Masculine Interiors are Not for Men Only


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.  


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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