Men's guide to home decor
We tend to concentrate on a woman's point of view when it comes to decorating a home, but there are more than a few male readers who want to know how to go about decorating a home, flat or apartment. So this feature is for all the guys out there seeking advice on decorating their lair!
First off, while a pool table in the lounge, a dart board in the passage, and a putting green in the garden might be your idea of the perfect pad, let's not go there! In this article we are focusing on decorating a home with accents from a more masculine approach.
There are a few subtle differences between male and female when it comes to home decor:
Let's look at walls first. There is a reason why painted walls can infuse new life into any space - it's the first thing you notice when you walk into a home. Obviously, if you couldn't care what colour to paint the walls, white or a netural shade would be fine. However, think about the unlimited options you have to choose from to impart your personality into the home. Red, blue and hunter green are colours that are generally associated with a masculine setting, but rich, dark natural colours such as brown and black can be combined with any lighter shade to impart a masculine feel.
-- Dark or deep red is a colour that evokes energy and passion. The colour can be overpowering if too much is used, so paint a feature wall or add red accents to a room.
-- Shades of blue are cool and calm. If blue is your colour, use lighter shades for walls and deep blues for accent.
-- Hunter green is a deep green colour that is associated with nature and the outdoors and has a relaxing effect in a room. Even lighter shades of green offer up a touch of masculinity in a living space or bedroom.
When deciding on a colour to paint the walls, bear in mind lighter colours visually enlarge a small space while darker colours have the opposite effect; so if your place is so small that you couldn't toss a cat around - go for lighter shades on the walls!
Bearing in mind that men have an intense dislike for cleaning - or most men at the least - choose flooring that is practical and easy to clean. That luscious, thick white shaggy carpet might look good in the store, but put it down in your living spaces and you'll spend the rest of your life trying to keep it looking white.
Laminate floors, tiles, or even mid-tones carpets are the best options for a man who likes to come home, toss off his shoes and relax in front of the TV.
Ruffles, frills and pelmets are definitely not on your shopping list, but blinds will fit in nicely with any decor style you choose. Wooden and aluminium blinds will blend with a traditional or modern setting, while Roman blinds in fabric that matches your colour scheme, will add a softer effect without being too feminine.
Apart from a pink chandelier with glitzy dangly beads, anything goes when it comes to lighting. Pop into your local Builders Warehouse and check out the Eurolux range of fittings: everything from table lamps to downlights.
If you are decorating a rental you obviously can't rip up the ceiling to install downlights, but there are plenty of other ways to enhance the lighting in your rooms.
Floor lamps, table lamps, and even ceiling fixtures (keep the old ones to replace when you leave) are all lighting options that you can take with you when you move on.
Natural materials such as wood, metal and leather feature prominently in a home decorated with a masculine touch, and while some of these materials are high-value, they are also low maintenance and will last a lifetime.
Of course, it all depends on your personal style and there's no reason why you cannot have a large, plush upholstered sofa, but be sensible and opt for a colour that looks good now matter how many beers get spilt on it. Make sure to have upholstered furniture treated against spills and stains.
View the larger picture when selecting furniture for a particular room. A two-metre long TV installed in a built-in cabinet filled to the brim and a couple of tub chairs don't quite make the grade. Try to look for a balance between the size of the room and the furniture you want to fill it with.
Accessories and accents
Whether your setting is masculine or feminine, accessories play an important role in adding your unique personality to a space and making it feel like a home.
My son has been collecting beer mugs and glasses for years in the eventually hope that one day he can put them on display. But keep your bar collections for your bar - don't put them on display in your living space!
At the end of the day, you want a home that reflects your personal style, looks impressive and feels comfortable. You might not be able to achieve everything in one go, but that's the joy of a decorating a home - taking the time to get it right and collect along the way.
[ images via Marco Meneguzzi ]