Choose your large furniture items wisely: couch, dining table, entertainment center, bed and dresser are some of the more expensive items you will be spending your money on.
Couch. Measure the room. Once you find the couch you want, measure the room and tape off the space on the floor. You want ample room to walk around the couch but not so much space that that couch is drowning.
Dining table. Think about how many people will be sitting there regularly. Do you need something with a drop leaf? You want at least two feet of space around all sides that you’ll be walking on (unless you have a breakfast nook up against the wall). Think about the other elements in the room - if your cabinets are stained wood, opt for painted, marble, or glass top.
Entertainment center. Choose the right size and style for the space. A floor to ceiling built in is a nice focal point and will make a small room look bigger. It will also provide you with so much storage and convenience for the hiding of cords and ugly electronics. For a smaller or more minimalist space, go for a shiny, low height, modern entertainment center.
Bed. You spend 30% of your life in bed, make it comfortable. Get the best mattress you can afford and a supportive bed frame. A tall four poster bed frame will give your room a classic, mature look. A low, sleek modern bed will be a great counterpoint if your other bedroom furniture is more rustic.
Once you have decided on your furniture, you can fill in the rest of your space around three main elements: texture, color, and space.
Let’s start with texture.
Texture not only adds visual interest to a room, but also a feeling of balance and coziness. There are a few ways to add texture to a room that can all be done right away with minimal cost to you.
Incorporate wood. Wood is one of the most popular and easiest ways to add texture to a room. For an inexpensive option, get unfinished wood accessories such as a bowl for your coffee table, raw wood picture frames, or place some birch twigs (available in craft stores) in a glass vase on a buffet table. If you have the cash and want to go for more texture, get a stained wood coffee table, tree stump end table, or another piece of wood furniture. It will add instant richness and sophistication to any room.
Add textiles. Fabric pillows on a leather couch, a throw blanket over a side chair, or a fluffy woven ottoman will all add texture and warmth to an otherwise bland room.
Look to nature. Wood isn’t the only natural element that you can use to add texture to a room. Think about whether you can place some decorative rocks or stones on an open bookshelf, or agate bookends. Houseplants bring in color, life and texture. Be creative, keep an eye out for other unique natural elements that you could incorporate into your decor.
Next up is Color.
If you are thinking about painting your walls and need help finding right shade, you want to ask yourself these questions:
Relaxing. If you are going for a calming vibe in a bedroom or another room, think about using muted cool tones, such as a sky blue or sage green. These are the perfect colors to help any room feel like a relaxing sanctuary.
Exciting/Stimulating. Looking for the right bright tone for your rec room, dining room, or tv room? Yellows and reds will both promote positive energy when used as paint colors in a room. For an even brighter, happier room, combine red paint with yellow accents or yellow paint with red accents. Your room will really pop and bring an instant smile to the face of every guest.
Upscale. A classy room looks subtly posh without even trying. For an upscale masculine look, try painting a bedroom, living room, and/or kitchen in navy blue, black, white, grey or light beige. A matte finish paint will look more expensive and upscale than a glossy finish paint. Add in subdued colors with your decor and your guests won’t know why your place suddenly feels like a professionally styled upscale home.
Playful. Although you can create a light hearted, fun atmosphere in a room of any color just by using the right decor, bright happy paint colors can also really have a big impact. Create a man cave with your favorite team’s colors and gear, or paint a room in a punchy color like orange to instantly feel happy every time you walk in. Bonus with bright paint colors is that you can have less and more muted furniture and the wall color will make the room still feel full and complete without it.
Accent walls. The obvious first choice if you can’t or don’t want to paint every wall is to just paint a single wall. This is called an accent wall and it is the perfect option for a few situations, such as when you want to call out a specific part of your space. It could be the wall behind your bed, a wall that has a fireplace or other cool architectural feature, or a wall that you want to make into a focal point by creating a gallery wall or bar, or turning a corner of your living room into a mini-office, for example. Hire a professional or use online step by step instructions to do this right and make it look good.
Paint a pattern on a wall. Instead of a chair rail, tape off a stripe down your wall with painter’s tape and add one or two lines to add visual interest to a room. Or look for inspiration on Pinterest for an up to date style such as a mountainesque set of triangles or a diagonally divided wall with the bottom painted a contrasting color. Want a unique look in a bedroom? Search online for “masculine painted headboards” for ideas to make your room look great.
Achieve a painted look in a rental. Use adhesive stickers to give your walls a painted look without the effort or commitment of painting. Indoor vinyl wall decals are available on multiple sites online including Etsy and Amazon and can transform the look of a room that is bland that you can’t paint for one reason or another. Look for vinyl wall decals in oversized geometric shapes, terrazzo patterns, or silhouettes from your favorite sports team for a living room.
Finally, styling a room with space.
By harnessing the power of negative space, you can create an unexpected and stylish male living area that will feel right in every room.
Embracing negative space in a room will give your eyes the rest and opportunity to appreciate the items you use to fill your home. So, for example, the unique legs on your sofa or the striking shape of your coffee table will stand out and get the attention they deserve. If you were to crowd that space with too many other objects, those small details would be lost.
Go asymmetrical. Instead of hanging three matching frames centered on a wall, try hanging two matching frames and then a coordinating object in place of a third matching frame on either end. This will be an unexpected and pleasant surprise for anyone entering the room and “expecting” symmetry after seeing the first two frames.
Buy a dramatic piece and trade it for something else. If your bedroom is bland, buy a loud bench for the foot of your bed and get rid of your nightstand. A bright or uniquely shaped piece of furniture will draw your eye in, while the lack of a usually-present piece of furniture will keep your place feeling fresh.