Thursday, September 17, 2009

Masculine Design - is it over?

Recently, fellow blogger and personal design inspiration Joni Webb of Cote de Texas did an interesting post geared toward the difference of design sensibilities in masculine and feminine design. It's no surprise that Joni prefers to decorate on a more feminine scale, her beautiful home a testament to that. It's also no surprise that she finds inspiration from designers like Saladino, Smith, and McDonald; what I find more interesting though, is the severe shift to more feminine spaces in the design world at large these last few months.

Every time I pick up a magazine, every page (that isn't filled with advertisements) has a beautifully decorated, artfully designed feminine space. Now, certainly the popularity of Swedish, Belgian, and Gustavian styles, furnishings, and finishing has attributed to the mass photography of feminine rooms, but what are you to do when you crave masculine spaces? You know, those rich but time warn, Ralph Lauren sort of hideaways. Leather, tapestry, and heavy wrought iron paired with linen, velvets, rustic woods and antique, often muddy artwork?

So many of the most fabulous design magazines, and design blogs are geared to feminine design. The loss of leather and the move to white linen slips, the banishing of rich textured orientals in favor of a more fresh and popular seagrass, the preference of snow white woodwork over rich, paneled wood tones, and the turned noses and disgust filled sighs when someone even begins to mention a jewel tone has me wondering if, perhaps, I'm alone in my preference of masculine designed spaces.

Enter inspiration, the well designed, beautifully masculine spaces I had stored for a rainy day - enjoy:


Design by Scot Meacham Wood, Thane Studio





Design by Scot Meacham Wood, Thane Studio







Design by Scot Meacham Wood, Thane Studio






I hope you enjoyed just a few of the many inspiration pictures I have filed away to remind me of the masculine design aesthetic. Maybe it's the fact that for 6-months of the year here in the frozen tundra that is Western New York, we live with white and grey. Grey skies, and snow - lots and lots of snow. So coming home to a white room with grey furniture just loses its appeal. However, cocooning away in a warm, rich, and intimate space like these - just the ticket.

And I hope that's evident in the many photos you've all seen of my home. With that said, keep the fingers crossed for a big reveal of the many changes we've made to make the house just a little more warm, as summer waves goodbye and fall settles in.

39 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh! What a GREAT post! You really bring up interesting points. I do tend to prefer feminine styles, but these photos are lovely! I'm going to be saving a few of this pictures for my own inspiration. Thanks a lot!

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  2. (hee hee) I meant to say "save a few of THESE photos..." I swear I can spell :)

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  3. I am with you Arnie...I just adore leather!!!! My love for oriental rugs still prevails..cannot get into seagrass. Thanks for these pics.

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  4. Wonderful examples. Funny, what many deem "masculine", I simply think of as cozy. No animal heads, though.

    Masculine? Feminine? As with most things, a bit of both is best, methinks.

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  5. I agree with the above poster that I find "masculine" rooms cozy and warm.
    I love all those rooms.I'd take any one of them!

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  6. Great inspiration photos. I abhor rooms that are frilly, I sure hope that designers and magazines don't go totally to the feminine side.

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  7. You make some interesting points. While I love the all white rooms, I could not have them in my home. I find that while a 21 century interpretation of a 'typical' Swedish inspired room may be white, original Swedish interiors have great texture and color.

    These rooms are inspiring and I think you may find a shift back to this warmth in the near future.

    Tricia
    Avolli

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  8. I, too, love leather and oriental rugs. My favorites were the red velvet tassled sofa and the last picture. I like English country comfy, worn although our bedroom is on the feminine side (from inherited wallpaper that I don't want to change) . . . but you'll find no white slips at Linderhof. In fact, it is a bit "dark"!

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  9. Great post Artie!

    I love love that first room. It's one of my favorites. It's the work of Scot Meacham Wood aka blogger Tartanscot(http://tartanscot.blogspot.com/) He is an extremely talented designer in San Francisco. His website has other views of that room and more.

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  10. One of my favorite designers is Rose Tarlow. Her house is my absolute favorite and I don't think I could ever tire of it's extremely masculine look. But go for what makes you happy. You can always change details/accessories to keep it current or trendy but the basics should always be what makes you happy.
    All white? Yeah, right. I share my house with dogs, cats, fireplaces, candles, family, friends, red wine spills and a country life. It's not a roped-off show room but a living breathing ever-changing organism. I wouldn't have it any other way.
    The bedroom shot is SUPER.
    G in CT

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  11. Artie,
    Loved this post and so true....I really like leather being a woman that actually lives the equestrian "lifestyle"...actually have saddles in our home for the lack of a climate controlled tack room! LOL! I like the feminine look but it's gone too far lately. I need you to come and put it all together! We have furniture from a previous home that is WAY too fussy. LOL! Love the RL look and feel of a room....comfortable and lived in.....that would be called functional!! Thanks for sharing.

