Do you decorate girly?

Could you imagine…

this guy…

… having a bedroom like this?!?

No. Me neither. ๐Ÿ™‚

When I decorated my bedroom, I did it girly to the hilt with the full knowledge that this room was for just my cats and I this round, so why not?ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

my stairs


my work officeย 

my blog office

However, I wouldn’t consider the rest of my home girly. Loads of rustic, wood and metal influences are scattered all over the homestead, offering both a masculine/feminine quality. And actually, my attempt is intentional. Whenever I set up a room, I think of that, even though I don’t really ‘have to’ in my case.

So, how does one gauge how far to go either way?

Here are a few of the tips I consider when I create a space.

FJI tips on achieving a feminine/masculine balance:

Permanent things in neutral territory

I think there are feminine touches to my fireplace mantel decor, however the rock and wood features of the fireplace itself tip the level back into the neutral category.

Now visualize this mantel without the plant. That further hardens up the look. Plants soften the edges of rustic trinkets, which is why I love to use them. Otherwise, many areas in my home would look stark.


Now, strip away all the trinkets and you have decor that could sway either way.

So rather than choose, for example,ย  tile with lacy patterns all over it, consider something a little more neutral so accessories easily changed out can do all the talking. You get the idea.

Finishes used

ย Finishes play a big part too. The gate is pretty rustic. Compare if you will, the gate with a crisp white clean finish. The appeal would be very different.

I personally tend to sway towards all thing rough and rustic, but not everyone does. And that’s ok! I have a solution.

Painting / glazing offers a softer touch than hardcore beat up pieces that still rough the look up a level.

ย Accessories

Let’s use my living room as an example. While there are feminine pieces in the mix, the core would land in neutral territory if the pretty was stripped away.

Feminine – white coffee table with carved details, pillows

Masculine/neutral – beefy neutral sofa, rustic table centerpiece, glazed treatment on table, plain hardwood floors, crates under table for storage

feminine – crisp white gates

masculine/neutral – pretty much everything else. ๐Ÿ™‚


ย Colour

ย Kinda goes without saying, doesn’t it? While it’s fun to go crazy and do it up to the hilt how we desire things to be, I personally like to consider what works with the others living there as well.

But who knows… maybe this home was large enough to incorporate a he and she bathroom or maybe she lived on her own like me. Or maybe her man was cool enough to dig this, lucky gal. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s beautiful either way, but definitely makes a strong feminine statement!

ย above two photos are from Pinterest: click on photos for their source

I personally LOVE the look of a balance of both masculine and feminine qualities. I gauge it by imagining a guy walking into the room. Would he fit in? Would I fit in? How about kids and pets and all kinds of everyday action? I always want my home lived in to the hilt. Put your feet up don’t worry about a scratch here and there. I grew up that way so I guess that upbringing provided a natural extention.

I hope my ‘blog’ boyfriend above isn’t too fussy… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Since I don’t have a ‘man’ in the house, I’m curious on how girlie decorating works in your own homes.ย 

Do you tend to decorate feminine in every room?ย 

How do you strike a balance?ย 

What do the men in your life say about this? Does it even matter?ย 

What’s your take?

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54 thoughts on “Do you decorate girly?

  1. I think I do tend toward feminine when left to my own devices, but having a husband and 3 boys (vs. myself and my daughter) I’ve had to learn to compromise somewhere! I’ve tried to move away from flowery, pastely colors in our bedroom to more ‘earthy’ tones (hubby said it didn’t really ‘bother’ him, but he did comment once that we had always had floral bedspreads and the fact that he cared enough to mention it, made me perk up my awareness to the girly-factor in our room. In the livingroom, the males seem to care more about the functionality. They’re okay with ‘pretty’ pillows…as long as they are comfy and can be laid on, tossed or used as weapons. ๐Ÿ™‚ Don’t care too much about where the furniture is so long as the TV is easily viewed and there is space for Wii bowling. That kind of thing. I love to have a pretty dining room table…but this one drives them crazy. They REALLY don’t care, and hubby hated the dishes I bought a year ago because the dinner plates don’t fit in the dishwasher. So, we compromise…I go for food and functionality for everyday, and they act civilized and refined (well, maybe that’s pushing it) when we have company…and we just handwash those few oversized dinner plates.

    So, my opinion is that they can tolerate a lot of ‘pretty’ as long as there’s a good dose of ‘practical’!

