Dude Design


We've all been there. You move in with the guy in your life and whether it be simply a roommate, friend, boyfriend, brother or husband...more often than not the place needs a little sprucing up. Now I'm not talking about the exceptions to the rule...because no doubt there are countless AMAZING male designers out there. 

I'm speaking about the "dude" in your life who's idea of "decorating" is stacking boxes against the wall and scattering TV remotes everywhere. The man who has completely blank walls (save a "Scarface" poster) and a neutral toned old futon sitting in the middle of the room. THIS is the character I'm describing.

My husband, Ken, is one of those men. He is creative and logical at the same time, with a wicked knack for making me laugh. I think a quality most people enjoy about him is his positive sense of self, as well as his interesting hobbies (beer brewing and short films, to name a couple). He is quirky people, I mean really. And he is truly my best friend.

But I gotta be honest he sucks at making a living room look cute. Big shocker right? I wouldn't really WANT him to be good at that, because then what would I be writing about currently?

Despite his lack of skills, I was surprised to find out that he actually did care a little bit. I think as women we sometimes assume men don't really care how we decorate (and maybe that's true sometimes). However, I think they care a little more than they would ever let on.

SO, in a rare moment of compromise from my end, I decided to find a way to incorporate some of his style into our home. Here are some minor tips and findings along the way (this is by no means an exhaustive list).


Tip #1: Manly Mood Board

Work out your ideas by collecting some things that represent the "him" in your home. It's actually pretty fun!

Manly mood board

I will fully admit my husband is pretty young at heart and still loves Legos. If you think it's weird, fine...I think it's awesome! And I think a lot of guys would say they love Legos if they thought they could still get away with playing with them. I'll also admit I did not make this mood board before decorating when we were first married, but I sure wish I had!

Ha, is this mood board making you chuckle? Yes, maple syrup is a big deal around my household. 


Tip # 2: Blended Family

What styles or items do you have that can somehow mesh together?


Computer end table

I love vintage...and Kenneth loves quirky, bizarre, "nerdy" type items. Hmmm, how to synergize the two..(yes I DID just make up the word synergize).

I realized that some of Ken's old computers were actually very retro in appearance. He had been using the "super computer" pictured above as an end table since before we were married. It dawned on me that I really liked that idea, I only needed to find a lamp that looked good with it and...ta da! Perfect example of our styles blending together nicely. I'm planning to use that computer as an end table for as long as possible, as guests really seem to get a kick out of it. What a cool way to recycle too! Good idea That Guy! ("That Guy" is my nickname for Ken)


Tip # 3: Meet in the Middle

You are going to have to compromise, something I REALLY don't like doing!



Yikes, so this is my least favorite tip. I even feel a wee bit hypocritical writing it because I'm extremely stubborn. The single best way to add a little "man-ish" touch to a room without it looking tacky is to compromise on the little things. Think of it this way: Wouldn't YOU rather decide how to place the video game consoles, work boots and movie posters? I realized that some of these items were really important to Kenny, and it really wasn't fair for me to get rid of every part of his bachelor pad (and trust me, I got rid of PLENTY). Thus, the key is figuring out how to use these items to an advantage that suits us both.

Was I big fan of filling our coffee table with Legos? Not at first. However when I realized it really did look cool, why not? People who come over really enjoy it, so why sweat the small things? And hey, Ken really did have a GREAT idea here.


Tip # 4: Don't Break Things While Blogging About Your Husband


Sorry that guy! I promise it was an accident....uh, you have 2 more! I'll buy you another? Hmmm....


I hope this post was helpful to some of you out there. We are currently looking to buy our first home, so I can't wait to apply even more of these ideas then...of course I'll be SURE to share them along the way. Any of you have any tips on this topic? I'd LOVE to know!