De­signs on help­ing you move on from the man cave

Mas­cu­line spa­ces are no longer just the do­main of sports mem­o­ra­bilia and games con­soles, writes ROBYN WIL­LIS

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - NEWS -

It wasn’t just the writer Vir­ginia Woolf who longed for a space of her own. There comes a point in ev­ery man’s life when they also want to break out and make a home for them­selves.

Liv­ing in­de­pen­dently and cre­at­ing a home is a rite of pas­sage for most peo­ple. Not many would aspire to be like Michael Ro­tondo, the 30-year-old who made head­lines re­cently when he was evicted from his par­ents’ New York home where he had lived for the past eight years.

But some men strug­gle with cre­at­ing a space that they can be proud of, rather than some­thing that looks like an over­sized dorm room. In­te­rior de­sign­ers agree that men are tak­ing more in­ter­est in how they live.

“My clients are in­ter­ested in turn­ing their blank can­vas into a cus­tomised, well de­signed space,” says de­signer Kate Ab­dou from De­signer Man Cave. “They don’t have any in­ter­est or skill set to do it them­selves, so they call me.” There’s def­i­nitely a cer­tain look to men’s liv­ing

Manag­ing tech­nol­ogy — and the ca­bling that goes with it — is a com­mon prob­lem but in­no­va­tions have now made that eas­ier.

and bed­room spa­ces that dis­tin­guishes them from more fem­i­nine en­vi­ron­ments. “Mas­cu­line spa­ces are a bit more pared back com­pared with a woman’s in­te­rior which is usu­ally softer with more tex­ture,” says in­te­rior de­signer An­drew Waller.

South­ern Cross TV’s ren­o­va­tion show House Rules re­cently tack­led the Queens­land home of tradie broth­ers Josh and Bran­don. Bran­don’s “mod­ern bush­man” bed­room (pic­tured above) cre­ated by mother-daugh­ter team Kim and Michelle was un­mis­tak­ably mas­cu­line with strong lines and raw ma­te­ri­als. The key is get­ting the bal­ance right so that it is works on a prac­ti­cal level with­out los­ing out on style.


In­te­rior de­signer An­drew Waller says some­one de­scribed walk­ing into the home he de­signed (pic­tured above right) as be­ing akin to “putting on a man’s jumper”.

Com­monly, mas­cu­line spa­ces con­tain

sim­ple lines and keep dec­o­ra­tion to a min­i­mum. “Mas­cu­line spa­ces are a bit more pared back com­pared to a woman’s in­te­rior which is softer with more tex­ture,” An­drew says. “A man’s is a lit­tle harder, al­though you can still bring in some soft­ness with geo­met­ric shapes like cir­cles.”

Ma­te­ri­als such as tim­ber and leather are pop­u­lar, and An­drew has even ex­per­i­mented with men’s suit­ing fab­ric for up­hol­stery. Even the dreaded re­cliner still has its place, he says.

“There are re­clin­ers that don’t look like re­clin­ers now and they look good in gen­tle­men’s spa­ces,” he says.

“We look for dif­fer­ent seat­ing to re­flect dif­fer­ent peo­ple, like a worn leather wing back chair with a foot stool.”

And you can never go wrong with a hand­some rug in a neu­tral colour. “Of­ten there is a harder edge to rugs, with tex­tured rugs rather than a soft dec­o­ra­tive pieces over floor­boards,” An­drew says. “But you still need rugs to soften the space.”

Kate says manag­ing tech­nol­ogy — and the ca­bling that goes with it — is a com­mon prob­lem for many of her clients but in­no­va­tions have now made that eas­ier.

“Thank­fully mod­ern tech­nol­ogy is very dis­crete and more of­ten than not, hid­den with wire­less ac­cess or part of a home in­te­gra­tion sys­tem,” she says. “Speak­ers are no longer an eye­sore, with some stylish op­tions avail­able.”

More: De­signer Man Cave, de­sign­er­man­; An­drew Waller De­sign, mr­

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