Decorating for the Man in Your Life

Some men have a knack for it and others don’t. Obviously, we’re talking about the ability to decorate a room tastefully. 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!

Develop a Basic Plan
This is the first step for any interior design project. You have to get to know your client—their likes and dislikes, personality and lifestyle before you can start shopping for paint and furnishings.

Let’s say your guy is an avid outdoorsman who likes to go camping, hunting and fishing. His idea of great room design may include mounted animal heads, lots of plaid and a gun case. No one is saying that’s bad, but 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 for him. Incorporate an overstuffed leather sofa, wood flooring, cozy throws, framed nature photography with a sumptuous area rug to warm up the space. Stick with an earthy color palette and organic fabrics. Add an understated bar cart and a plasma TV to round out the room. Now, wasn’t that easy?

Here are general tips to help you get a look that will reflect your man’s individual taste, style and needs without looking like a something out of a bad dream!

Choose a Color Scheme
The color scheme will set 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!

Get Textural
Texture is very important when decorating a 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 textural elements. The use of wood floors and at least one piece of leather furniture is a great place to start. Also consider using a combination of wood and metal for accent tables.

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.

Eliminate the need for curtains by using chunky wood blinds or natural woven shades on the windows. Shades and blinds give a space a classic, tailored look. Consider sisal, seagrass or Kilim rugs as a casual, good-looking and durable way to soften the look of wood or tile flooring.

Inject His Personality
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 travels.


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