How to Decorate for a Dude

It always makes me sad to walk into a couple’s bedroom that is wall to wall pink or florals. Some poor husband has to relax in what he would consider his worst nightmare. My apologies if that is the bedroom youre sitting in right now.. but come on ladies… at least try to decorate for two people! And i know, i know… he has his man cave, so this room is for you. Nope! Most of time time you spend in your house is in your bedroom. Its for you BOTH! Let your man come home and relax instead of want to gouge his eyes out.

One thing that I’ve learned in our (almost) 1 year of marriage… dudes (at least my dude) have no clue how they want to decorate. Well, Kenny usually knows what he DOESNT want. So sometimes they just need a little help. And as women its hard to read their minds and know what it is they actually do like. And even when you do figure out what they like, it might be the opposite of what you like. For example, my man loves rustic. It makes sense since his dad is a carpenter and built his parents (very rustic) house himself. Is that impressive or what? So it makes sense that Kenny would love a rustic look – but thats pretty much the opposite of what I like. Lets just say I’m a city girl and the lets-hang-dead-animal-heads-on-the-wall-and-live-in-a-cabin kinda look is just not my cup o tea. But its all about balance. Balancing my weird antique/modern style with his rustic is always a challenge but it can work! I’ve found using raw woods in minimalist pieces work for both of us – it has the warmth and rustic-ness that he likes with the simple lines that I like.

So to decorate for a guy – don’t think that you have to put up neon lights and beer posters. Guys like design more than you think they do.

I love this space because it works for men or women. Its sleek, elegant, not to feminine, not too masculine.

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Need help figuring out how to decorate for a man? Heres a few hints that (most) men love.

Styles

Minimalist, rustic, natural,  industrial, modern. Once you figure out his style, it’s easier to decorate for both of you.

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Colors

Neutrals, blues, greys, greens. Pretty much every color except pink or purple.

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Patterns

Geometric, Greek Key, stripes, solids, texture, chevron. You definitely want to avoid florals. One piece here or there is OK – but only a splash, please!

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Materials

Metals, linens, wood, stonework, brick. Have a masculine brick wall in your bedroom? Add a chandelier for a feminine touch. It’s all about balance, people!

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Decor

Books, glass decanters, b/w photography, metal sculptures, candles (men love fire), succulents, maps/globes and minimalist paintings.

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Furniture

Comfortable couches and chairs, mid century buffets, trunks, industrial storage pieces. And you know he has that one piece that he absolutely loves that you can’t stand? Just let him have it! I’m sure for every one piece of his you hate, theres 12 of yours that he cant stand.

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It’s really easy to get selfish when you’re designing, but keep in mind you’re not the only one who lives there. Lets give our husbands a break from florals and have a house hes actually excited to come home to.

*All images were chosen or approved by Mr. Kenny himself.

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Dream Art Studio

So I’m goin crazy crammed in my little office corner. I am blessed to have as much space as i have… but I’ve been dreaming of a larger space… not just an office but enough room for an actual studio.

Heres some studios I’ve been drooling over…

Incredible studio for printmaking. Link found here

This colorful art studio just seems to draw out creativity… love the space for multiple different projects. Might throw me into ADD mode. See more pictures here.

LOVE this antique cubby. Great for storage.. theres antique boxes and shelves all over the room that add beautiful texture and peeling paint – just love it. See more of the studio here.

This is such a bright room! Check out more shots here.

I adore this bright, clean art studio. All the storage space and table space… oh the things i would create in there! Check out dozens of pictures on Donnas blog.

This studio to the artist Marina Dorignac is inspirational.

And of course last but not least, Mae Chevrette.

I’ve posted about her beautiful art over here but just wanted to show off her incredible, funky studio.

I know, right? I love it. The texture, the greenery, the color… love it. Also check out her work…  youll love that even more 🙂 Till next time!

-Rach

*For original source of each image – click image!

Sew Rad

Man, i am beyond cheesey these days. Deal with it. Ok so i realized the other day that i never posted about a small little project i did a while back…. my outdoor sectional! Crazy! This was my first furniture build and my first time to sew anything! SO here we go… If you dont already know and love Mrs. Ana White, you definitely need to meet her (and then “accidently” spend 3 hours searching through her site for furniture you  HAVE to build).

