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Design Eye For the Single Guy

Design Theory Style Tips

I think every single one of us has at least one or more marvelous bachelors in our lives that – let’s face it – could use some inspiration in the design department. Not every single guy suffers from ‘bachelor pad syndrome’, but I’m sure we can call to mind the quintessential single guy abode; bare walls – save for a few posters or the odd completely random piece of art hung on whatever nail just happened to be in the wall, mismatched furniture (or a total lack of furniture), a pair of lamps from the family cabin just living out the rest of their days… you picture it now, right?

If someone manly you love has been thinking it’s time to start adulting in their interior spaces, I’ve got the perfect tips to help them out!

Bye Bye Black Leather

I’m not sure why it seems to be the automatic default when most fellas pick out furniture, but black leather – and the matching sofa, chair, and ottoman in black leather – needs to go. Opt for leather in rich browns or greys, paired with contrasting fabrics in creams and tans for a softer, and more grown up approach to seating options. And keep in mind, super puffy oversized furniture dwarfs most spaces, so forgo the large, pullout styles and instead find something that’s comfy, but normal scale. 

Black and White Photography

So striking and super edgy, using black and white photography for your major art pieces is the ultimate way to turn your college dorm room into a metropolitan masterwork. And it takes the pressure off having to find coordinating artwork – which is difficult to do at the best of times.

Layer, Layer, and Layer Some More

Most guys aren’t into decorative details, but adding a few key textural elements is a total must: to help keep things feeling masculine, but not too heavy, layer leathers with cozy textiles in wool, felt, and knubby cotton. Think throw pillows, blankets, and area rugs for easy additions to every space.

Accessorize

Accessor-what? I get the odd side-eye when the subject of décor and accessories comes up with my male friends. Most guys think decorating ends when there’s a bed to sleep in, a sofa to sit on, and a kitchen to cook in. Why bother with a few little knickknacks you ask? Because infusing your spaces with hints of your travels, passions, and personality helps to create an environment that keeps you feeling inspired and at peace in. Metal bowls, concrete candle holders, marble nesting boxes, eclectic drums or foot stools; the psychology of a well-dressed space reaches far beyond aesthetics. You’re not adding clutter, you’re infusing the best of you into a few key objects and adornments that speak to your soul – now that’s something everyone can benefit from.

Invest In Good Bedding

There’s not much more to say about that… splurge on high quality bed linens, and feel like a million bucks every time you hit the hay. Not everything has to match (and it’s actually better when they don’t), so head on into a specialty shop, ask for some assistance in putting together a killer combo with solids, patterns, and maybe even a few stripes, and head home for a luxurious night’s rest.

Style Your Shelves

Bookshelves are the perfect way to add some of your new-found accessories into the mix (see what I did there?)… A bookshelf should never be completely crammed with books – despite the name. Layering in a few unconventional accessories is the perfect way to add visual interest and break up a cluttered-feeling shelf or two.

Lighten Up

If you’re currently living with dark and murky walls (and if you’re able to), consider painting them out a lighter, more airy tone instead. The change will be a bit shocking at first, but trust me when I tell you the difference lighter coloured walls make will be amazing. Your furniture and artwork will pop if they’re darker, and you’re spaces will feel instantly larger and more spacious. A few favorite sophisticated shades to check out? Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter HC-172, and Grey Mist CC-80.

Crispin Butterfield owns Urban Theory Interior Design, and has been designing soul-hugging residential and commercial spaces across Western Canada for the past 14 years.

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