Finding Gender Balance in Home Decor

Do you believe men are from Mars and women are from Venus? Does your style differ from your spouse’s? There’s been a lot of focus lately on gender neutral items, but what about decor?  Whether you’re selling your house or simply updating its look, it is important to focus pleasing both sides of the spectrum so you can appeal to more people.

•    Choose a neutral base color. Traditionally this means shades of white, beige or gray. You’ll want to use this for walls, flooring, counter tops and furniture. Keep to only a few shades, such as 2-3. Your floors won’t be the same shade as the walls. However if you add too much color with the walls, furniture, and floors the room may not have a seamless flow and could look tacky when accents are added.
•    Add depth. Use deeper tones like navy, burgundy or black paired with pops of color in accents such as pillows, rugs, curtains, and wall art. A patterned rug along with fun accents is a great way to add generic appeal. Avoid delicate trinkets on tables and shelves. Instead, try adding a little industrial or vintage style with chrome, metal, and brass side tables, floor lamps, and other finishing touches.
•    Choose tailored furniture with modern accents. Big tufted velvet or floral-patterned sofas speak more to feminine tastes with a more formal style while a streamlined sofa in a neutral fabric paired with a contemporary coffee table and modern accents creates a relaxed, welcoming feel.
•    Mix and match fabrics. Try to avoid the ends of the spectrum such as frilly or floral and simple utilitarian items. Leather or velvet fabric furniture can be neutralized by adding accent pillows in linen, cotton, or canvas and simply draping a cashmere throw. Window treatments should be kept simple with soft, easy flowing fabrics or a tailored roman shade style.
•    Add elements from nature. Add a natural touch with earthy elements such as reclaimed wood tables, woven baskets, natural fiber rugs, and twisted tree branch arrangements. Instead of a feminine style silk floral arrangement, try a bamboo plant or other faux potted greenery. And wall art with a coastal or nautical theme or any landscape scenery are all perfect ways to add a mutually pleasing style.

You can’t please everyone all of the time, but when your house is appealing to the majority of prospective buyers you will sell for the most money in the shortest amount of time and keep your family and guests comfortable. For personalized tips and tricks, you can hire an interior designer or consult your real estate expert.

Helen Oliveri is a 12-year real estate professional who loves our community and helping clients achieve their real estate goals is her priority. She is the managing broker of the newly opened Keller Williams Realty Partners, home of The Helen Oliveri Team in Hawthorn Woods, Illinois, where she also resides. Feel free to visit the new office in Cherry Hill Plaza, by calling 847. 967.0022 or online at