Typically, men don’t often talk about interiors. We love our clothes, cars, tech and the like but when it comes to how we arrange the spaces we live in we’re usually silent. And it shows. Men’s homes are either left to their partners, surprisingly well thought out (well done chaps, as you were) or terrible mutations of university student spaces full of needless film posters, Lazy Boy-esque furniture and bare lightbulbs.
It doesn’t need to be this way. Every male with their own space should take the same pride in it as they do their wardrobe or car. It’s a daunting task but we’ve got some beginner’s tips to share that will make a huge difference.
Have A Palette In Mind
It’s always helpful to have a colour palette to stick to when thinking about decorating rooms. Whether you’re opting for one colour and combining it with lighter and darker tonal shades, or using saturated colours with accents of white for high contrast, it’s worth keeping this palette in mind for the subsequent accessorising and furniture.
White will always be a timeless and clean option for painting rooms but also comes with the risk of being too clinical so make sure furniture and furnishings provide a warming contrast.
Work Out Your Floor Plan
Another handy approach to starting a new room is to first consider the floor plan. With the bird’s eye view of the room in mind, it’s easier to consider the importance of statement pieces and how they will fit together.
A common mistake in many homes is over-crowding. We’re not necessarily saying all interior plans should be based around minimalism, but if you’ve got a few key pieces of furniture waiting for a room, it’s worth planning the space so that items can be moved around whenever a refresh is required whilst leaving enough room for potential new additions once you’ve had the opportunity to live in the space.
An area where you’ve got to be careful but also a crucial part of really expressing yourself. Whether it’s a mirror, an ornate table, home bar trolley, Eames chair or dramatic rug, all homes need statement pieces. There’s a fine line between good and bad taste, of course, but if you truly love something, it doesn’t jar against the room’s colour palette and it fits the space, go for it. It’s essential to making your home feel like your own.
Lamps Not Lights
When it comes to interiors, lighting is by far the most obvious example of those who know what they’re doing and those who don’t. The lazy and the committed. Each room should have its own distinct atmosphere dictated by the lights being used. No room, apart from a utilities-style basement or garage should be lit solely by a lone, undressed lightbulb.
Invest in lamps, big and small, consider where they point, the shadows they cast, where the light is reflected, what part of the room needs lighting (a reading area may require something that illuminates from overhead, for example) and the accessibility of the switch. You don’t want to be continuously moving furniture to turn something on. No central hanging light feature should be a bare, undressed bulb. Candles are worth considering too.
Take Your Time & Experiment
Rome wasn’t built in a day and stylish interiors take time too. The key is not rushing into it. Keep an eye out for cool pieces, observe how rooms look throughout the seasons (and thus different levels of light), take the opportunity to live in the space for a while, becoming aware of its nuances and how you really use it on a daily basis, and above all don’t be afraid to move furniture around and trying different arrangements until you land on a configuration and design that works for your specific needs.
Perfect The Basics
Get the essential pieces nailed down and the rest of the room will follow. That means large pieces of furniture: bed, sofas, arm chair, sideboard, dining room table and the like. Invest in quality, timeless style and (again) consider the space they will take up. They’re likely to be some of the most expensive items you’ll invest in but they set the tone for every room and should last for years if looked after correctly.
Upgrade Your Frames
Wall art is perhaps the quickest and easiest way to get an insight into a man’s level of taste and his personality. We can’t stress this enough: avoid the clichés. Yes, we appreciate you like films, we appreciate you like records, pop art is good and so are signed football tops but don’t fall into the trap of putting things on the walls that the teenage boy inside your head wants.
Buy some real art. If you go to an exhibition, have a look at the prints in the gift shop, support talented photographers and choose a more mature approach to what goes in those frames. Try not to overthink it either: art is completely subjective so if you like a print, buy it.