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
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.
STYLE FOR THE MODERN MAN
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, designermancave.com; Andrew Waller Design, mrwaller.com