With Father’s Day just around the corner, it seemed appropriate to discuss interior design for men. At Pamela Hope Designs many of our favorite clients are men. We have enjoyed working with young professionals, eager to have a cool pad to relax in when not working, fathers needing to update bedrooms for their children and of course, many men who need design for their offices and businesses. That said, interior design may not come naturally to all men. However, with a few tips, a masculine sensibility can shine through in great design, making your space feel personalized and polished. Whether you’re a bachelor, a family man or a recent retiree, your style should influence your home and office décor. Many men love a good project, so apply these tips to create masculine interiors.
One of the biggest factors in creating a masculine space is to choose the perfect colors. This is where men tend to run into challenges. Here’s our advice: don’t over complicate your design. Instead, keep your color choices simple with a palette of two or three hues.
Ideal for the outdoors man, earth tones reflect a strong and adventurous love of nature. This does not mean overly simplistic décor that looks like a campground. As you’ll see in the following image, this living space not only uses earthy hues but also integrates natural, unfinished woods in a side table, coffee table and chandelier ─ all with slightly different tones. The sisal rug picks up a lighter shade and contributes more texture to the room. This is balanced with the softer fabrics in the chair and sofa. I’ve found that men typically appreciate stronger textures, so playing up on this is a bonus. Using a uniform earth tone on the walls and ceiling helps bring the room together and gives it an intimate feel.
The photo below is from a favorite client’s game room and takes a different spin. The flooring, cabinetry, interior exposed brick and countertop all incorporate brown tones, yet the overall décor is that of an energetic sports bar. While both of these photos use an earth tone palette, the looks of each room are different, tailored to each person’s preferences.
Varying Grey Tones
Color combinations with shades of grey provide a bold and orderly palette for any man to relax in. This next example embraces that clean look with greys from the flooring and rug to the wall paint, shower curtain and towel. The vibrant orange found in the book cover gives an invigorating punch.
Rich and robust
Speaking of vibrant, rich and robust colors create a dramatic impact that bring some extra spice to your space. The dark walls in this next example set the stage for a masculine study that uses vintage-looking furniture and accents for a not over-done look. As we saw in an earlier example, wood tones are again used in the flooring, chest and accents. The ladder and wall art provide a nice path for a visitor’s eyes to follow. Even with a bold background color, the room provides a sense of ease.
It’s all about quality vs. quantity when placing furniture in a room, and a space decorated for a man is no different. We typically lean toward furniture that is a bit larger for men. This approach entails everything from larger chairs and sofas with weightier arms to coffee tables that can double as foot stools. If you have these essentials to anchor your space, then you are on your way to creating a design that is timeless, classic and functional.
Dark wood or metal headboards are popular, stylish and present a strong, masculine look for creating the perfect bedscape. Since the bed tends to be the largest furniture piece in a bedroom, it becomes the focal point. The headboard is a great place to start decorating since it can dictate the style of the room. For instance, the headboard shown here uses a more industrial style with clean lines that are echoed by the nightstands, lamps and even the artwork. Also of note: as we covered in our “How Many Pillows Are Just Too Much?” post, we’ve repeatedly heard that most men don’t like a lot of pillows because they don’t like the fuss. This set up has just two pillows (a standard sham and a standard case) to simplify the look. The simple Japanese-style stack is an updated and easy way to make your bed too.
In contrast, a tall headboard as shown below adds visual height and interest to this master bedroom. While this example uses a dramatic black, we’d love to see this headboard painted in Sherwin Williams Naval blue for another striking look. We love the built-in lights atop the headboard, convenient for bedtime reading.
Leather sofas like the one here are the perfect seating option for a bachelor pad or a quiet getaway after a day’s work. Leather is sleek, durable and a popular choice for men. Over time it becomes softer and more beautiful, adding character and charm.
Dressers or Tables
Allow your dresser or table to be the statement piece in the room. This vintage look screams for attention in a good way in this otherwise simple room. We especially like tables that work double duty as extra storage for blankets, games or books.
Just because the room you’re decorating is designed to suit a man’s taste doesn’t mean that your décor options are limited. Everything in your home should be displayed with purpose. Look for pieces that add texture to your space, such as:
Books are a great way to style a masculine space. They can function as décor or be used to hold objects that match your already existing décor.
Displaying art is the perfect finishing touch to any room, and masculine rooms are no exception. Art is one of the easiest ways to add color, personality or mood to a room. Ditch the old posters and go for something unique and original.
For men, comfort is key and adding a rug really ties a room together. Rugs can provide men with that extra boost of coziness while enhancing the space with texture.
Whether you’re designing a room for a man or you’re a guy looking to update your space, we hope our tips have you ready to get started! If you’re looking to master the balance of feminine and masculine design with your spouse, read our “Battle of the Sexes” post for more design tips or contact us for a professional consultation customized to you.