What are men looking for when they open the door after a long stretch at the office or days on the road? It’s simple. A place to chill out a low maintenance oasis of comfort where they can enjoy their favorite pastimes and refuel for the next onslaught of events. The goal is not so different from what women want, but the set usually is.
When designing a space for men, whether it’s one room or an entire apartment, loft or house, function leads the list. It’s not so much how it looks as how it works. So begin the decorating process by thinking about the toys a wide-screen TV for sports and movie buffs, the perfect surround-sound system for music lovers, the latest in ergonomic exercise equipment for the fitness guru or a state-of-the-art computer if that’s the priority.
There will never be any battle over budget where toys are concerned. Men view these as necessities. Once they are acquired, picking out furniture and painting walls can be addressed. Patience for this type of shopping is in short supply, but it’s worth taking note of the fabulous furniture designs, fabrics, and colors that have a distinctly male sensibility.
Kick Back Seating
There is a very good reason why men love recliners. They are the ultimate in comfort. (It may also have to do with the mechanics of the tilting action, something else to maneuver along with the remote controls.) However, gone are the days when recliners have to look like Marty Crane’s pea-green tweed and duct tape whopper. Furniture design has taken great strides, and you’ll find stylish modern lines and fabrics from the popular-priced IKEA to the tried and true La-Z-Boy.
Think man-sized for couches and chairs. Oversized furniture is made for spreading and sprawling. And contrary to what you might imagine, large-scale furnishings won’t overpower a small room. Rather, a few big pieces create the illusion of more space. Replace the coffee table with a large ottoman, which can function as a footrest, tabletop, and storage unit.
The long-standing favorite in upholstery for men is leather. Available in smooth, crushed, suede or tooled textures and a wide variety of colors, leather is also handsome, tactile and durable, a tough combination to beat. But there is other news on the furniture fashion front. Men’s suiting material has been called into service. Gray flannels and black and white pinstripes make a distinctly masculine statement hugging the curves and lines of sleek chairs, sofas, and accent cushions.
Tables and Lights
If you are at the stage in your life where you are making purchases rather than accepting hand-me-downs, you can afford to think about your own style. The building materials and design of the tables and desk you choose can set the tone that makes you feel most at home.
Wood has many personalities. A deep stained and waxed mahogany or oak pedestal table sets a formal mood, while aged pine and maple reveal a more relaxed nature. If you like a minimal, uncluttered approach, look for low tables with slim lines. They can be made of a light-colored wood Scandinavian is back, or the modern look of metal and glass.
Desk design has evolved to encompass the needs of home computers. If you spend hours working or playing on the computer, then shop for a desktop with enough space for the equipment and storage plus an area for notes and writing. The chair should be flexible so that you can custom tilt it to suit your height.
Lighting is a male-oriented feature. Who strings up the holiday lights, hangs the chandelier, builds fires, lights barbecues? Simple designs such as metal floor and table lamps with colored glass or grass-cloth shades will co-exist with most styles. Spotlights, gooseneck lamps, and dimmers are enthusiastically employed in a male environment. These could be classified as toys. They let you control the direction and intensity of light in any room.
Colour and Texture
If you have just moved into a builder-white apartment or house, furniture alone will not warm it up, whereas a coat of color on the walls will give you an instant atmosphere.
Men tend to be drawn to earthy tones such as browns, taupes, and shades of green that lean toward khaki. These work particularly well in a den or bedroom. Yellow ochre and terra cotta will keep the rest of the home from feeling overwhelmingly dark, and these muted shades complement anything.
A simple palette is soothing and restful. Choose one color and then go one or two shades lighter or darker for a connecting space. You could create an accent wall behind the play station, television, or dining room table to pick up the mood. Stay warm and earthy with brick red, or go cool and modern with cobalt blue or aquamarine.
Textures play an important role in how we see and feel in a room. It is an element that often comes together without planning. Glistening wood floors topped by a sisal area rug, a leather couch with flannel cushions, soft wool or fringed blanket, match stick blinds or sheer curtains, smooth painted walls or an embossed wall covering all contribute their diverse textures to the scenario. We all like tactile surfaces.
The Top 10 Dos and Don’ts for Men’s Rooms:
1 – Good quality toys rule.
2 – Seating should be deep, dark and durable.
3 – Use subdued colors mostly, with a surprise or two for fun.
4 – Simple, tailored lines promote an uncluttered look. There is a difference between cluttered and messy. Men don’t like the first and don’t see the second.
5 – Install shelves for books, photos, and memorabilia.
6 – Choose lighting that can be manipulated. Dimmers rule.
7 – Have at least one spot to put your feet up that isn’t your bed.