His & Hers: The Psychology Behind Masculine and Feminine Interior Design
The world that we live in is no stranger to gender-based crimes. Even before the age of gender revolution transpired, prejudice and stereotypes have been imposed on existing sexes since time immemorial. It’s a plague that continues to lurk in workplaces and even in our homes – the very place on Earth where we ought to feel safe. Gender bias has truly dug its claws deep in this society’s delicate rationale. Once upon a time when our ancestors began settling down and men were established to be stronger than women to hunt and provide shelter, the advent of patriarchy was born. That certain gender system orchestrated a butterfly effect that has sculptured the way we perceive both sexes at present time. In today’s design landscape, Modernism spearheads a vast majority of homes – a movement shaped in a predominantly male perspective. Gender neutrality in interior designing is still an unripe breakaway, masculine and feminine interior design styles will proliferate for as long as designers conform to the norms.
For homeowners, release those bundle of nerves, you wouldn’t be thrown to jail just by decorating your daughter’s room with Disney Princesses or your son’s room with faces of NBA players. Events of the past coupled with our erroneous beliefs engineered our brains to attribute certain qualities and stereotypes to varying genders. An underlying disease of the society that is terminal and irrevocable. Even eminent architecture critic, Aaron Betsky reckons that our world is a man-made one; created by men themselves where in women are obliged to make their own world within that realm. If one were to look at the world in this particular social construct, most skyscrapers erected by men were patterned by the qualities we normally would associate with masculinity – rationality and strength. Whereas characteristics correlated to interiors – must be sensitive to needs and even sensual are often synonymous to femininity. Breaking these conforming masculine and feminine interior design styles doesn’t necessarily mean that sexism will magically vanish from the face of the planet, but it is comforting to know that humans are accepting creatures who value humanity amidst any prejudices.
THE BATTLES OF THE SEXES
James Brown was truly ahead of his time when he sang in the 60s that “this is a man’s world but it wouldn’t be nothing without a woman.” Times have changed and humans are finally learning to see one another as equals regardless of one’s skin, religion, wealth or gender. In the realm of interior design, sustainability has been playing an active role in graying the line between masculine and feminine interior design styles. With Mother Nature becoming a prominent feature in homes – emphasis on soft interiors such as the use of daylight and organic materials is now the trend for any gender-specific designs. According to Tick, sexual dimorphism and androgyny have become a commonplace in the design industry with Fashion and Beauty leading the game by marketing gender neutral products and appealing to the gender-fluid masses.
No matter how much we battle against gender prejudices in society, Hendy (2015) surmised that both sexes are still anatomically, physiologically and psychologically different. We must, however, look at these differences in a positive sense and figure out how both, homeowners and designers, can decorate houses in a way that they cater to the polar needs of each gender. By looking at masculine and feminine interior design styles in a utilitarian way, we are actually capable of coming up with an interior that is pragmatic yet stylish.
Hendy (2015) also inferred that modern interior must take into account that while men are more sensitive to small details and moving objects, women are more sensitive to changes in color. A study conducted by the City University of New York revealed that men and women perceive the world differently, women place more value to color design as much as men can be easily disturbed by excessive ornamentation. What’s even more interesting is that scientists found that women are more sensitive to smell, sound and color than men – these physical disparities alone can be ruminated over by designers when designing masculine and feminine interior design styles.
Smart home gadgets are convenient but they can be quite tricky to incorporate into your interior.
BACHELOR'S PAD: MASCULINE INTERIOR DESIGN
Men who fear the term decorating have never experienced the bliss of transforming your place into a haven of your treasured memories and hobbies. A bachelor’s pad need not to be a place where he can only play billiards while sipping on cold beer with his blokes. Comfort and quality is what makes a room great. Masculine and feminine interior design styles greatly vary on their choices of color schemes. A bachelor’s pad is often painted in dark muted tones or earthy shades due to their mysterious element as opposed to lighter hues. You can always add a splash of color using bold tones if dark walls appear too dull for your taste. Men also likes solid and functional furnishings often in leather, heavy fabrics, wood and cool metals for these manifest strength and at the same time comfort.
But the variance between masculine and feminine interior design is evident in the decorations and displays that make up the overall interior. Men’s room will normally have leather Corbusier sofas for that timeless look, animal hides since hunting is somehow affiliated with masculinity and oversized vintage furnishings. As for the materials, they prefer something raw and strong like an exposed brick, wood beams, polished concrete and anything that has lots of texture – traditionally, men are deemed rugged and less refined than women. For shapes and patterns, a bachelor’s pad would normally exhibit straight and simple lines or modern and angular shapes – attributed to the perceived nature of men to be straightforward and direct. Just like any other rooms, a masculine room also needs wall decorations. Men typically favor personal ornaments such as collections, trophies or something sentimental. Overall, male interior is strong, laidback, dark and raw – characteristics that are stereotypically attributed to the male specie.
BACHELORETTE'S PAD: FEMININE INTERIOR DESIGN
You know what they say about women? That they are complicated and unpredictable creatures? This is only because they are creative and idealistic people who refuse to fit in just one category. Not every woman fancies to go all Regina George for their room interior. As opposed to the pragmatic sense in which masculine and feminine interior design styles vary, women do not just strive for elegance and style they also regard comfort and quality for their room. Each woman is different and the way she decorates her space speaks her personality. Studies actually has proven that sexes view wavelength colors disparately, women enjoys monochromatic and a rich color palette with more than one color. Moving elements and shimmering surfaces are more attractive for women. A bachelorette’s pad often has soft and comfy things hence the silky and velvety fabrics. Nevertheless, a juxtaposition of hard and soft, shiny and matte, smooth and coarse designs is necessary for keeping the depth of the interior.
One of the most noticeable gaps between masculine and feminine interior design styles are their choice of patterns and materials. While men prefer sturdy and dull lines, women favor printed and abstract decorations normally botanical and floral – even the most prominent literary writers associate women with flowers because they are supposedly “delicate and beautiful” – A Rose for Emily, anyone? Feminine interior also exhibits lush and warm materials for they are homey and comforting – women are traditionally the one tasked to stay at home and make it adaptable. Warm metals like gold for some accent can be attributed to the notion that women fancy wearing jewelries accessories. Even more, female furnishings have more curves and shapes as compared to men’s since women’s bodies are perceived to be curvier and less angular than men’s. Overall, a female interior is delicate, ornamental, light and elegant – qualities that are stereotypically attributed to the women specie.
Whichever gender-specific style you opt for your home, in interior design, what really matters most is your comfort and own preferences.
Tokyo Grand Renovation (TGR), a Japanese design and build, is eager to help you discuss your all-inclusive interior design ideas. Conveniently located in the leading business district in Metro Manila, TGR’s headquarters is at 9110 La Campana St. cor. Trabajo St., Brgy. Olympia, Makati City, 1207.
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