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Interior Design

Battle of the Sexes: Men, Women and Home Design.

It’s a popular belief that men are from ‘Grubby Bachelor Pad Land’ and Women are from ‘Chintzy Pink World’. Although this stereotype is slightly dramatic (and entire made up by myself), there is some underlying truth in it and there are definitely big differences in the interior design preferences of men and women. Who knows why this is? The question should be how do we bare living together at all?

Men are much more functional in their approach than women. ‘Well, what does it do?’ is the usual response when a man is questioned on the positive and negative qualities of an ornament. You cannot argue with their practical thinking, one guy once told me “All a house needs is a massive flat screen TV, a fridge full of beer, a reclining chair and a toilet”. That was it, he would be happy in life. They don’t like to surround themselves with things they can’t utilise, if they cannot watch something on it, play something on it, keep something in it, sit in it, or lie in it, then they are not interest…in it.

Women on the other hand have many things they don’t need. Ornaments, vases, flowers, candles, pictures – everywhere (do posters of cars and half naked women count as pictures? Men do have them), mirrors, storage baskets (that contain more mysterious ‘things’) and numerous photograph frames. We like to surround ourselves with nice things, pretty things, items that cheer us up or remind us of a time or a place. We’re more concerned that the space is aesthetically pleasing and that it is bright and smells good and put a lot of thought into the smaller details. Our argument for that ornament would be ‘but it looks good’.

Even the furniture men and women both have differs in style. Men either go for large solid comfortable items that are big, heavy and dark and manly (the type of furniture that would growl if it could) or sleek, simple, clean line, minimalist items. No silly spindly legs, no decorative detail for them, no floral carvings – No way! The colours will range from brown to grey, to black, with a blue stripe thrown in here and there.

Unlike us ladies, we prefer the more delicate designs with curves, details, light, interesting features and soft lines. Does it match the other pieces in the room? Does it bring out the stitching of the Luxury Bedding? Can it be covered in hundreds of cushions and throws? These are the things on our minds. The colours we have are light off whites, combined and accentuated with pretty much any colour that takes our fancy.

Technology is a biggie. For men the entertainment system is pride of place in the lounge – there will be a TV (flat screened and 80 foot long), games consoles (at least 4),Digi boxes, surround sound (with 8 speakers taking over a relatively small room) and DVD stands with a collection Blockbuster would be jealous of. That’s half the front room gone instantly. Any type of gadgets are incorporated into the interior and given pride of place, if it has a remote – it’s fitted. Women will have TV and HiFi, discreetly placed on a suitable shelf, and only two remotes.

Despite the differences compromise seems to be easy, we each have our roles and rooms to take main control of and as long as we can choose a Pink Quilt Cover for the bed, they can have the giant brown leather lazy boy in front of the TV.

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