  2. The first time my sister saw my bathroom she said “You can tell a man doesn’t live here.” because I decorated “girly”. I think my bedroom is sort of gender neutral. My living room and dining room have sage greens, pinks and ivory and those colors might be a little feminine but I haven’t gone crazy with a lot of “foo-foo” so I don’t think a man would be uncomfortable. (At least my sons seem to like it!)

  3. Funny you mention this. I have been thinking about adding more feminine touches lately. Living with 3 boys, hubby and even a male dog and lead me down the more masculine path most of the time. But I do tend to like it myself too. I usually add flowers or fabrics for more of a feminine touch but I find wanting more of it lately. Particularly ruffles. I keep seeing them on everything and have wanted to add some too. So even though the valance I just made for the laundry room was with grommets, rope and blue ticking just adding the ruffled bottom softened it up for me.

  4. I love your look, it’s a great mix…I am so eclectic the girly stuff in my home is mixed in and hardly noticed as girly…but girls just have to be girls….blessings, julie

  5. I recently (on Friday) bought a house by myself, but my man is planning to move in around July. I was just saying that I had to hurry and decorate it how I wanted before he moved in! haha! I definitely like girly things, but I’m trying to keep in mind that he’ll be living there at some point. I was hoping he really wouldn’t care, but he freaked when I said I wanted to paint the wood mantle white. It’s definitely going to be a struggle striking that balance.

  6. Love your home! You have a gift for decorating, for sure!
    Loving all things traditional, historic and a bit fancy, I do decorate with florals and a bit more color. And of all colors, red is my favorite. LOL!
    Mr. Heart is ok with my decorating and he doesn’t mind red. Must have a good balance of feminine and masculine as he hasn’t objected when I share ideas for decorating. I do realize that too much girly may not appreciated, so I try keep that in mind when making decisions. The girly bathroom picture…I would do that, just without the pink walls! Maybe silvery blue walls and a dark wood shelf! I try to incorporate hunt/dog scene artwork and dark wood furniture pieces, this makes for a good mix in our home.

  7. Oh, my! Now I am completely analyzing my decor. I AM SO particular of my spaces. They must have a good vibe, or I am all out of whack! BUT, have I ever asked my man if he gets the same good vibe from our decor that I do. I know he loves our colors, but is there too much girly? I don’t have an really manly stuff either!

  8. Since I’m the only girl in the house (husband and son), all of the common rooms have a balance. Since I like rustic, industrial stuff too, who’s to say what is feminine and what is masculine? My project room which is a sunroom is a bit more girly and my husband’s man cave is masculine but both have vintage/industrial/farmhouse/cottage/antique style.

  9. I don’t think I do. I like feminine touches here and there but I prefer not to go too “frou-frou” or I myself start feeling like I live in a doll-house.

    If Barbie(TM) would be comfortable there, I’m probably going to have to pass ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Stange that this topic has occured to me many times, just this morning during my weekly mucking out( it is mud season here in Maine),i was thinking about the hubbies of my beloved decorating-crafty bloggers. I have to admit a bit of envy for the state of their rooms,always so pretty would never know that a man ever entered those doors. Don’t get me wrong I love the guy who makes it possible for me but i am thinking he might be a bit of a slob!

  11. I’ve been infusing touches of femininity in my house here and there. Because our house is very much set up for entertaining (with a mancave already in place), I have a sneaky suspicion that the house will be full of teenage boys one day in the not too far future. So I better set my footprint down now when they are small. Who knows, it might bring out a soft side to them. ๐Ÿ™‚

    BTW, your bloggy husband is sooo handsome! What a great smile he has! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. Depends on the mood…….sometimes I do really like girly!
    And I am really into PINK PINK PINK lately!!
    What am I, 12 years old……??

    I did over do the Valentines bedroom on my blog and The Boyfriend made me man it up a bit…

    We are looking to add on to the house and HE wants a Man Room and HE is decorating it not me!!
    But you know I’ll get my 2 cents in somewhere!

  13. I just wanted to tell you how much I love your stairs! I think I’m pretty middle of the road, neither too masculine or too feminine. I know when I’ve gone too feminine when dh comments. No comment from him and I’m still within his tolerance range.

  14. I love your home and would feel perfectly comfortable living there (not that I am inviting myself or anything ๐Ÿ™‚
    My home? I am not very girly so it has a even amount of girl/boy. My bathroom is probably the most feminine and it is painted chocolate brown with a gold/cream floral bench and floral pictures. My hubby loves it cuz it is clean and clear of clutter. I usually think of him when decorating.

