30 Jun Do men do interior design?
Of course some men ADORE interior design.
However, there are plenty P.L.E.N.T.Y of men who’d rather have their nostrils plucked than go shopping for cushions and curtains. But interiors are not just about accessorising, colour palettes and the latest wallpaper.
Interior design is about space, more to the point, creating a space that’s perfect for you. Imagine that, gentlemen. It probably looks like this in your mind:
So I’m sorry to have to point out that interior design is also about reality! Understanding location, lighting, context, existing architecture, lifestyle choices and budget are all much bigger considerations than fashion (because while I like to bring my clients’ homes up to date, I will never do so at the expense of HOW they live).
Professional design starts with a brief. It starts with an exploration of how people live, where they spend their time, what their priorities are, what their individual taste is, and how much money they’ve got to realise these needs, tastes and desires.
Never, never do I set off down the high street with clients in tow without a very clear brief. In fact, most clients have no desire to hit the shops at all, except for the insisted upon ‘bums on seats’ day when sofas, armchairs and dining chairs are tried for comfort. Getting these things wrong can be painful (literally) so small sacrifices must be made… a quick trip to the shops to sit down… is that really so difficult?
The Man Space
Designing ‘man spaces’ is a real privilege. Because these are out of the ordinary spaces. We all have living rooms, bedrooms and kitchens, but when men decide they want to be involved in interior design, they generally want something specially designed for them. These spaces then feel more like how a car is designed (technical and controllable), rather than how most rooms work (comforting and aesthetically pleasing).
Men spaces fix problems. Of course they do…
INTERIOR DESIGN PROJECTS
These are not my work (alas…) but let’s have a look at them as projects:
Why work with a rusty old BBQ when you can design your own outdoor kitchen?
Use materials that are suited to the outdoors – cedar cladding (to match the garden office), powder painted metal work (to match the bifold doors), a pitch roof (to sit harmoniously with the house roof).
Create storage for items that belong in this space – why clutter somewhere else? Create a place for everything to belong (the interior designer’s mantra…)
Don’t forget the basics, this structure is after all shelter (Maslow’s number 1 & much needed during Brit summers). It also supplies light (ideal when there are sharp knives and boiling water around) and running water.
My (woman’s) bike measures 600mm wide at the handle bars, 1800mm in length and 1070mm at its highest point, in short it’s a royal pain to house. Add the children’s (new and old) bikes and it’s enough to make us want to undo the garage conversion.
What kind of a space could you create if the walls were wide enough (ie approx 650mm) to house the bikes? This is genius. Of course, there are plenty of spare shapes too – in this image they protrude but I’d keep them within the wall -and use them for helmets and pump paraphenalia. If you don’t mind cluttering up the clean plywood look then a few well placed hooks could also tidy up the bags or even clothes.
And I leave you with garage porn. The mechanics are an investment, to say the least, but the wow factor will be staggering. As long as the car that is coming up and out meets expectations!
If you have a project you’d like to talk through, or a man who needs to be reminded of how exciting design can be, then please do get in touch.