By Abby Yemm

Published on February 25, 2016

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Photography by Michael Wiltbank

by Abby Yemm

Chances are pretty good that your décor style has changed throughout the years (anyone else decide to do an animal print bedroom, in high school? No? Right. Neither did we). Chances are that you had life changes in your twenties – probably relationships, zip codes, or jobs. You may have found yourself in a cohabitation situation or with a roommate of the opposite sex. Which brings us to the concept of unisex design. Trying to create a space that appeals to different taste or gender differences can make for discrepancies, and we are here to help ease the struggle. 

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start small

Like, really small. When we discovered these modern science lab-chic scents, we bought them for everyone we knew. They are inoffensive – as in, they do not overwhelm your senses. By design, they are earthy and neutral (love this one for it’s subtle blend of grasses, spices and woods). They are both masculine and feminine, lending to something that is both sexy and simple.

step 1: Clear out any dated perfumed candles and freshen up with something slight and natural.

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you say potato, I say metal chain chandelier

This chic and tough chandelier ties in both whimsy and romance while appealing to all. Perfect texture to balance conservative home tones (think beiges and soft whites) but would also make a killer statement in a bold-hued room (navy blue, mustard or rouge red).

step 2: This is the red lipstick of light fixtures. A cool rock-n-roll surprise never hurt nobody.

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compromise is the new black

Keep the peace. We have a friend that has let pops of orange into her house (she hates orange) but it’s her guy’s favorite color. You can’t always get what you want. Balance out a feminine accent wall with these killer chairs. One on each side of the couch and the only thing that’s missing is a Tom Robbins book and a glass of whiskey. 

step 3: Checks and balances, y’all.

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bar sports for the best of ‘em

It’s no secret the athleisure look has been everywhere for the past two years, and is anything but basic. No surprise then that country club and bar sports alike are getting some love in the design game, too. Sport up a bare wall with touches of primary colored whimsy. 

step 4: Keep the score at love-love.

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a tribe called yes

Ugh, this rug is so cool it makes our knees weak. It would like just as apropos in a mountain chalet as it would mixed into an urban loft. Not only that but it’s one-of-a-kind and is Moroccan Berber, so pretty much a great conversations piece for the rest of all time. 

step 5: You can travel thousands of miles or you can get this shipped to your casa in four days.

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knot by yourself

Okay, we’ll admit to pining for everything at Hawkins New York. But these shams! The knots! The right amount of detail. The right amount of classic and funk, mixed together. Completely gender neutral, and would be so cool on a neutral bedroom palette of gray-blue, cream or navy. Pretty lovely too that the knot is an ancient symbol for beginnings, ongoing love and commitment. 

Step 6: A knot can be nautical and even symbolic- make your own everlasting statement.

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they had us at hooded towel

You and your roommate or significant other need these in matching chambray and navy. The end.

Step 7: No need for much explanation. Cozy. Fun. Adorable.

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easy like the sea

what is more calming than a touch of blue and green? Add the white frame and voila! A look void of too many masculine or feminine tones. Plus, it’ll make you close your eyes and imagine a seaside getaway, even if you are landlocked in a desertscape.

Step 8: Trust us, you need some vitamin sea.

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wish you were beer

Take a minute and invest in some proper barware. There are reasons top notch foodie and drinking establishments serve in the style that they do–the glassware matters! These are the perfect curvy home for a good ole pilsner.

Step 9: This is the champagne of beer glassware.  

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sit down, eat up

We can’t promise that you’ll become a Giada or Bourdain just because you have a beautiful setting for your meals, but it’s a start! You just can’t go wrong with a solid walnut table that seats six or eight. It’s a classic, California-cool look that calls for freshly picked flowers and warm gathering as often as possible. 

Step 10: Rustic, classic or modern- this table will suit any design sensibility.