Lately I’m crushing on menswear style but struggling to get past the masculine cliches of neutral colors, leather, plaid, and sporting themes. Is there such a thing as boho menswear style out there? You know, for city guys in touch with (but not overwhelmed by) their feminine side?
Not that there’s anything wrong with neutrals, leather, plaid, and even sports (in small doses). But surely there’s more, or possibly ways to use them that aren’t so predictable. Here are 12 inspirational spaces that do just that…
1. Paris is always a good idea
LOVE: The interplay of menswear pattern–plaid, pinstripe and chevron–against the backdrop of charcoal gray, as well as the galleria of gleaming vintage-framed mirrors.
HO-HUM: The collection of mounted animal skulls. I don’t mind them per se, since they’re probably vintage rather than personal trophies. I’d just never hang them over a bed. Maybe in a guest room, depending on who was sleeping over, if you get my drift…
2. Geometry even I could love
Geometry was never my strong suit in high school, but this room proves what I’ve always said: that I would have paid more attention had I known the practical application. The masculine color scheme of gray, mustard, tan and red is offset by the graceful curved arms of the sofa, tufting, and the round side table and pendant light. It’s like a scene out of one of my favorite 1950s movies, Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.
LOVE: Pinstripe paired with the midcentury modern print on the throw pillow, as well as the eclecticism added by the traditionally styled pendant. And, as always, I love COLOR! No surprise there.
HO-HUM: The sofa arms. Or should I say the lack of sofa arms? They look great, but I like something to hold onto getting up and down.
3. Lavender sans lace
Lavender shiplap, no less, which is right on fleek with 2018 Pantone color of the year Ultra-Violet. Check out this ahead-of-it-time room designed by Brian Patrick Flynn, as well as the entire HGTV 2015 Dream Home from whence it hailed.
LOVE: The eye chart art and the mid-mod table and alarm clock.
HO-HUM: Overcrowding on the nightstand. Gimme space! Thank goodness for the cylindrical ottoman tucked beneath the night table. What a great place to leave whatever reading you’re working on from bed.
4. Put a tiger in your tank
Designer/blogger Artie Vanderpool’s apartment is a terrific mix of old world and modern times. Currently, everything he owns is for sale on his blog, Color Outside the Lines. If you love those tiger pillows as much as I do, I’ll race you. I seem to remember they’re Scalamandre.
LOVE: Well, obviously the tiger velvet pillows, as well as the suzani coverlet and the bamboo blinds. The use of stripes on bed, walls and floor is ingenious, as is the color mix of black and white with warm wood tones.
HO-HUM: If I must pick something, I’d say the puddled draperies and white bedding. Beautiful, but something I’m never comfortable with in my own home. Too much cat hair around here, I suppose.
5. Snug as a bug in a rug
It’s interesting to me the Brits and Aussies call rooms like this (family rooms? studies?) snugs. What a fun word! And the menswear prints and masculine styling certainly put you in mind of the proverbial bug in a rug. This snug is in a home owned by down-under designer Cameron Kimber. See and read about more of his many homes in this delightful romp on Cote de Texas.
LOVE: Oh how the artwork pulls it all together! And the choice of olive green velvet for the accent pillows–divine!!
HO-HUM: Not one solitary thing. Gimme shelter!
6. Mixed metal mettle
No less than three metal finishes accent this well-pulled-together bedroom. The key? That wonderful matte charcoal backdrop on walls and bedding. Even the portraits seem to gleam from inside!
LOVE: That brass lamp with a brass shade is calling my name. And it looks so cool paired with the stark, industrial-style bedside table, which has, you notice, lots and lots of available space.
HO-HUM: The ram’s head skull. So classically masculine that it’s almost cliche, says this boho mama with too many mythology tomes on her bookshelve.
7. Sports vs. sporty
I’m not too keen on the sports art here, but I can overlook it thanks to the sporty lines of that delectable leather sofa–reminds me of the interior of an Italian sports car! And oh, how the pops of color against those moody blue walls set my heart to racing!
LOVE: I’m usually not a leather sofa fan (it never mixes with cat’s claws), but the lines of this one could have me setting up off-limit rooms for my Maisie-Cat. Picture it in gray…
HO-HUM: The sports art. Did I say that already? Well, it’s worth mentioning again. If my husband liked sports I would tolerate it, but I’m glad I don’t have to work so hard at my marriage.
9. Don’t hold the mustard
Accented neutral color schemes are great for bedrooms because they’re typically restful, even when the accent color is burns a brassy bronze ochre, like these bed pillows and throw. Don’t you love how the antiqued finish of the dresser is similar in color but textured so differently? Even though the lines of the dresser are decidely femine, it’s pairing with the other strong pops of ochre make the overall room read masculine.
LOVE: Ochre. Yeah, I already said that. Again. No apologies though.
HO-HUM: The room is a bit minimal and stark for this boho maiden. But it’s lovely. So lovely and restful, even with strong color.
10. You can be a Beau Brummell, baby
When you know this townhouse in London’s Mayfair district once was the home of regency-era dandy Beau Brummell, you’ll get its appeal. But then you hardly need to know that to fall for its very tailored, veddy British aesthetic. Where’s the boho bent? Consider flowers in a gent’s boudoir and the chinoiserie fretwork of the bamboo headboard. A duke of Devonshire also lived here until the late 1990s, as well as former British Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden.
LOVES: The pop of coral in the lampshade and how the horizontal lines of the picture frames bisect the striped wallpaper.
AMBIVALENT ABOUT: Possibly a tad too prissy for me overall, though the stripes and black accents help.
11. Hunting trophy sans slaughter
The stag’s head pillow on this bed is MY kind of hunting trophy–no sharp points, no creepy dead stuff. AND it’s a bright and perky orange to boot! I love how it looks against the windowpane-checked pillows.
LOVE: The yummy greige wall color and the overlapping art.
HO-HUM: White bedding. B-o-r-i-n-g and impractical, at least in my opinion, for my home. You do what works for you.
12. Top of the mid-mod morning
What a fun mix of midcentury modern, vintage, and antiques! And the accent wall of rusty red wallpaper really pops against all that gray and all those different textures.
LOVE: That gray silk tophat on the wood stand AND the hairpin-leg sofa, which looks like something you could DIY.
HO-HUM: The sofa doesn’t actually look all that comfortable, but if you don’t sit long it might not matter.
So why am I so enamored with menswear style?
And why THESE examples of it?
If you guessed that I’m planning a new project, you’re right: a refresh of Chris’ home office, which doubles as our guest room. Just don’t tell him, okay? However the room looks, he’s always happy with it the way it is, and for me, that’s faint praise. Too, too, too faint.
I actually found a hole in the bedspread in there, can you believe that? Well, if you’re planning to show up on my doorstep, don’t worry; I’m on it. Stay tuned.
If you want more…
- Click on the various links in this post for tours of homes these rooms came from, more detail, or more examples of work by a particular designer.
- Check out my Pinterest board, “Suit Up!” for even more inspirational photos of masculine-themed rooms. While you’re there, follow any one or all 72 of my boards.
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