Now, I’m a huge outdoor person… always have been. And my last apartment (which i miss dearly now that i live in this yucky boys house) had an AMAZING porch – pretty large AND it overlooked the lake! Seriously breath taking every morning… the issue is… I’d just ahve to stand there. Because again, I’m a recent graduate where the only furniture you have is bean bags and crappy dorm room stuff. Anyway, so i stumbled across this beauty:

*enter heavenly music here*  I HAD to build it. SO i bought wood, borrowed some tools that day and started to build:

And then, voila!

I was super impressed: not only did it look great, it was SUPER sturdy too! So fabric was purchased:

Purchased outdoor fabric for cheap over at Fabric.com.  I then decided to tackle my first sewing project (with the help of Ana again with these outdoor cushion plans, and my mommy, of course!)

Then after about 57 mishaps with staining, sewing and other small disasters, i introduce to you… my first furniture build!:

So then, of course, Ana decides to post an entire outdoor sectional:

GOSH ANA! SERIOUSLY?! But the great thing about this plan, you can build it piece by piece. One end piece here, one center piece there… and you end up with this:

Isn’t she pretty?! I never got a chance to finish the back cushions… and the sad part of the story? Half of her is at my boyfriend’s apartment and the other half is IN THE GARAGE FOR STORAGE! Sad sad sad story…. but this project started my crazy furniture desires to become a reality. This week i refinished an office chair and will finish building my new office desk this week! The key to start building something… just go buy the wood. If you force yourself to do that, you’re just going to have to try! You might suprise yourself….

*All graphics by Ana White

-Rachel

DIY Map Painting

I got a request from over on this post to share a How To on my Map Painting. I have a huge love for globes and geography and I’ve always wanted a modern map but never was able to find one. So i painted it!

The blue/green background was left over test paint that i decided against using in my bedroom.

And here are the tools i used. please dont judge…

Yes kids. Its true. i painted the whole thing with a paint pen. AND this canvas was by no means tiny…. at  24 x 36 you would think I’d go through 12 paint pens to get all of it (dang russia!) but no! Just one… and i’ve used it on other projects since! I will be honest, it took me quite a while, but once i finished all the coast lines, i considered going and picking up some silver paint but i was worried the color wouldnt match and then it would just look odd. Plus, i’m stubborn! Once i get something started, I’m determined to finish it there and then without a craft store stop in between. So rather than call me “impatient” and slightly ridiculous… lets just stick with determined and perfectionistic.

There is a bit of a downside too, folks… to get the outline with the sharpie…. i used a projector. Duh da DUH DAAAAaaAaA. Sorry guys… its true. But i did find this little guy on The O for only $52.58 (is that a random # or what?):

Or throw down a little more coin with this beauty:

Isn’t is so cute?! You could just throw that sucker in your pocket!

But i do think a projector is a good investment! I also painted this stud with it:

So theres unlimited numbers of projects you could accomplish with one of these guys… PLUS: instant big screen everywhere you go! Anyway… here is some more detail shots of it:

I almost forgot! I picked silver because i really wanted to have some depth to it… its interesting – it really does look like the water is deeper than the land… it just really POPS!

Also, in this shot you can really see the texture to the piece –  when i painted on the teal background, i laid it on pretty thick and well… i finger painted : )  My roommate walked in and looked at me like i was crazy with all that paint covering my hands. Let me tell you, that was super fun! Plus i think it adds just a little bit more depth and dimension to it! Till next time!

-Rach

Dream Backyard.. sigh…

I adore the moroccan/modern theme!  Great colors, textures and depth to a fun space. The part that gets me, is both the couch and the headboard above it were left behind from the previous owners! So the owner Heather Taylor put the two together into this unique piece. To read more about her and her boyfriend you can read her blog, LA in Bloom, or take a look at the rest of their apartment here.

Wana see the place at night? I know you do…

I know, right? I would never leave my backyard…

my Date with Kate!

Had a beautiful weekend with a good friend Kate a few weeks back and we went to Austin Java (yum!) and hit up the Blanton Museum of Art that was actually quite a bit bigger that we both thought it was. There was a huge exhibit on 19th-Century prints which made me want to retake Printmaking, a Latin America Gallery, large Contemporary Gallery and (the reason why we went) Masterpieces by artists like Monet, Degas and Manet among others.

