Does your home resemble a University dorm or your mother's rumpus room?
Have you never really thought about what your home and surroundings say about you, personally and professionally? You are not alone!
Years of experience has told me that a lot of men have absolutely no idea where to start when it comes to designing their own home. Our homes are incredibly important to our level of mental well being, they must be our place of refuge from the busy outside world, reflect our personality and help us live the life we want. Think of it, if I asked you to name 3 things you couldn't live without, shelter would be right up there.
So, why do I see so many professional men struggle to create a home they love? A few reasons. I think mostly it's because creating a home has been the domain of women. Your ex wife, girlfriend, mum, sister. But there is absolutely no reason why men can't successfully create beautiful spaces.
Here are 3 easy tips to help you make a home you love.
1. Step away from the black leather sofa!
Don't get me wrong, I like leather furniture as much as the next person but really, what are you, a 1970's porn star? Not only are black leather sofas usually not even leather, they are bulky, hot and just look out of place in most interiors today. If you insist of buying leather, go for tan, that way you can add timber in your home and it will still go back with the leather well.
TIP: The tan sofa above looks great in a mid century style interior which is a really classic look for men to achieve. Scandi style pieces of furniture are easily found in lots of stores and lots of price brackets. A better idea is the image below, charcoal grey sofa, warmer in winter, cooler in summer and easier to match to your other furniture. Get it scotch guarded and the beer you spilled will roll right off.
2. Use natural materials wherever you can.
Yes, a wood foil veneer table from Freedom will look good for about a year, but a solid real timber table will last a lifetime and age well. Natural materials such as timber not only look great but they add warmth to your home and won't date as quickly as that white high gloss TV unit you have your eye on.
Timber Venetian blinds or simple fabric curtains will also add warmth and style to your room. As will cotton and linen sheets on your bed.
TIP: When choosing your furniture ask the sales person or your interior designer about what it's made of. Not all timbers are equal or even real! Even powder coated steel can be done on the cheap. Buy the best you can afford and wait a bit longer for the right thing, not the right thing right now. Ask about the frame of the sofa to see if it will take you and 4 friends watching the football, you should aim to spend good money on the big things and fill it in with more price pointed small items like a coffee table, prints, blinds.
3. Don't be afraid of cushions!
Accessories are not the enemy. You do not need a million cushions but two will look like you have your life together, trust me on that! Be bold and pick a colour that you like, mustard yellow or bottle green or navy on a grey sofa or can look fantastic. A rug will change the entire look of your home, it anchors furniture to the floor and brings warmth and colour, get the biggest that will fit under your furniture.
Framed prints are easily found now in stores or online, make sure you choose something that reflects your tastes but also the style of your home and other furnishings. Black and white photography never goes out of style so if unsure, start there. Why not start collecting original works? Start checking out your local galleries. Think about scale, one big artwork looks much better than a tiny one on a giant wall. Read my blog here about hanging art.
Think about your lighting. A cool floor lamp in your living room will give you atmosphere when entertaining at home rather that having that bright overhead that makes you feel like you're standing in a Seven Eleven at midnight. Bedside tables with lamps are a must for late night reading, nothing says I haven't got my life together more than a mattress ensemble in a bedroom with nothing else but black satin sheets and a dirty clothes basket. If you plan on any `entertaining' in that room, it has to feel welcoming and thought of.
Above is fantastic combination of timber, linen sofa, stylish rug, a few prints and a couple of cushions. A comfortable, stylish look for professional men. You can entertain guests and family and use this kind of space to relax from high stress work.
I love this combination of photography and artworks. This look is easy to achieve if you just stick to your colour palette. It makes it easy for you to add pieces of furniture or art over time and still achieve a cohesive interior space. Don't be afraid to display your collections from your travels or books and every home should have some sort of indoor greenery!
Well, I hope I've given you some simple ideas for creating a home that you'll love to be in. Of course if you need help sourcing products, beginning to buy art or even just where to start, you can contact me here to chat about your needs. Check out our instagram feed especially for men here too. It's called The LifeStyler Australia.