GONE are the days when a man wouldn’t be seen dead flipping through a colour chart. These days, men aren’t afraid to take on the girls at the home game, and are confident enough to rustle through glossy style magazines and come up with their own hip rooms
“MORE and more modern British men see their homes are an extension of their personal fashion style,” says Nicole Vanderbilt for mydeco.com, which has recently researched men’s interior tastes.
“They’re more likely than women to get inspiration from celebrity homes and certainly aren’t afraid to experiment and break away from the stereotype look of traditional bachelor pads with dull, minimalist interiors and grungy shades.”
The homeware site’s research has even revealed a new type of male home-owner, a ‘SNAG’ (Sensitive New Age Guy), who’s prepared to dabble with pastel shades and chat over decor trends with his mates.
“I’m not aware of that particular trend,” remarks leading designer, Kelly Hoppen drily.
“But there’s no doubt men are much more in touch with their feminine side and no longer want that hard, dark macho look that was so fashionable ten years ago.”
In general, she says, male taste leans towards airy, open-plan dining and living spaces, with walls in neutral shades ranging from off-white through to sludgy taupes complemented by dark wood floors.
Their furniture preference, she says, is for sleek, glossy lacquered furniture, and they echo their choice in suits in their choice of upholstery and fabrics with current top favourites charcoal grey wool and light coloured linens.
“Men are picking up on decor fashions and if they’re single, they want to create spaces that are attractive to women, while if they’re partnered they’re keen to achieve a blend of their own and their partner’s tastes so spaces are more unisex in their appeal,” Hoppen points out.
But it’s comforting to learn that some things never change. “Every wife or girlfriend hates a guy’s cherished possession, his leather sofa,” she reveals.
“It’s usually the first thing they insist on getting rid of when they move in together. That’s not simply because it rarely appeals to their taste, but they also hate what it’s associated with, as it’s often played rather a key role in their partner’s previous romantic life!”
To mark Father’s Day, Sunday, June 20, we’ve found the essential kit to achieve a look for rooms that’s distinctly Alpha male yet appeals to the girl next door.
MODERN MAN PAD
These spaces need to be able to take a lot of punishment if they’re used for entertaining, seducing and hanging out with mates.
“Using neutral colours and straightforward designs is a good starting place but it’s important to give a room a touch of personality,” says Claire Hornby, creative stylist at Barker & Stonehouse.
“Mix vintage materials like leather with sleek modern materials such as chrome and glass. Bare brick walls give an edgy but functional look, and work well with solid wood floors in rich oak or walnut.” style papers. They’re £25 a roll and have embellished graphics and glossy finishes.
SO-FA SO GOOD
If you want to avoid the danger of a woman binning your sofa, choose one so stylish that they’ll swoon over it.
There’s a surfeit of hot models out there, including Sofa Workshop’s handsome Charlie leather sofa, £1,019.
Alternatively, take the line of least resistance and opt for seating more seductively attired in fabric.
There’s nothing remotely wimpy about an L-shaped Long Island sofa, £2,170, in chic Black & White Contrast fabric, from Sofa.com
ESSENTIAL KIT: Mid-century furniture is bang-on trend and a Le Corbusier sofa, from £1,045 from Barker & Stonehouse, is a steel and leather classic.
MY OTHER CAR’S A CHAIR
Smart men know that if they can’t run to a supercar, they can at least replicate one element of those autos – the seats.
Furniture brand, OMP has launched a £5,000 swivel chair in the States, which is mounted with a seat from a Ferrari F360. All you have to do is lean back, push off with your feet, and supply the throaty engine noises.
Alternatively, put less pressure on the plastic and opt for a Copeland armchair, £1,199, with a show-off shiny steel frame and distressed saddle leather upholstery. It’s from Barker & Stonehouse.
ESSENTIAL KIT: A Kruza Britannia chair, £1,750 from John Lewis, with a white gloss lacquer back emblazoned with a Union flag, or a more casual LoJo Ball Union Jack seat, £99, also from John Lewis.
Singletons should at least ensure a bedroom’s tidy and reasonably hygienic, even if they can’t create the ultimate super comfortable, sensual space.
“Avoid dark and grunge at all costs,” advises designer, Nick Munro. “Go for pale walls and exposed floorboards, add a sheepskin or hide rug, and hint that you’re cultured with framed prints of vintage album covers or movie posters.”
However, it could be worth making an effort with this room if you’re currently partnered.
“Women are determined not to overdose on football and miss out on family viewing, so they’ll banish blokes to the bedroom to watch almost 50 per cent of the World Cup matches on a portable TV,” predicts Barry Rourke, spokesman for a fitted bedroom and kitchen company, Betta Living which has recently carried out a survey.
Betta Living’s remote elevating TV-bed, in the Adrianna bedroom collection, starts from £1,300 excluding TV.
ESSENTIAL KIT: Marks & Spencer’s leather Monroe bedstead, £2,499 for a double, includes a retractable TV unit. (Mattress and TV sold separately).
TOYS FOR BOYS
Gadgets, from a state-of-the-art coffee machine to an all-singing-and-dancing stereo system, are essentials for teckie boys.
But while a luxury saddle leather and walnut Isidoro drinks cabinet, £6,640 from Evitavonni, which resembles a colonial style traveller’s trunk would be an undoubted lads winner, smart seducers know that it’s witty, quirky touches which appeal to the opposite sex. Top hat and bowler hat lampshades, the Jeeves and Wooster hat lights from £150 from Graham & Green, couldn’t fail to catch her eye.
Give an instant injection of glamour to a past-its-best sofa with Andrew Martin cushions featuring vintage posters of flirty, female Hollywood icons. They’re £79 each from Sofa Workshop.
ESSENTIAL KIT: A Football shaped iPod speaker dock which can be operated via touch-sensitive controls on the footballs ‘patches’ or by a remote.
A Mi-Football FT0750 iPod Portable Speaker system, £49.95, John Lewis.
Marks & Spencer’s leather Monroe bedstead, £2,499 for a double, includes a retractable TV
unit. (Mattress and TV sold separately).
ESSENTIAL KIT: Graham & Brown’s Shape & Form range features mean and moody, masculine-