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Male Living Spaces

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Written by Samantha Lund

he concept of “male living spaces” is one of the most influential in 2018 and 2019 interior design culture. Beyond being a recent trending Twitter topic and even more so a topic in magazines like Esquire, GQ and Complex, the trend has some interesting roots in popular culture.

Surprisingly, it all started in 1956 when (of all people) Hugh Hefner released photos of his bachelor pad. However you feel about his legacy, Hefner is largely credited with the popularization of single male living spaces and proper interior design. Since then, there has been a subset of men who find their domains an essential part of their persona.

In 2017, a study of 1,500 men found that nearly 85 percent were actively involved in the design of their homes. Not only that, but 53 percent of that subset say they spend more money on home goods than on nights out, clothes or new technology.

The age of women having domain over design is fading away while men interested in their home’s aesthetic and style are stepping in to give their input.

Interest is one thing, but knowledge and understanding is different. If you have the interest, but don’t know where to start in your male living space, Reflections sat down with Bellevue interior designers to get some helpful tips and tricks for your next design project.

From the Experts:

Marianne Simone, Marianne Simone Design

  • Keep things classic and invest in quality pieces. These things will stand the test of time and won’t need to be replaced in a few years when trendy items go out of style.
  • Wallpaper: It’s not just for your grandmother. For masculine spaces, use a geometric pattern or grass cloth on the ceiling. It brings in a nice touch and interest that adds depth and layers to any room.
  • Fabrics: Mix things up with heavy velvet drapery, mohair pillows or upholster a chair or sofa in wool textile to give the room a handsome feel.
  • Paint: Yes to painting cabinets. Men are often fearful of painting wood cabinetry. This is one of the best and least expensive ways to update your tired and dated wood cabinetry.
  • Every room needs something antique or vintage. Rooms should feel collected over time and not look like everything came from the same place. Going to a “big box’ store and buying everything in one place is not doing you any favors.
  • Collect things from your travels. Whether it’s a small piece of art, an interesting object, or attractive hard-covered books to stack on a table, these things tell a story not only about who you are, but where you’ve been. This makes your room more personal and can often be great conversation starters.

Doug Rasar, Retired

  • Select the “right” interior person, don’t just follow your physical attractions. What is objectively the best fit? If you have a small budget, choose a designer that can accommodate it and a high-end portfolio might not be the best fit.
  • Show up with a file of interior images of things you like, enjoy and are drawn to.
  • Fight the impulse to only think about the flat screen. Consider your views, architectural interest and space when deciding on your priorities.
  • Discuss budget early in the process if you’re working with a designer on your goals.
  • It’s best to show your progress to an outside confidant as you’re going through the process and before making any major decisions on a whim.
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