding the right balance between different genders, personalities, and preferences is a practice of compromise. And with a little intentionality and creativity, you won’t have to sacrifice style or individuality, either!
The world of home décor and interior design doesn’t just belong to women and mothers. In honor of Father’s Day, here are some ways to take Dad’s preferences into consideration. Do you think of a “gender-neutral” style as being bland and visually uninteresting? Well, it certainly doesn’t have to be!
Neutral Doesn’t Mean Bland
Going gender-neutral doesn’t mean your home needs to be without color or patterns. On the contrary, there are still so many possibilities! Choose colors that are earthy, such as greens, browns, oranges, purples, and reds. If you’re planning to paint your walls, consider the overall color scheme in your home or for that particular room. Find a color that both you and your partner love, and that brings a harmonious balance to your space. If it’s an accent wall, you can consider using a contrasting color that will “pop” and stand out. Other beautiful neutral shades can include grays, creams, and whites.
When it comes to patterns, stay away from florals. Instead, think stripes, abstract graphics, and polka dots. For example, you could add a striped drapery, or try placing an area rug with a bold, abstract pattern. Patterns are perfect to show off with accent accessories, like throw pillows, ottomans, and even armchairs. What’s also fun about patterns is that they can add a lot of personality and visual interest to your space.
Bedrooms are an especially important space that you’ll want to share with your partner! Creating an oasis of comfort and relaxation that you both enjoy is important – not just for your ability to sleep and rest, but also for your relationship! Again, the best rule of thumb is to think natural—use earthy tones and colors that evoke calm and tranquility. You could use a coastal theme that brings to mind sand dunes, beaches, and warm summer breezes. Or try creating a sanctuary of deeper, richer tones that feels like a private, secret hideaway.
Look for bedding, blankets, and coverlets or duvets that complement your neutral color scheme, but don’t be afraid to add some pops of color with throw pillows. Patterns work well in the bedroom too; just keep the overall visual balance of your space in mind so it doesn’t veer into looking or feeling cluttered. Patterned drapes, or matching duvet cover and pillow sham patterns can add the right touch of chic personality.
Decorate with Indoor Plants
A wonderful way to enhance any space in your home – while also keeping it gender-neutral – is by adding indoor plants. Plants are a great way to make your space healthier, as plants are known to improve air quality and also enhance your mood. They’re also a great way to infuse a room with color, texture, and vitality. Employ a variety of indoor plants, from small succulents like a Jade Plant to a hanging English Ivy, to a tall, dramatic plant-like Fiddle Leaf Figs. Plants bring positive energy, and can really be enjoyed by anyone!
Practice the Art of Compromise
How to overcome disagreements when your personal tastes vary greatly? Vision boards are powerful tools for arriving at a unified vision both you and your partner will love. The key is to create your vision together. Start by gathering some of your dream-home decorating images first. It’s fun to dream and visualize! By working together with an open mind, you should be able to find some common themes in both of your sets of images. Keep these as the base for creating your new common space. Build on what you find in those images, until you establish a look that you both enjoy.
If you have children, get them involved too. Creating vision boards as a family is a fun, conversation-based activity that can help bring everyone together. Your kids will start to light up when you give them a real chance to participate. It gives them a sense of ownership and excitement to help create a thriving home environment for the whole family. It’s amazing what you can discover about one another, and about what each of you values in a home, when you build a vision board together.
Want to learn more about how to do a vision board with your partner or whole family? Start by checking out our blog post The Magic of a Vision Board. For a more in-depth resource, Jennifer Adams’ book Love Coming Home goes into greater detail on how you can use vision boards as a guideline for decorating or renovating your home together.
Remember, creating a gender-neutral home or room doesn’t have to mean drab. You can bring the perspective of every member of your family into the process, and together you can create a home you all love!