By Kathryn Weber

Master Bedroom Design: Making His and Hers Theirs. This living room has the right feel for summer. Pale, painted chairs with light-colored accessories and pale walls makes the room look and feel right for warm weather

This master bedroom is neither too masculine nor too feminine. A bedroom that is beautiful and gender-neutral makes both partners feel comfortable

When it comes to decorating a master bedroom, the design should reflect the taste of the couple. Unfortunately, many master bedrooms only reflect one taste: the woman's. Mostly that's because style is typically left up to the woman in the relationship. Regardless of whether your master bedroom reflects her love of antique roses or his preference for chrome and dark colors, a happy medium can be reached.

Getting started

A helpful first step in selecting a style can be looking at interior decorating magazines together. If one of you would rather have a root canal than flip through design magazines, then zero in on specifics, such as colors that are most appealing to both of you. Focus on whether you each prefer dark colors, light colors or neutrals. If one of you likes dark colors, think about painting a dark color on the wall behind the bed as an accent color. Next, look at the styles of furniture you each prefer. Lastly, work together to come up with the feeling you want the room to have, such as cozy, light-filled, peaceful, romantic or even passionate.

Gender-neutral goal

If this doesn't work, search on your own for designs that appeal to you but that are neither decidedly feminine nor masculine. The room should be gender-neutral, reflecting the fact that two people occupy the space. Then, look at pictures together that you have pulled out from the magazines and use those as your starting point. If you're still stumped, then copy a design. With all the great bedroom designs available on the Internet and on decorating shows, you're sure to find a design that will help you put together a bedroom that takes his and hers and makes it yours together.

A symbol of the relationship

The master bedroom is a symbol of togetherness, so taking time to create a pleasing environment for both of you is worth the effort. Make your master bedroom a refuge from the rest of the house. That means putting the focus on the two of you -- not the television, a computer, or the kids. Make your bedroom the KFZ, or "kid-free zone," with no toys or pictures of the kids allowed. Great master bedrooms are designed with a couple in mind. Use these tips as starting point.

Matching nightstands and lamps.

It's trendy to use different night tables and lamps, but using the same on both sides of the bed looks grounded and coordinated, rather than mismatched or disjointed.

Make some drama in the room.

Try a fabric panel behind the bed. This is easy to do and creates great visual impact fairly inexpensively. Or use a bold stripe of paint instead of fabric for even greater cost-effectiveness.

Invite togetherness.

Instead of a standard bench -- or nothing -- at the foot of the bed, try placing a love seat and small table for enjoying morning coffee together.

Create comfort.

Iron beds can be uncomfortable to lean against, making late night reading or talking uncomfortable. Find ways to soften and create more luxury in bed with textured fabrics, new pillows or soft throws.

Create coupleness.

Hang artwork and pictures of the two of you to remind yourselves of your relationship and commitment. Place objects purchased on a honeymoon or travels together that are meaningful to you both.

© Living Space by Kathryn Weber





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