  15. Since I live in a 100+ year-old farm house, going too girly or modern just doesn’t fit. I tend toward the vintage and rustic, because it just looks right in this house. Plus, I’m not a girly-girl, more of a tomboy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. When we moved into our new house 12 years ago, it was very girly. Lots of roses and pinks, green and creams. Over the years, I have removed most of the flowery items and replaced them with natural items like plants and rustic pieces. My DH never complained, but even I knew it was over the top. I’ve removed a lot of small things & now decorate with less and more gender neutral things. Our bedroom is green & white, but I have accessorized it with seashells & candles & a collection of antique tools – the two look great together.

  17. Donna,I tend to decorate leaning more towards masculine. I say this because to me rustic=masculine but there are a few femine touches here and there like sheer curtains a few floral pillows, a soft fuzzy throw.I was looking the other day and most of all my walls are neutral colors, beige, gray and my newest color is a blue/gray living room. I love vintage industrial and my sweet hubby never complains no matter what I do to this old place:)

  18. My decor is not girly, even though the colors may be. Lots of white with greens and aquas. My sweetie likes the peaceful, serene feeling it has. My crafting room looks like a little girl’s room…that’s where I play!

  19. definitely a mixture here. it does seem to be swaying lately to a lighter, softer approach (always with some rusty chippy junk thrown in) but I’m sure it will sway and ebb back and forth between the soft and the edgy. That’s just how I like to roll. My hubby (& kiddos)has noticed the lightening of stuff lately and seems to be just fine and comfy in it.

  20. When someone comes to my house and asks if it is my decorating style or hubby’s, I just laugh. Our house both and neither. It is the things we could both live with, and a few things thrown in that neither were willing to compromise on. We both love color, so that was fine, we both love green and orange, so there are a lot of those colors. He does not like our living room curtains, but is willing to live with them because I love them. I do not like his oriental inspired decor in our guest room, but since it is the guest room/office, I don’t care and can live with it for now. I sometimes wish my hubby didn’t care how I decorated, but I like his taste in some areas. I have to strike a balance between feminine and masculine, and it is hard. But so far we make it work. If there is something in our house that is not decorated, you can bet it is because we haven’t found anything we could agree on and are still looking. Its just the way it is.

  21. I think my look is fairly neutral. Beachy cottage is what I’m going for (coming from bachelor furniture and the no-money look . . . I’ve still got a long way to go!). Since I’m already pretty balanced, there’s no need to strike one.

    My husband is really easy-going on this one. He likes most everything I do (he took some convincing to let me get started on a bed for our king mattress made from pallets, though!), and I realize I’m VERY lucky in that respect.

    As for the bedroom . . . he says he doesn’t care, as long as he gets to sleep there. Ha! ;o)

    I think your style is really intriguing, because it combines elements that are powerfully masculine and very feminine. Your photo of the bare mantel is really masculine, to me. Then you add your accessories, and suddenly it’s really well-balanced and fairly neutral.

    Thanks for the food for thought!

  22. For me, It depends on the room. Living areas tend to be more metro, where I seem to have decorated my guest rooms more girly. I do however try to use decorations that can easily be swapped out if I decide that the room needs a different look.

  23. I’m trying to find a balance too! Now especially more than ever, since Honey retired.
    I recently was asked (very nicely) to keep a big Bass Fish on the wall, but not long before that, found out that HE really likes the Victorian style settee and chair I got for mothers day…??? really?
    So what’s a girl to do with Victorian 1930’s settee and a Bass Fish?
    Still trying to find OUR STYLE…after 28 years of wedded bliss…
    To answer a couple of your questions– How do you strike a balance? Ask Him what he thinks… and then make some concessions.
    and you asked: Does it matter?
    YES! a resounding YES~

    Donna, I love these little talks…
    thanks for asking… he he he…

  24. I think I keep a pretty good balance going most of the time, but my husband so does not care what goes on decor-wise in this house! So when I’m really tempted, I go ahead a girl it up. But we also each have our own office/hobby room so if we have something that is way too me (a giant Audrey Hepburn poster) or way too him (a styrofoam little Green Giant he and his college buddies stole from a grocery store in college) we just hide it away in our own personal space. :o)

  25. I think this is a fascinating idea and I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately too.

    I am a single woman and I think it’s only recently that I had a lightbulb moment realizing that this is MY house and I get to decorate it the way that I want! For so long I’ve been decorating with a) hand-me-downs that don’t really suit my taste and b) items that could be gender-neutral for the man that I was SURE was going to walk through the door at any moment and I didn’t want HIM to feel uncomfortable. The problem is that I didn’t always feel comfortable!!

