If we’re honest with ourselves, each and every one of us would admit to making sweeping jokes about how sloppy and slovenly men are. Bathroom basins covered in soap scum and hair, dishes piled in the kitchen sink and, worst of all, unmatched cushions and window coverings that have no place in a living room. The delicate “feminine” touch is painfully absent, and what’s left is something that looks like a frat house but belongs to a high-powered banker.
That’s as unfair as it is untrue. In 2015 just as many men have beautifully styled homes with no trace of a “feminine touch.” At the risk of setting us all back 60 years, there are also touches for the home designed with men in mind; items just a little more XY and which might appeal to guys. Not that women couldn’t enjoy them too. It is 2015 after all.
“In this day and age the lines between materials, patterns and colours used to define ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ interiors have blurred, but there is the visual cue as to the look of the item and how it would be classified,” theorises Indigo Living CEO John McLennan. Women buy traditionally masculine, leather furniture. Lots of men have floral print accessories. Suggesting either is wrong is simply backwards and McLennan is of the belief it’s best to either work both gender tones or go neutral. “Today there is a desire not so much as a demand for furniture for guys that does not look too overtly feminine,” he says. Simple lines and less patterned material provide a good design foundation that’s easy to “guy up” or “girl up” to your heart’s content. “Most guys are not looking for a dark man cave but want something lighter and more enduring,” notes McLennan, adding, “However, a great leather chair is always welcome.”
So where to start if you’re looking to lean “dude” with décor and accessories? Most of Indigo’s interiors work for anyone, but McLennan does like the decorative desktop telescope ($879), part of Indigo’s Classical Themed accessories collection, or silver plane model or plane bookends ($799, $1,290) for the classy man cave. The retailer also carries a range of nautical themed desk accessories and statement pieces that could work in a guy’s home. Of course, no home is complete without the right ambient scent, and to that end dudes can check out the Mancandle from Australia ($299), available in Espresso, Sawdust, Old Oak Tree, Open Fields, Vagabond, and delectable Vodka Schnapps. The candles are made from pure soy wax, feature cotton wicks and the essence of not a single flower.
For more traditional, manfully cosmopolitan gear, hit TangTangTangTang and browse their shelves for items by no means exclusively for men, but which a man that fancies himself a sophisticate might appreciate. Tang has a hefty silver plated ashtray ($700) (probably for cigars) to go along with a swanky electric wine opener ($250) and silver-plated fortune cookie wine stopper ($280). And in keeping with the decidedly silver (and evidently masculine) theme, an acrylic and silver rubbish bin ($1,800). If the wine and cigars are for poker night, he’ll need a foldable side table ($1,350), also in modern, funky acrylic.
Finally, if you’re looking for that finishing piece, head over to Tequila Kola and check out the store’s range of leather armchairs. True, these fit in most homes — male, female or co-ed — but there’s something old school guy about the leather lounger. TK’s vintage cigar leather Eastbourne, Kensington and Ardingley ($12,980 to $19,980) are cut from the rich brown you’d expect and feature the classic dimples that are a hallmark of the style. If the metre (minimum) of space the classical trio demands is but much, TK’s Flea Market model gives off the same vibe in less space, as do many of the store’s broad range of leather armchairs. You need the right seat for sipping whiskey from anyway.