Decorating

Masculine Design: Beyond the Man Cave

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Hello!  Today I’m featuring an important topic that many couples face, it’s the age old struggle between masculine versus feminine in design.  This tug of war is not rare, rather it’s a common issue in so many relationships, and even plays into many a discussion of décor here in my own home.  One of the struggles I’ve recently faced in our shared master bedroom (always a work in progress!) is how to balance my mister’s love of dark furniture and his more traditional taste against my love of white and bright with touches of modern.  

Today, addressing the topic on a larger scale, Courtney is back with his monthly contribution. To me, this is a fascinating topic, and I willingly embrace any tips that address the issue of how both masculine and feminine style can coexist in harmony. 

Please welcome back Courtney and his interview with top designers addressing the definition of masculine style, and how to successfully balance it with feminine tastes.  

“A college friend recently moved in with his long term girlfriend and called me to complain.  He was distressed that all his favorite pieces of furniture and home accessories were being either sold, relegated to the guest bedroom, or simply being placed in that black hole known as offsite storage.  As more of his beloved possessions exited the new apartment, he became increasingly agitated and an argument ensued. 

After the dust settled, I went over to play “design negotiator” which is relationship counseling, but with furniture.  Sitting them both down, I asked a very simple question, or so I thought.  “What is it about his things that make them ineligible to enter the apartment?”  She turned to me and said quite simply  “Courtney, his stuff is totally way too masculine and it just won’t work in here.”

Too masculine?  Aside from his international beer bottle collection and large screen TV, my friend’s possessions were run of the mill items picked up over the years from IKEA, CB2 and big box stores.  What was it about his possessions made them :too masculine”?  Can’t masculine peacefully coexist with feminine design?

Seeking answers, I sought out advice from two designers I respect for not only their fantastic design talents but their ability to break down complex design issues.  I asked several questions of Joe Cangelosi of Joe Cangelosi Design and Brian Dittmar of Brian Dittmar Design to get their take on what elements create a ‘masculine’ space, how it deviates from a ‘feminine’ style space, and can the two exist in harmony?  Here is what Dittmar and Cangelosi had to say:

Q: First and foremost, is there such a thing as a ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ room? Don’t people define spaces, and not the things within?

Joe Cangelosi (JC):  There is absolutely a difference!

Brian Dittmar (BD):  Yes, I think so. A ‘masculine room’ is the result of a feeling that is created through a collection of objects versus each object being one way or the other.

brian dittmar designs

Brian Dittmar

Read the rest of this entry »

Google BookmarksBookmark/FavoritesStumbleUponShare

Oops, I Did It Again

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

You asked for it, so I did it!  Y’all liked the photo tour from last week’s townhome model crashing so much, I went and checked out some more.  These are the models for single family dwellings recently staged, and the homes are under construction in my town.  Being the looky loo that I am, I popped in to take a peek and snap some photos.  Here are a few of the highlights from the best spaces.

The first model I toured was decorated in shades of black, brown, cream and red, not the typical color palette I’m drawn to because black and red together are tricky, but I have to give these home stagers props for pulling off a few wow factor rooms. 

First, this family room in cream and brown with pops of red and black.  That graphic rug completely makes the space, and I love the mixture of large scale and small scale pattern on the pillows, with a few solids and a stripe pillow thrown in too.  The large scale botanical repeats on the window panels while the trim on the panels plays off the solid red pillows.

family room model 2

Opposite the family room is this kitchen with dark mahogany cabinets.  I’m loving the glass front upper cabinets that reach to the ceiling and provide additional storage and display. 

mahogany kitchen

 

Are you drawn to bold wallpapers but nervous about the commitment?  Follow this cue and use it in the powder room!  It’s the perfect opportunity to add that wow factor in a small space and less expensive too.  Can anyone source this wallpaper?  Because it’s completely fabulous.  A well executed stencil could achieve the same effect.

brown link wallpaper powder room

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Google BookmarksBookmark/FavoritesStumbleUponShare