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Masculine style

From the Resene decorating blog

A style that represents strong, no-fuss lines, deep colour tones and finespun fabrics.

A masculine interior style

To view more of this project see "The hunter collector."

When you mix together a palette of metal, leather, concrete and fabrics like wool and tweed, and throw in some straight lines and geometric patterns, you begin to create a space that would typically be deemed 'masculine'. Like a well-tailored wardrobe, it's a style that represents strong, no-fuss lines, deep colour tones and finespun fabrics.

"What denotes a masculine style?" reflects Resene colour consultant Nikki Morris. "Earth, straight lines, concrete, exposed steel, houndstooth pattern, minimalist, clean primary colours, no fuss solid furniture, motorbikes, geometric, chrome, metallic, stains, leather, denim, commercial looks, traditional, sport, cars."

Masculine colour palettes are often a mix of neutral bases with clean colours, quite bold and primary in appearance, and offset against charcoals, timber and leather finishes. The style is often about simplistic design in a functional way that allows for growth and interpretation.

"We will see blinds more often than curtains, framed pop art posters, vintage car magazines and books, and entertainment equipment proudly on display as a focal point," says Nikki. "A simplistic pared back look that allows for work or play but with an informal easy-going undertone that implies mischief is around if you look close enough."

Charcoals, blacks and browns – typically dark and heavy colours – are a popular choice, though clean whites and neutral grey-based colours appear too.

"Men tend towards either of the following looks that I deem 'Natural Man' and 'Modern Man'," says Nikki. "Natural Man's style is more the basic, simple and comfortable look accented with bold colour and often adventurous patterns in geometric styles and solid blocks of colour. The Modern Man's style is more a palette of clean whites and grey-based colours with chrome accents, straight lines, technological gadgets and an industrial vibe."

Men are often more adventurous with feature colours on walls and less fussy about style treatments, preferring a space that is not overly decorated and styled with clutter.

"It's not often you will find a room full of knick-knacks or an overload of cushions in a man-only or man-designated space," says Nikki.

Simple accessories from nature, however, can provide a masculine feel. Antlers, a leather-bound radio, unbleached linen, or a chunky wooden side table or weathered wooden chest can help complement a room's style. Any artwork is typically bold in size or concept, and greenery is also bold (large, bold leaves) or with bite (cacti). Throw in a cowhide or sheepskin rug and the look is complete.

Furniture is most often simple with straight lines, and arranged symmetrically so the room feels strong and sturdy, simple and relaxed. Plump, oversized chairs against warm wood tones create a cosy masculine setting where men can put their feet up and relax. Ease and effortless are often key to a masculine space.

"Men tend to like rooms with a clear purpose that functions well," says Nikki.

"They often go for minimal spaces that are not over crowded with 'dust collectors'."

The use of wood and natural materials is a nod towards the outdoors and the primal hunter-gatherer status. Conversely, metalwork, high-tech gadgets, concrete, exposed brick, industrial lighting and high-gloss furniture favours an industrial mentality.

Accessories for a masculine interior

Ruffled bed linens and frilly pillows are out, while houndstooth, paisley, pinstripe and geometric patterns are in. Wallpapers are also gaining traction in the masculine environment.

"Manly wallpapers are everywhere these days, so the boys are getting on board and experimenting with pops of interest on the walls in many styles of papers – from soft and subtle textural patterns, modern metallic wallpapers, natural wood finish patterns and bold coloured patterns," says Nikki.

The Resene Walltrends lll collection provides some fabulous masculine wallpapers, especially if you're looking for a particular theme: Exposed timber (pattern BN47531), moody texture (pattern BN48299), modern lines (pattern 2691-33), bold colourĀ (pattern 9443-37), nature inspired (pattern 2683-27), buildings (pattern 2528-21), classic stripe (pattern 268743), script (pattern 9448-18), and modern metallic (pattern 268651).

Texture can be used in a masculine space to add movement and interest to a room where pattern would be too much. For example, textures can be used on walls in the form of wallpaper or a textured Resene paint finish. Or dark walls complemented with textured hemp curtains can add depth with a definite masculine feel.

The dark, muted colour palette, which may include black, brown, grey, earthy tones and neutrals, may be accented with green, red, orange and deep purple. Dark spaces can be warmed up with wooden elements or pale neutrals. Crisp white linens, for example, can be offset by shades of rich chocolates, charcoals and faded blues.

A tonal earthy paint is a sure bet in a masculine space, like Resene Stonewall – a deep beige neutral that works well with beige and grey hues. It goes particularly well with Resene Yasna (mix of muted brown, purple and definite grey), Resene Big Stone (a deep grey blue) and Resene Karaka (a muddy rainforest green).

Resene Space Shuttle is a deeper, industrial-like dark brown, which pairs well with complementary colours Resene Cove Grey (a denim-like blue), Resene La Palma (an emerald green), and Resene Westar, a stony neutral with a hint of grey and brown.

For blue tones, something like the grey-blue Resene Cello works well, as does Resene Jaguar, which is a dark inky blue. Or for a contemporary charcoal colour, try Resene Baltic Sea, which goes well with Resene Cyprus (a deep Mediterranean sea-blue green) and Resene Peru Tan (an earthy red brown).

These colours all do well with a masculine theme, says Nikki, whether it's for the Natural Man or the Modern Man. That and the combination of simplicity and ease, and a masculine space can easily be achieved. Think comfortable, purposeful, natural, strong and sturdy, and you have a well-appointed masculine style.

Nikki's palette of mixed masculine colour tones:

July 06, 2014

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