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  12. I am absolutely more drawn to the masculine decorating style. Thank you so much for the dreamy photos.

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  13. Such gorgeousness, Artie!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  14. As you know, I lean towards the feminine, but I have been trying to incorporate more masculinity into my designs and our own home. When Steve and I built our home 7 years ago, I was definitely the client. In the next couple of months we're going to give it a more masculine update! You'll have to tell me what you think when we are done.

    xo
    Brooke

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  15. your selection of rooms are just divine.

    i definitely lean towards masculine taste and style.
    i like clean lines, mixed with rich tones.
    although i do like ornate items here and there for interest.

    xx

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  16. Yes--I have often wondered how men live in the femmy homes that women often decorate. How do they? I am not saying I am guiltless--but we do have a few rooms that are not so femmy (my word for it lol) . The thing that is very hard for us poor folk is trying to find masculine bedspreads for cheap. YIKES--they are almost always very femmy! I do have one on my bed that is not femmy ...but it happened to be the reverse side of the spread. And it is difficult to find inspiration to do the home in a more masculine way. AND..lastly it is hard to get inspiration for cottage decore that is not femmy. I live in a cottage that has all of these spindles and shelfs and ..well...what do you do?

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  17. hmmm. i actually love some of these rooms. what does that mean? thanks for the shout out- I;ll add this to blogs to watch on my left hand column!!!

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  18. Oh Artie...clearly you are not alone out there! Plus...I think it is always a bit dangerous to follow the shift.And change your whole style/vibe because everyone is. I, personally, do not like the frilly overfussy look at all. It never seems comfortable to just hang in...delightful, sometimes, to look at...but not be in.

    Do what you love...It'll always shine through!

    Your inspiration pics are cozy, classic and lovely.

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  19. I'm with you on this one!! Loved your inspiration photos. Sally

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  20. As long as there are men, or women who make a place for their man in their home, there will be "masculine" rooms. Or as long as there are women who like rich color and texture there will be "masculine" rooms.
    Now the size thing is another story ha ha.
    Tides always turn. Soon all will tire of the lighter shade of pale, and valentines will appear for richer colors and textures again.
    Your home is lovely as ever.
    xo xo

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  21. You got my vote... bring on this lovely balance of testosterone...beautiful! I just left a comment on Cote De Texas...I love, love, love, Ralph Lauren!
    Well said. I think I might put my little self on your followers and run you on my blog roll. I am new to blogging but I know what I like and what I can live with when I see it. My home is not nearly there yet. My next one might be.

    Lee

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  22. I think I must ditto Visual Vamp's first paragraph (hope she doesn't mind). -Brenda-

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  23. Love these inspiration pics! So true, living in winter for 6 months of the year makes you want to come home to those wonderful rich tones which create a cozy atmosphere!

    DD

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  24. Excellent pic choices. They do look cozy and yummy. Pic #2 room w/fireplace is great. I would have to have wall of windows though & looks like there might be some behind sofa. Pic #4 hallway is great too. Pic #5 LOVE IT! w/botanicals behind sofa & leather chair. WONDERFUL room. Pic #9 is yummy & cozy - love wall of books & red sofa. Pic #10 Love it - lg window, leather chairs, bamboo shade & seagrass rug. I'm from Texas & just had wall-to-wall seagrass installed in my living & dining rooms. LOVE IT!!!!! Love white slipcovers too (which I don't have - yet!) but I do need touches of color around me. Ruffles on every slipcovered piece is TOO MUCH. The "lots of white" furniture & upholstery look is great to see in mags & store vignettes. I do love it but as I said before - I personally need a few colorful touches in the mix. Thanks, GayR from Baytown TX

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  25. Excellent thoughts Artie. I often wonder if my husband and son actually like some of the rooms I have "forced" upon them over the years. I think Barclay Butera does an excellent job of mixing the feminine and masculine in the same room. Michael S Smith can also decorate a room that seems to fit a man or woman. Lots to think about Artie! Great post!!! Kelley : )