    So, I’ve been changing things out! I’ve been paring down and getting rid of those hand-me-downs that don’t fit who I am or want to be. Instead, I’m bringing in all things girly! There are fresh flowers and lots of pinks, tans and reds. It’s a long way from being done. After all, it’s always a work in progress, but at least now it’s moving in the right direction.

    And if Mr. Right comes along, we’d probably just buy a new house anyway!

  26. I blend. My husband picked out a large rustic log hand made bedroom set and I put my touch on our room with a large floral duvet cover for our down comforter. The blend is quite unique and we both enjoy it. We switch out the duvet cover every few months, we have a striped one we use that is more gender neutral but I toss a floral quilt at the foot of the bed to girlie it up a bit.

  27. As a single mom raising two boys, I tried to keep a balance. The only rooms I gave a more feminine touch were spaces I considered totally mine – like my bedroom and office. Good thing too because a lot of testosterone filled my home over the years. Even now that my boys are grown, I still have a lot of it because my youngest still lives at home and his friends still hang out at our house. When I finish my master bedroom, it will be feminine (IMO) and will have linens and items that I would never dream about putting out in the rest of the house. When I decorate I really do try to keep in mind guests I may have. For example if my house is too frilly, then my dad would still come to visit but not feel very comfortable and probably not want to stay as long as he would in a more neutral environment. The same with any of my other male family members โ€“ doggone Italian machismo!

    ~ Tracy

  28. Oh…you know I decorate girlie!!! I have actually said…that I want my house to repel men. I don’t want any man to feel to comfortable here. I do love a room that is a mix of feminine and masculine and do think it makes for a better room but I don’t have a man and so I revel in the girliness of my home. When I lived with a man before I did have a mix of stuff. It was not quite as girlie as it is now and I would never expect a man and boys to live in an all white and ruffle house. I’ve seen photos of homes where the woman has it over the top feminine and has a husband and boys and I wonder how they manage.

  29. I love the rustic mixed with a little girly-ness you have in your home. Yours is one of my major inspiration styles in designing my home. My husband thinks I’m a little crazy sometimes when I rearrange weekly and obsess over the details, but when I remind him that just rearranging, junking and repurposing are a heck of a lot cheaper than buying new stuff every time I get bored, hes happy with it ๐Ÿ™‚ Would NOT be okay with the romantic pink bathroom though… there’s a fine line!

  30. I wouldn’t feel right as a woman living with a husband and two boys having my house be over the top feminine. I like a balance. My husband, although very intelligent, isn’t all that observant. He likes a nice looking house, but doesn’t really care or notice what kind of decorating I do. This is fine by me! I can do what I want and I have my blog buddies who give me sweet encouragement. ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. Have to laugh because I thought your feminine space seemed pretty gender neutral or even veering towards the masculine! I am the only woman in a houseful of boys and my house is full of French antiques and very beautiful pretties. My very masculine husband tolerates it pretty well. In fact, he appreciates very fine antiques and the pieces he doesn’t care for are the ones that are so popular right now-upcycled, old paint, rustic. I like them, he doesn’t. My kids have grown up with it, so they think its fine, as long as the Wii works and I let them play games on my computer! So to answer your question, I can absolutely see that guy in that bedroom. So when are you going to invite him over???? ๐Ÿ™‚ Time’s a wastin’!!!!

  32. I go for balance and the man in the house approves of what I have done so that makes everyone happy. A bit rustic, a bit formal, a bit funky and it all works!
    Love that bathroom…the mirror is awesome!

  33. Well, I certainly love flowers. And, I’ve been through a country cottage phase – where I had more flowers then my now husband would have liked. But, luckily my tastes migrated more towards Rustic Vintage. And, he loves Rustic and is finding that he’s more of a vintage aficionado than he might have thought. So, our style is pretty masculine, I toss in a feminine touch here and there!

  34. Well I certainly have a feminine style in decorating and I have 3 sons and a husband who shoots guns, rides motorcycles, has a couple of excavators in the yard….I think it has more to do with who is more sensitive to their living spaces. I can’t relax or be happy in a space I feel is not decorated right. He might not notice that I painted the walls or moved the furniture around for days! It just isn’t as important to him and he has made it clear, whatever makes me happy makes him happy. So I could be that girl with the pink bathroom and the huge venetian mirror and it would be ok. Given all that, I don’t want to live in a princess house. I love the balance of a lot of neutral and then doses of things that say girly to me. We do have a man cave with all things western and lots of leather furniture and a leopard rug with a huge plank coffee table that is his domain. It is actually the space we share together most at the end of the day. (I think it has more to do with a tv in there, than the manly environment)
    I do remember reading a feng shui book when I was single, and basically it says, if you build it, he will come! In other words, have two night tables in your bedroom….etc.

