Create a bedroom that's right for both sexes

Original article written by Bea Taylor on Stuff, here

The master bedroom often sees two worlds, and design styles, collide. The battle between the 10 floral throw cushions and the wall of comic book posters can result in a space that's mismatched, or overtly feminine or masculine. "Because the female member of the family is more likely to decorate the master
bedroom, it probably tends to be more feminine," says interior designer Victoria Bibby from Bibby and Brady. 
"Most men just want a comfortable bed to sleep in," says interior designer Juliet Coleman
But there does come a point where even the blokes who just want a good night sleep feel uncomfortable in an unmistakably feminine room, or a woman gets tired of sleeping in dark man cave. Both parties need to feel like the space is theirs. 

"We have such busy lives, the master bedroom should be a retreat to relax in after a long day, so it's important that it's a mutually loved space," says Bibby. So how can you create a unisex room that everyone is happy with?


Start with the colour scheme and find one that appeals to both.

Coleman suggests neutrals; "off whites, greys, creams and browns are a safe, sophisticated option." Bibby says when she creates a master bedroom she also opts for a colour scheme that's restful with whites and soft colours.
"A soft, warm white room layered with neutral textures and tones like warm wood and linen will
create an environment that appeals to both men and women." Or, she creates a cosy, intimate sanctuary with deep, rich blues and greens. "Blues and greens are relaxing colours, which is perfect for a master bedroom, neither being overly feminine nor masculine," she says. 

Any good design features contrast, says Bibby. The ideal unisex bedroom finds a peaceful middle point between the sharp, clean lines of a masculine look, and the soft, curvy lines to a feminine look. Unless your man is in to florals, it's a good option to ditch these for something else. You can still get the softening feel of florals through a curved, wave-like pattern, but it will also have more of a masculine edge.  
Layers will help to soften a room that might be more on the masculine side. A beautiful throw, a rug under the bed and perhaps an upholstered headboard can be all you need to reach a happy balance, says Bibby.  "Don't go overboard with cushions. One long lumbar cushion layered in front of the four standard pillows can look stunning." And it means your partner won't have to throw a dozen cushions off in frustration before they can get into bed. 


Lighting, Coleman suggests is a good way to add a counter-balancing element. If a room feels too masculine, look for lighting with a more feminine edge (perhaps in a lampshade or blown glass pendant). Similarly, if the room is starting to feel too feminine, look for lighting that's angular, modern and edgy.


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