Love this piece by Monet (bottom left) and the museum had some beautiful architecture

There was a huge modern and contemporary art gallery that was pretty incredible. This is a permanent collection so go check it out! Btw, lower right is an installation called “How to Build Cathedrals” by Cildo Meireles. The top is cow bones with a column of communion wafers leading down to the floor that is covered with pennies. They used 600,000 pennies, 800 communion wafers and 2000 cattle bones!

Dining room table update!

Well guys, i decided against building my own table and chairs… as cool as that would be to say “hey, i built that!” there are SO many choices on Craigslist popping up daily for less that what it would cost for me to build. So instead… i plan on finding a piece of junk and refurbishing it! Theres nothing like breathing some life into old furniture. PLUS, its recycling! Hooray! I’ve also decided now on with whatever i build to not buy new wood. Instead i will do what i can to find used. You can use palates, find old barn wood, fences or even deconstruct old furniture. It might take longer to find the wood but if that means one less tree gets chopped down, its worth it, right?! Just make sure that the wood is not rotting or termite infested… that would be pretty awful to build an awesome chair and then have it break in half with your grandma in it sending termites running all over the dining room! (ok, a little overdramatic but hey! i could happen) Here are are some examples of furniture build from reclaimed wood. The last dining table is actually build out of old railroad wood! Talk about a conversation starter….

Older woods are great for that rustic look but also work out for modern or shabby chic… All depends on how you treat it. Till next time!

-Rachel

Your bed is WHERE?

I will tell you, i am CRAZY about hidden storage. I have about 3 ottomans with hidden storage, I am in love with storage beds with baskets and compartments… part of it comes from being a pack rat and owning a bunch of random crap – a girl needs to put it all somewhere! If you are ANYTHING like me, you need to check this site out. I will go ahead and say this is some of  THE COOLEST hidden storage furniture  I have ever seen!

“Wow, cool room!  Wait… where do you sleep?”

Honestly, I don’t think its fair to call these beauties murphy beds. These beds are ingenious, perfectly balanced pieces with sometimes 6 different uses to make the best out of any space. Can you imagine one piece of furniture that has your bed, desk, couch and storage ALL IN ONE?!

Please watch this video if you know what is good for you…

Only issue is… you have to request a quote to find out costs. That is NEVER a good sign…

But if you get one, please invite me over!

Forget politics, vote for this!

My next build project (first one is here) is a dining room table and chairs! This is the table I’ve decided to build. It seats 6 but for a 30$ part i can make it… EXTENDABLE to fit 8! Cool, huh? Also, while those 2 extra chairs aren’t in use, i can have them at my work desk and art table (which currently dont have chairs) So i figure… if i’m going to put in the effort of building a dining table from scratch, might as well shove as many friends/family around it as possible. I like really simple and i love dark wood so this table is really what i’m aiming for!

Initially, I was just going to build the table and just buy chairs, but good ol’ Ana recently posted some “easy” DIY chairs… the thing is, i like them both! What are your thoughts?

Option A: Square Chair

Option B: Upholstered Parson Chair

There are multiple pros and cons with each chair. Lets start with cons because, well… i like to mix things up.

CONS:

  • Opt A: intricate woodwork will be tricky to get even and also make the chair less sturdy (the more you chop up wood like that, the weaker it will be)
  • Opt B: Well just look at that sucker! It would probably take me a month just to get through one chair! And if i extend the table that means 8 months just for all the chairs!! Also, I am not a seamstress.  Oh, i know what you’re thinking – my cushions were AMAZING for my lounge chair… but that was just a sewn square – this is an entire chair. Its also more expensive with the cushions, batting, more wood, etc.

PROS:

  • Opt A: Love this chair ever since i saw it on West Elm. Just a fun, unique design that adds character to a room. Most of the chair is super easy to build and wouldn’t take more than a day or two.
  • Opt B: Have also always loved the Parson Chairs and never once thought I could build one from scratch by myself. Until now. MUCH more comfortable than bare wood. One of my favorite parts is i would be able to pick my own fabric! I love funky fabric so that would bring a completely new element to my dining room!

 

So there you have it! Opt A: the Squared chair; Opt B: Parson Chair, Opt C: No chairs and make my guests sit on the floor.  What do you guys think?!

 

-Rach