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Furniture, colors, accent pieces—decorative elements combine to make a statement about the people who live in a home. Telling of such things as residents’ likes, their travels and their values, these items tell a story about the people who live there. It’s often possible to determine the gender of the residents simply by observing the decorating style. Décor and function speak volumes. A room filled with ruffles and flowers, for instance, could be so overtly feminine that a man might be a bit uncomfortable spending extended time there. On the other hand, a room brimming with sports memorabilia or animal heads is so unequivocally a man’s territory that a woman might be reluctant to enter. Clearly, these rooms have a deep line drawn in the sand, distinguishing the room for one specific gender. Yet rooms need not scream their gender with big pink bows or deer hides in order to make this clear gender distinction. Getting Started To design a room specifically for a man or for a woman is primarily a matter of personal preference. Before beginning this project, browse an array of magazines, television decorating shows and home décor websites such as HGTV to get a general idea of what pieces captivate the attention of the person who will be using the room. While certain aspects of design are distinctly masculine or feminine, you may be surprised to discover that some items that are marketed to one gender are equally alluring to both. Then, once preferences are established, it’s time for you to begin selecting pieces that appeal specifically to gender. The Man Cave For men, think in terms of rich, dark wood; neutral colors and deep jewel tones in upholstery fabric, drapery and bed linens; as well as straight, linear pieces in furnishings and accents. With this in mind, a leather couch in a dark merlot or deep brown shade, for example, coupled with upholstered chairs with straight lines and no curves, in a neutral shade, would clearly spell masculinity. Add an entertainment center or bookcases in dark wood along with artwork, photos and books, and the result is a room that is unique in detail yet masculine in design. For functional purposes, a man cave may include a Murphy bed for guests, an office space for work, a mini fridge for lounge time, and a wet or dry bar for fun-filled evenings dedicated to male bonding. A Lady’s Hobby Room Designing a room for a woman is a curvaceous endeavor. While personal preference holds sway just as it does for men, you establish the femininity of the room by its curvy lines as opposed to the straight lines of male décor. Silk, satin and other soft fabrics add to feminine décor as do embellishments of every kind, from fringe to ribbons to lace—although not all used at once. Of course, aesthetic appeal is only one element of a woman’s hobby room. When considering functionality, the hobbies at hand will need to be the centerpiece of the design. Hobbies including scrapbooking, sewing, and quilting will need adequate work stations and storage solutions. Drop-down tables are great for collaborative projects, and likewise, design boards are great additions for any hobbyist. Of course, these two very different decorating styles can coexist as nicely as a married couple. Just balance the straight lines with a few curves, the dark tones with light and the soft fabrics with a bit more texture. However, doing this would blur that line in the sand. Besides, a room for one gender only is a pretty nice indulgence. So, if you need a little help with this project in the Austin area, stop by More Space Place. We can help you create both a personalized and functional space just for you.