Man about the house
What’s feminine and what’s masculine when it comes to design, and should we even be thinking about the differences? As a professional interior designer I’m conscious of certain taste preferences which can be described as gender related. These sit quietly at the back of my mind when working with clients as I’m careful never to assume… anything! In order to establish what people like or dislike I probe for information. Questions are carefully phrased to maintain respect for an individual’s privacy yet elicit the personal information I require in order to design a home that perfectly suits an individual or family.
When a magazine publisher asked me to write a piece that would firmly spotlight the man in the house in readiness for the UK’s annual celebration of Father’s Day in June I pondered over what readers would want to know. I decided to share my thoughts about masculine design….
I try never to generalise but having created homes for all male households there are some elements that crop up time and again, so I feel ‘safe’ to set down my experiences here:
- Entertainment: Top of the list is a large TV with all the associated gadgetry hidden away. And a music system, audible throughout the main rooms of the house is often there too. Modern technology means all this is easily achieved without too many wires!
- The kitchen: No longer a female domain men are just as keen to experiment and be creative in the kitchen as women. Quality appliances are preferred along with an effective extraction system and plenty of storage space.
- Wood, steel and brick: Stainless steel remains a popular choice for finishes, especially in the kitchen for splash backs. Wood seems the preferred choice for worktops and exposed brick walls are welcomed everywhere in the house.
- Leather sofas: The look and feel of leather continues to be the men’s choice for lounging around on. Sofas, armchairs and upholstered beds and headboards – it seems you cannot have enough leather.
- Underfloor heating: Providing ‘hidden’ comfort the possibility of installing underfloor heating in order to do away with the radiators is always on the agenda.
Aware that much of this is subliminal has helped me in my job and it could be said that making a home for a man is about creating an atmosphere that mixes the adrenaline rush experienced when travelling in a fast but comfortable sports car with pride in the knowledge you have the right tools for the job. The house has to be a well oiled machine and one that offers comfort when the work is done.
I put together this moodboard as an example of ‘masculine’ style. It contains rounded shapes (most men have a strong feminine side). The colour palette is bold but not fussy and patterns are large.
Clockwise from top left: Plates by AliJoe, specialist decorating by Faux Creation, espresso mugs from Marquis & Dawe, lighting by Refunk’d, rugs from Interiors by Element, tabletop items from Amara, globes by Lander & May, sofa from Sofology. Centre: Art by Fi Burke.
I hope you enjoyed my brief interior design guide to today’s man about the house. If you need help developing a style for your home – and everyone is different – get in touch!