The Man at Home
I’m always concerned for guys who share houses with girls. Surely the inevitable girls’ encroachment i.e overspilling of ‘stuff’ and girly touches on mans’ personal space must be inevitable. I’m sure this must often happen to the poor guys, or at least I’m certain that if I lived with one, the bedroom wouldn’t be ours. Oh no. It would be mine… With a lodger sleeping there. I can’t help that I have so many things ok!?
That’s not to say that I don’t like boys’ things or boys’ style. Just check out Mat’s blog for my kinda man things. In this post I’m positively embracing the tastes of my boyfriend and his flatmate both whom, thank gaahhd, appreciate a colour scheme and a nicely arranged shelf.
They’ve just moved into their rented London space, a modern, half furnished white flat in Camden. I can’t lie, I did make some ‘creative suggestions’ and gave them a couple of housewarming gifts but otherwise the style comes from them. I promise.
The Shared Space
So what tips can I make to help with decorating your boyfriends’ house?
1 – Colour lover. We started with colours, naturally. The shared lounge and kitchen took its tones from the questionable 70s style curtains and sofas, plus a contrasting teal tone picked from some even more questionable Greek coasters. With a few colour-coordinating cushions and a throw, we toned down the bright blockiness of the sofa.
2 – Believe it or not, the boys requested more stuff to fill their shelves. Cray right?! A little vintage scavenger hunt in Brixton found a nice old tin which you could pop some ivy into and a teal tray for the table. Display notebooks like this world map journal along with DVDs and books and add a statement telephone to replace your boring black handset.
4 – My suggested addition of plants wouldn’t be the guys’ natural choice, but picking succulents and bushy lavender helps make the space feel grown up but not girly and now they love them. Sit pots next to rustic looking candles for a potting shed vibe.
6 – Pick prints! We all love bright graphic prints and those white walls were calling out for them. Instead of banging in nails on the newly painted walls, we went for twist-off sticky pads to tape down the frames. I adore the London themed prints from I Know This Great Little Place. The guys went for a north London themed one (right on colour cue too!) and map of the UK in illustrated place names. Represent! Over on the kitchen side, we picked a bright print with all the London boroughs represented from Place in Print. Why not learn a bit about your city whilst munching on your toast?!
7 – But first, coffee. Liquid caffeine is a pretty big deal in this household. My boyfriend’s a barista so a home machine is as important as a shower. Obviously, they couldn’t settle for anything drab so they picked out this bright orange Dolce Gusto machine. You simply pick up pods with your favourite mixture in the supermarket and pop one in the machine. You control the temperature and strength and in seconds, there’s your fix.
8 – Keep that kitchen tidy. The limitations of drilling into walls makes things like spice racks and shelves a no-go. We picked up this rustic tray, perfect for all the seasonings, from H&M home.
The Boys Bedroom
1 – The weird thing about boys is that they own fewer things than you. Strange because there’s no balloon pump, compact mirrors or hair ties at your disposal but useful if you want a nice clean looking room. If they are a man of stuff, it’s all about the storage. Pick up colourful boxes from IKEA and align them together on shelves.
2 – Get those colour cards out again! We went for trusty primary colours this time, with light bright blue to match the Urban Outfitters bedding and colour pops of yellow and red.
3 – Go green. Freshen up the space with bright green plants (I genuinely took a cutting of my bathroom plant and grew it into this beauty) plus pick up some £1 cacti at Columbia Road Flower Market. Boys love cacti.
4 – Lighten up. There’s nothing like a good lamp… Or 2. Luckily there are loads of anglepoise replicas out there now and the studious style looks pretty cool. We picked up the little red one in Debenhams ex-display for a fiver (similar here) which helped towards splashing out on the beautiful blue lamp from Made.com for £50. Worth. It.
5 – Push their hobbies. My boyf is big on music, your guineypig, I mean guy might be big on tech, or sport or design. Display those passions and create a space for them to live. A bright red table serves to show off a guitar and the pedals can live underneath. Above we placed a music themed print to tie together the space in colour and theme. If they’re a muso, records are a winner. Frame the sleeves and then place the records on shelves to literally show off your library.
6 – Speaking of prints, did I tell you know much I like them? The London alphabet links the colour scheme, is all designy and makes for a handy reference when you need new things to do in London! The biggest wall serves to show off the biggest print, one I commissioned my bestie Carrie to hand write. If he has passions, get them on paper and frame it. Good gift!
7 – Big softie. Soft furnishings are your final touch. Yes boys, you do need that contrast colour cushion. Look how nice it looks now! Pick up affordable cushions and rugs in H&M, Urban Outfitters and Oliver Bonas.