Fail Proof Tips For Decorating Now That You’re Cohabiting

Sharing some fail proof tips for decorating your home and blending styles when you live with a significant other… cohabiting can be hard when you have different tastes & design preferences.

tips for gender neutral finishes for your home

I’ve had a few requests for this post for a while now, so I’ve finally compiled a list that covers it all. Blending styles and combining furniture and decor when cohabiting can be a tough part of transitioning to living with your significant other. A lot of questions I get are more about where to find something or what should I be looking for, but I wanted to dive into some details on making decor decisions. Here are a few of my fail proof tips and suggestions by category to help you with blending styles as you decorate your new apartment with your significant other.


gender neutral finishes - wood tones and wood finishes

  • KNOW YOUR RANGE | Keep them in the mid to light brown wood tones. If white washed is too feminine for him, go with a raw wood look or a lighter wood finish.


  • LEATHER IS OKAY | Don’t be afraid to go with leather upholstery. Even if you’re not too sure, but he loves it. Opt for mixing leather and fabric with your sofa and an accent chair.
  • SAY NO TO DARK BROWN | Stay away from chocolate Brown leathers. Instead, go for a camel or cognac light brown.
  • SAY NO TO MICROFIBER | If you’re looking for fabric upholstery, make sure to stay away from microsuede or microfiber fabrics. They tend to look very “college apartment” and you can definitely find a great fabric that’s much better and will wear better as well.


  • GO DARK | Choose oil rubbed bronze or black metal over chrome or gold.
  • WHEN YOU WANT “SILVER” | Choose galvanized over chrome or silver. This would lean more towards smaller decor items like baskets, buckets, and vases.
  • NAILHEAD TRIM | If any upholstery you’re buying has nailhead trim on it, go with a darker nail head trim over a silver, chrome, or gold. This will keep it gender neutral. Not too flashy with chrome or feminine with gold.


  • MIXING TWO MATERIALS | If you want marble, select something that’s marble and black metal or marble and wood to tone down its feminine look.


  • LAYERING | Layer rugs to tone down a color or pattern.
  • LAYERING TYPE 1 – ANCHORING | Use a larger jute rug under your pattern rug to anchor the patterned rug to the space, this way there isn’t a need for the pattern/color rug to be the largest and take up the entire floorspace.
  • LAYERING TYPE 2 – ACCENTING | Use a small accent rug like a hide or round open weave rug to accent the main rug pattern and/or color.


  • PILLOWS | Stick with neutrals, textured fabrics and simple patterns like stripes for a natural look.
  • FRAMES | Choose white frames with white matting over gold or silver.
  • GO SEASONAL | Summer vs. Winter accents is a thing, but doesn’t need be everything in your home. Change out a throw blanket or a few pillows and your candles around the house and keep everything else neutral year round. Stick with solids, stripes and gingham/buffalo check to avoid anything too “girly” or “masculine”.


  • COLOR | An easy trick is to ground your colors with a charcoal gray or a neutral base color and add in pops rather than using only color.
  • PATTERN | When mixing patterns that are are pretty neutral or gender neutral, stick with simple patterns instead of something intricate like florals.

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Fail Proof Tips for Decorating Now That You're Cohabiting

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1 Comment

  1. September 25, 2018 / 10:46 AM

    I love this post and will definitely implement them in the future! 🙂

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