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Masculine Interiors are Not for Men Only

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It was so exciting to be part of Detroit Home magazine’s current issue. I was interviewed for a piece about masculine interior trends and was asked to submit an image and some product shots that both men and women would enjoy.  I love interiors with a masculine feel — a more tailored look with geometric patterns, substantial/heavier forms of furniture, rich colors and textures.

But don’t think that a space like this is just for a man. Women like drama, edge and a handsome sensibility as well. Think Ralph Lauren and the horse-inspired interiors with rich woods, deep plaids, etc. Both sexes appreciate Lauren’s appeal. I think most everyone gives sophisticated simplicity a stamp of approval because human nature often prefers basic and comfortable, but yet with a definite personal touch.

More great examples that come to mind: works by designer Thomas O’Brien. If you look through the pages of his book, American Modern (Abrams), you’ll see that he combines lights and darks so well. His high gloss-painted banisters, doors, etc. against white walls and stairs are handsomely glamorous, if there is such a phrase!

This brings me back to my earlier post on the Pantone color of the year — emerald. Using non-frilly items and teaming this shade with crisp whites is a win-win for both men and women. Feast your eyes on what the “Symphony Show House” bathroom by Texas-based Laura Britt Design. Note the fresh whites that offset the green. This “handsome” look includes a return to classic black and white, with a pop of bright and unexpected color to create a bold and fearless statement (turquoise and other bright colors would provide a similar effect).

More current design trends include an overlap with fashion.Think of bold and rich chevrons and other geometric patterns creating a wonderful impact. Many are mixing menswear stripes with the texture of houndstooth and herringbone. Love that look! Grey has become a wonderful neutral, by the way, and is a current top seller in the upholstery industry, for good reason. It can be used to create any look you choose, from modern and fresh to rich and refined.  

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Thomas O’Brien explains it this way: “It’s my belief that masculine style is on a continuum with feminine style — not apart from it — and it helps to show how small details like the color of a blanket, or a stripe versus a floral damask, can express so much one way or the other.”

Beyond checking out Detroit Home magazine, you can also see some of my masculine picks on Pinterest. I created a new board called “Masculine Interiors.”

Do you have a favorite space with handsome accents? Please share!

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