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Some men have a knack for it and others don’t. Obviously, we’re talking about the ability to decorate a tasteful room. If the man in your life has a less than evolved design aesthetic, it may be time to step in and perform a decorating intervention.
Help him move past that college frat house look and into a room that reflects a refined masculine sensibility. It’s easier than you think. With a little help, you can create a space you’ll both love.
This is the first step for any interior design project. You have to get to know your male client's likes or dislikes, personality, and lifestyle before you can start shopping for paint and furnishings.
Let’s say your guy is an avid outdoor sportsman who likes to go camping, hunting, and fishing. His idea of a great room design could include mounted animal heads, lots of knotty pine paneling, and an old, worn recliner. No one is saying that’s bad unless he is living by himself in the wilds of Alaska. You may want to suggest a less literal design interpretation.
In this case, imagine a stylish mountain retreat just for him. Incorporate an overstuffed leather sofa, wood flooring, cozy throws, framed nature photography, and a sumptuous area rug to warm up the space. Stick with an earthy color palette and organic textiles. Add an understated bar cart and a wall-mounted television to round out the room.
Here are general tips to help you create a design that will reflect your man’s individual taste, style, and needs without looking like a something out of a bad dream.
The color scheme sets the mood for the entire space. Select colors that have a masculine feel and jive with his preferences. Neutral colors are a great place to start. Suggest taupe, beige, or gray for large expanses like walls. If he’s a little more adventurous, he may like the drama of dark wall colors.
When you’ve chosen a wall color, move on to accent colors. Good options are red, gray, black, or navy. If you are having trouble picking coordinating colors, make a trip to a men’s store to check out different combinations of clothing colors. Menswear provides the perfect perspective on color for a masculine room. There’s no better inspiration than a man's wardrobe.
Texture is very important when decorating space for a man. You want to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. One basic design technique to add warmth to a room is to bring in tactile elements. The use of wood, metal, weathered brick, and at least one piece of leather furniture is a great place to start.
Wool, chenille, sweater knits, and raw woven silk are excellent choices for masculine pillow fabrics. If you want to pursue the menswear look even further, think about herringbone, nubby tweeds, pinstripes, and paisleys for accent fabrics—but do so in moderation.
Wood blinds, natural woven shades, shutters, or solar shades are good choices for manly window treatments. They give a space a more classic, tailored appearance. Consider sisal, cowhide, or Kilim rugs as a casual, good-looking, and durable way to soften the look of hard surface flooring.
If your special guy has an affinity for a particular college team, by all means, let him show his loyalty. Find creative ways to include personal mementos of any kind. One of the best sources for ideas is your local framer. They can suggest sophisticated methods of displaying anything from an autographed football jersey to a vintage rock album cover.
If your better half is a surfer, incorporate a bit of the beach to his surroundings. Mounted seashells and coral make a statement when grouped on a coffee table or console behind the sofa. For the intrepid nomad, a collection of world globes, maps, and photos will remind him of his wanderlust.
© 2018 Linda Chechar
Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on October 13, 2018:
Ethel Smith, some of these ideas suit me just fine. I really like the tailored look. The lodge look, not so much unless I lived in the mountains! I try to keep the decor fairly gender neutral so my husband likes it as well. He's certainly not accustomed to the frills, pastels and florals.
Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on October 13, 2018:
Some great ideas Lindacee. Difficult creaing a home that suits men and women but it is possible. Few men want to live in a chintzy place do they?