  35. you make an interesting point about the difference between girly and feminine. i think i like feminine without being girly. girly implies frilly and overly fussy.

  36. my husband and I were in our late 40’s when we started dating and then married. He loved staying in my girly bedroom back then, so tho I decorate with him in mind in the rest of the house, I still make sure the bedroom is girly so he can feel like he’s staying over…keeps the relationship fresh even after 16 years!

  37. I adore a mix but I have always been concious of what a room would look like to a man. He needs to be comfortable too. However, no man here so strange as it seems, I have a lot of neautral and not a lot of feminine. But just recently that started to change a little…just a little. The tomboy in me just keeps coming out to play.

    I love all that you do in your home…it is very…well, homely ;), kick back and enjoy! But I could not help but laugh when I saw the blank fireplace mantel….you know what would be up there if a man had a choice….yep a flat screen!!!!

  38. Ya know, I think I read the same book as Amy. It said not to have painting of just one person but rather have one of a couple (if that’s what you desire to be part of). I used to decorate with “others” in mind but now my home is just ME. I love white and wood, junk and French modern and I agree that most men don’t really notice anyway and IF they do, and they want to redecorate and go shopping for new lamps, well LOL!… ya might have other problems!!!
    :)- Cindi

  39. Hey Donna,
    I don’t actually think your bedroom is overly girly. The colours neutral and rustic elements make it perfectly acceptable for a fella.
    My man is usually happy with how I decorate as long as it is practical which sometimes is hard because I do enjoy a bit of nonsense here and there. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s interesting that you have brought this subject as I was just looking at a blog discussing the very same thing. You get us thinking Donna, I like that.
    Anne xx

  40. I do mostly what I call “gender neutral” decorating, lol. Not too girly, not too masculine. DH doesn’t like overly feminine decorating, and neither do I, actually. I always take his ideas/opinions into account when it comes to decorating. In fact, we’re getting a new comforter and curtains for the master, and we’re looking at colors/patterns that are not too feminine.

  41. I’d say my style is definitely more feminine than masculine, but either way my husband doesn’t care what I do unless it involves too many throw pillows or “styling” the bookshelves, which is totally off limits with him. He’s a former journalist, books are his life, and he believes bookshelves are for books only. Too bad the built-ins are front and center in my living room…

  42. OK that guy might not like to have a bedroom like that … but I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt his masculinity to visit.
    I think you have to decorate for yourself … I’m pretty traditional in style, but getting more in touch with my softer, feminine side when decorating. I want my space to say “me” … especially a personal spaces like a bedroom.

  43. well donna i think a girly bedroom is kind of sexy ;). and my man doesnt care. the rest of the house is comfy rustic ;).i also have a ruffled shower curtain ๐Ÿ˜‰

  44. Well, hot dang…the first thing is that if THAT fellow was coming into MY house, I would decorate it in ANY WAY HE WANTED. !! whew….:)))
    *shhhhh, don’t tell Mr. Sweet I said that !!

    I don’t think I decorate very girly except in my dining room and I am trying to change that a little. Once, a long time ago, I was into shabby chic for awhile. Now, I prefer the two leather sofas we have, heavy looking furniture with a little softness here and there.
    My bedroom….it’s good for the both of us.:)

  45. Pretty much our whole house aside from the little boy’s rooms is decorated in a soft, feminine romantic style. I love lace and roses and pastels…but focus on keeping things comfortable and livable. My husband is sometimes teased by friends about how feminine our house is, but he recently told me that he really does like the way our home is decorated. That comment seriously made my day…and then some!
    Best Wishes and Blessings,

  46. Made me think. I need to stand back and take a look at my apartment. I never thought of it the way you posted. Guess, cause I live alone, so it never crossed my mind. The only place i have not added any touches at all, it to my bedroom. I haven’t figured out what to do in there, and to me, the shape {or placement of the closets} are all wrong. Ever accepted photos and advised???

  47. This hit a note with me today! My husband came home from a meeting and saw our bedroom…I posted it today! PINK bedding! heehee! I love it…and he likes anything that I like! โ™ฅ

  48. I try to keep it as neutral as possible in most rooms of the house except for my office, which has a few pink accents. I did just recently pull in a few pink accessories in our living room for the spring and didn’t get any flack from the husband. Maybe that’s a sign that I can bring in a bit more girly?

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