Guy Decor: Not Just Recliners and Black Leather
I lost count how many black leather sofas I have seen in “Guy Pads”. When I get an email from a Realtor who needs some help staging a “Guy Pad” as they call it, I am pretty sure what to expect, most times. Black leather sofa (check), huge speakers (check), a well-worn recliner (check), beer and sports team memorabilia, and very little else. Although, the last few I have visited have had an iron and ironing board in use (very impressive, can’t remember the last time I used my own!)
So guys, this one is for you.
When I mention home décor to most guys they laugh nervously, make a few jokes and mention frills, flowers and pillows. There are lots of ways to decorate a space so it looks “undecorated” and doesn't look like you watched back-to-back episodes of a home décor show.
Let’s start with seating.
Yes, you love the leather and that’s a great choice, but what about brown or tan or dare I say it, taupe! Try it out in the store. Is it long enough to stretch out on, will it fit in the room, elevator, through the doorway, up the stairs. (Take a tape measure with you when shopping, it will save a lot of time and frustration). Don’t be tempted to buy the matching pieces, mix it up, get a different chair, in a fabric. There is so much choice in seating but if it has to be a recliner shop around and forgo the usual “marshmallow” style your Grandfather has. Club chairs are comfortable, stylish and masculine. Originally used in men’s clubs they are a classic and will never date.
A great coffee table is a good investment.
You can’t get comfortable with glass and chrome so a good, sturdy wood or a padded ottoman will be perfect for kicking back after a long day. There are some great “rustic” looks right now. Beach wood, dark mango wood or a leather topped ottoman all work well. If you are short on space go for round--easier to fit in the room and get around.
Ok let’s talk art.
It’s time to invest in something that will be with you for many years to come. There are no rules for art, purchase what speaks to you. The only thing to keep in mind is scale. Buy a fairly large piece (several small pieces just don’t have the same impact) and don’t hang it too high. When hanging art above a sofa it should be 6” above the sofa and three quarters the length of the sofa.
Time to light it up.
When choosing lighting think about what you use the room for. If you read a lot, choose a floor lamp or tall table lamp with a good wattage bulb. A lamp that takes a “trilight” bulb lets you adjust the light three ways without having to install a dimmer. A “desk style” lamp lets you adjust the lighting to where you need it.
Let’s add accessories.
No, this doesn’t have to be piles of pillows or cutesy cat figurines. (Unless you want to of course). What are your interests? What appeals to you and will make your space your own. Mixing old and new objects gives a look of collected over time, rather than you just filled up the cart with the first thing you could find. Mix second-hand finds, natural elements (yes rock collections are cool) and new things. Anything that takes your eye will work. A few well chosen, larger pieces look so much better than dozens of small items. (Pare down that Star Trek collection, stat!)