Many people think interior design is only for women. What if I told you it's not? Interior design can be as much fun for men! From the manly woods like elm, oak or walnut, to animal print rugs and decor, or leather chairs, there are so many ways a man can add some "manliness" to his home. But don't worry — it all looks great together! So let's stop staring at the walls and make our spaces look more awesome with this interior design for guys guide.
1. Avoid clutter
When it comes to interior design, the first rule of thumb is that less is more. A space should be clean and organized; it should never resemble a junkyard, no matter how minimalist the decor. It’s not uncommon for men to give in to their inner pack rat, but doing so will only make your environment look smaller and untidy. When you get rid of clutter, everything becomes easier: finding things, putting things away, keeping things clean, and staying organized.
The benefits of an organized life go beyond aesthetics: studies have shown that clutter can actually be bad for your mental health. Even if you claim not to care about the state of your messy room or apartment, chances are you feel at least a little bit uncomfortable when you walk into it—which means that improving the organization of your space could in fact improve your mood.
2. Think of the room as a whole
When putting together your home design plan, step back a bit and consider the larger picture. How will the design of one room transition to another? Even if you’re designing only the living room, how will it interact with your kitchen and adjoining rooms? You want to create a smooth flow between rooms so that each space complements and reinforces the others. So be sure to coordinate colors, style, materials, textures — everything — throughout.
Do this by using an analogous color scheme: choose three colors adjacent on the 12-spoke color wheel (12 o’clock is red; 3 o’clock is yellow; 6 o’clock is blue). Mix in various shades and tints of those hues to create depth. For example, if you go with red as your primary wall color in one room, choose a shade or tint of red for other areas such as throw pillows or rugs. In this way all spaces work in harmony, creating a smooth flow from one area to another.
You can also do this by choosing one general theme for your entire home (e.g., modern farmhouse), then carry that theme throughout various rooms and styles of furniture. Just make sure that whatever themes you select complement each other rather than competing with each other — unless you want spaces that feel like they’re at odds with each other (which isn’t necessarily bad).
3. Select the right color pallet
Color Wheel Basics
The color wheel is the basis of art. It gives you a visual representation to work off of, and is the foundation of understanding how colors interact with each other. There are three main types of color wheels:
- The typical “wheel”, where red, yellow, and blue are split up into thirds. These three colors make all other colors when mixed together in various amounts.
- A monochromatic color wheel which shows different shades/tints of one hue (one base color). This is also known as a value scale or intensity scale and it will help you pick out complementary hues for your space in addition to helping you pick out harmonious tints from your chosen hue.
- An analogous-harmonious color wheel which layers several hues next to each other on the wheel and breaks them up into warm vs cool tones on either side of the spectrum (this helps in picking out analogous hues).
4. Set the focal point of the room
Now that you've learned how to arrange your furniture and accessories, it's time to learn the next step in making your living space more appealing: setting the focal point. The focal point is the most important part of any room—it's what people see first when they enter. It can be a fireplace, a picture or a piece of furniture. As long as it stands out from the rest of the room, it will draw your eye, giving unity and direction to your space.
Setting a focal point for each room makes decorating much easier because instead of being all over the place, you can decide how many accessories you want around each main feature. If you're wondering how many, consider this: If there are too few items around your focal point, it will look under-decorated; if there are too many things competing for attention, no one item will be highlighted.
5. Add layers of lighting
Our final tip is to be mindful of your lighting. It's really easy to just walk into a room and decide the overhead light is enough, or that it's too harsh and you should use lamps instead. These are both mistakes. Here’s why:
- Lighting is one of the most important elements in a room, so don’t ignore it!
- If you’re using all overhead lighting, your space will feel more like an office than a home (and who wants that?)
- If you're only using lamps for lighting, you'll end up with dark corners and shadows everywhere (which can make your space feel gloomy and uninviting).
Instead, try mixing up your types of lighting with well-placed floor lamps, table lamps, candles (when appropriate), wall sconces—or any other type of light source you can think of! This will help create the cozy ambiance we discussed before.
You can also add layers by having different types of lights on dimmer switches so that you have control over how much or how little light each layer emits at any given time. For example: using an overhead light paired with table lamps might give you too much light when both are set to their highest settings; but if they're set to lower levels and mixed together right there wouldn't be either too much or too little light.
Finally, don't forget about natural light! Setting up furniture near windows allows for plenty of natural light during the day without feeling particularly harsh or fluorescent like some indoor lights can be.
6. Use your furniture to bring the room together
The last step in the process of decorating is choosing the furniture. The furniture you choose should not only be functional but should also contribute to the beauty of your space. Watch the shape and size of the furniture to make sure it matches with other pieces in your room and doesn't look out of place.
Also, consider how you want people to feel when they're in your living room. Is it a place for conversation? Or do you want it to be more about relaxing?
Finally, make sure there is enough room to move around your furniture since there's nothing worse than having overcrowded furniture that makes moving around difficult.
Don't forget that the right choice of furnishings can actually make a room feel larger than it really is. For example, if you have a large living area but no coffee table, adding one won't just provide extra storage space and functionality, but will also help tie everything together as well as add visual interest.
7. Think about how you use your rooms and what you want from them
Think about what you use the room for. If it’s a living room, is it primarily for socializing? Work? TV watching? Think about what you want to get out of the room, given how you use it. If you haven’t already considered these things (and most people don’t), do so now. They will inform your design decisions. Make sure it is comfortable and practical for that use - if you spend all day in the office space working from home or using the computer, then make sure it is usable and comfortable for this purpose before worrying about anything else.
Think about how you are going to use the room as well as who will be using it - if kids are going to be playing in there, invest in some stain resistant upholstery!
Interior design is not as much of an art as people tend to think and want it to be, it is just about some basic principles and making sure you keep those in mind when designing your house, apartment or home office.
You may have heard that interior design is an art—and for some, this can be true. However, for many people, it's really just about knowing a few principles and making sure you keep those in mind when designing your home.
If you're not sure where to start, begin by looking at what other people do. For example:
- The bathroom is often designed for the woman of the house who prefers long baths and relaxation
- The kitchen is often more geared toward men who prefer cooking over baking, because they tend to use more spices and sauces than women do