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  26. Got carried with my pic comments and forgot to mention - I LOVE COTE DE TEXAS & Joni Webb. I LIVE for her blogspot. She is so talented and Cote de Texas has the BEST pics and commentary anywhere! Texas is lucky to have such a gracious and talented lady - and she's just 30 minutes down the road from my house !!! YEA!!!! GayR from Baytown TX

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  27. Hello Artie!
    Great post in defense of the warmer tones....After many years of the layered, English interiors I find the white interiors very refreshing. Fortunately for us designers the white interior is not easy to achieve - it is very easy for it to fall flat, cold, and boring. What makes these interiors work is the addition of touches of color and dark rich woods, or just layering up the white. I was very surprised after painting out a wood paneled room in warm white how cozy it was when it was snowing outside with the fire going....the Swedes really do understand this! However having said all this every color is beautiful as is shown in the wonderfully rich room you show full of my favorite greys. I do understand that where we live does play a big part in how we choose to do our interiors. Which means of course we should all have multiple houses to satisfy all these different styles. Too many choices, to few rooms to decorate! Sorry to have been absent for so long... I will explain as soon as I start posting again! Keep well Artie in your cozy lovely home....
    Nancy

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  28. Love, love, love the masculine leanings in rooms. To me they are the timeless, rugged, built to truly last elements. Masculine rooms hug the participant (ground them) in a way that frou, frou rooms never can with a color scheme that typically leans darker and smoother than it's feminine counterpoint.

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  29. Hi Artieness! Oh, what a lovely post! These rooms though masculine are so lovely and cozy! Can't wait to see your reveal. Hope all is well with you in your world!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia :)

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  30. HEy Artie,
    I do like the masculine look with rich hues and leathers...I am not too frilly a person when it comes to decor. Don't mind a ruffle or two on a blouse though!
    Great pix!
    Blessings...

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  31. The velvet couch.... be still my heart! I have definately a more masculine esthetic, preferring warm neutrals with touches of black everywhere. Here in Alaska we like to cozy up and those white on white, shabby chic decorating would be too cold for us during the winter months.

    Blesings ~ Eileen @ Star's Fault

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  32. * Artie, THANK YOU for a SUPERB & VISUALLY INTERESTING SHOWCASE of wonderful styles!

    Personally, our (now 5 year old) new home is MUCH more on the "masculine" side as compared to the previous 35 years of our marriage, & both Jim & I are really ENJOYING it! It works sooooo well w/ desert living & its views, & I/we've always adored stone/rock, wonderful woods (especially mesquite), soft leathers/suedes, lots of big, glass windows and more "chunky stuff" anyway~~~ and now they're sooo beatuiful & comfy to actually L*I*V*E with!

    AND, as much as I LOVE this, I must admit to LOVING & APPRECIATING a*l*o*t of OTHER styles, too~~~~~~ Call me FICKLE, but ESPECIALLY in the summer months I fall in "endearment" allll over again w/the looks that our darlings Brooke & Joni have & enjoy~~~ soooo breathtakingly wonderful, light, simple, uncomplicated and yet sooo heavenly sophisticated.

    I've always enjoyed your home~~~ looking forward to seeing what you do for the holidays season this year!!!

    Warmest thanks for a TERRIFFIC BLOG today,
    Linda in AZ *

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  33. I just adore that purple room!! That is my favorite color.

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  34. I love your pictures... love the leather and orientals
    I wonder if design colors and choices might be geographically oriented? In my hillcountry house where the temperature was over 100 for 60 some days straight... coming home to whites and greys is wonderful... whereas if I was located where you are... I would most likely make different choices.
    Very good topic.

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  35. I would rather live in one of these beautiful spaces instead of some feminine fou-fou house anyday!

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  36. I love your pictures, very inviting rooms!
    When working with clients I often discover the masculine and feminine qualities alternate with each other!
    And you have to take into consideration both of them when you work with couples.
    I love your zebra mirror in that dining room-great accent!
    Thank you!
    Have fun with your newer make overs!

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  37. Have always been a fan of the masculine look.

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  38. I love the look of the white, slightly rumpled linen sofas but then I look at my aged Black lab and decide I love him more. I showed my 12 year old (designer in training!) a photo of a great room (ala Lauren Ross) and she said, "Mom, that just wouldn't work for us!" We need a room that's beautiful but can handle a busy family, pets, parties.....

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  39. I am definitely guilty of decorating (and blogging about) feminine in style. However, can feel a slight shift in myself...a recognition that there needs to be a balance - at least one room with a masculine vibe!

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