Jan 30, 2013

Masculine & Feminine Interior Design :: he, she or it???

Have always been fascinated by the way in which some buildings seem feminine,
and others masculine.
Sometimes it's hard to define why a certain building should be referred to as a "he" 
or another as a "she" but, unlike the grammatical English rules concerning ships and suchlike,
there really are no guidelines of which I am aware that dictate what a building should be.
So it is often more of a subtle thing - an instinctive feeling - dependent on the architecture itself.

And I would have to say that this home, 
designed by Allan Powell architects,
and recently for sale in Toorak, Melbourne,
is a prime example of a masculine building. 
And a very eclectic one at that...

Did I mention the word "eclectic"?
Uh-huh, that's the perfect adjective...

It's definitely glamorous, 
but not for the faint-hearted.

And I think my favourite room is this one: the copper mosaic tiled sumptuous powder room.
Often the powder room can be a bastion of femininity,
but not this one. 

So, it's a really interesting property,
and leads to my question to you:
do you refer to your own home as "he" or "she" or "it"?


  1. beautiful ..so chic !

    ciao ave

    i wait you on my blog

    1. Indeed, it has been far too long since I visited your blog. I am missing visiting all my favourite blogs lately, but things are now beginning to get a bit more organised, so shall pop in to say hello.

  2. Hello Virginia:
    This is, as you rightly surmise, strongly masculine. But why? What makes it so? These are interesting questions to which there are many, and no, answers. But certainly rooms, whole houses even, do suggest gender.

    1. Yes indeed - many and no answers. May be worth more of an analysis type post, methinks???

  3. You're absolutely right Virginia about eclectic, too eclectic tending to kitsch I might say.
    Eclectic can be quite cohesive, objects can play each other up, in this case they are downplaying I think.

    Is there such thing as a unisex house? Mine is probably a 'she' .
    What about your new house? What it will be after all renovations and upgrades?
    My guess a 'she'.


    1. Oh, the new house is a "she" without any question of a doubt, whereas the last one was a "he". Such fun!

  4. I had a slightly startled "absolutely no idea" to the question of is it a he or a she (which I think paraphrases an ee cummings poem). I've not thought of buildings in terms of gender, but rather whether they have a good vibe to them or if they have cold or unwelcoming spots.

    5th photo down, the armchair and ottoman - love the fabric! Not so sure I could live with it, but it could be fun finding out.

    I suspect one of the elements that make a building masculine is lots of hard surfaces. Which is why the powder room is more reminiscent of a swords and sorcery fantasy. Beautiful, but where are the practical and necessary things like soap, handtowel and adequate lighting for touching up maquillage?

    1. Actually, if you look very carefully, there is a copper rail for towels just below the bench, and a little niche to the right for soap. But I agree on the adequate lighting. This is more about mood, it seems, than making sure one applies lipstick accurately I reckon!

  5. Oh I did see the rail and niche, but my point is more that by stripping the practical elements out of the picture, I lose a sense of how well it will work. I look at the niche and think of water spots and soap drips. Then there's polishing the copper so that the towels don't get stained.... My mother collected brass and silver, so there was never a dearth of beautiful objects in need of cleaning. However, if I could afford that house, I could also afford someone to clean it for me :)

    1. Ah well in that case, I couldn't agree with you more Erika. It is indeed a "beautiful" yet labour intensive design.


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