For The Single Man

By Kate Riley April 4, 2016

As women, our inclination is to decorate our spaces to suit our personal tastes. If we’re married, the following question presents itself: how do we blend masculine and feminine style, a topic much written about (and for another day).

Over the weekend, I was with a group of friends hanging out a single male friend’s place, and it was decorated with what are consistently favorites of the male sex: wood plank floors and walls, a leather sofa, a large TV, and a bar. It was a true bachelor pad, and it was very cool. It was comfortable and fun and fit his lifestyle perfectly.

It got me thinking about masculine style and how men go about setting up their spaces when there is no woman in their life. These days defining styles as “masculine” or “feminine” can be grounds for criticism but there is still some truth to the generality that most men prefer to decorate with specific elements (ahem, I’m looking at you wood and leather).

Let’s recognize there is an allure to the bachelor pad done well. Masculine style by definition includes wood, leather, brass, his hobbies, dark hues, and spaces that fluctuate between rustic cabin and gentlemen’s club. Masculine leaning living spaces take shape with the textures, hues, and elements found in these spaces:

 black and wood chairs


 masculine living room space


 gentlemens loft

bk interiors

 leather sofa plaid pillows

 black shelving leather chair


 leather chesterfield

 motorcycle in loft

rue mag x 2

leather sofa masculine space

johnson McLeod

 masculine casual dining space


masculine bathroom


 masculine home office

style at home

 home office dark walls


 masculine office


masculine closet wood shelves

robert Elliott

 leather headboard masculine bedroom

siemasko + verbridge

 masculine bedroom


 black and brass kitchen


 black kitchen leather stools


black kitchen croc stools

elle decor

Sure these spaces are guy friendly but ladies let’s admit, they’re pretty amazing!


  1. Good article. I find this style very appealing. I’d even go for the (clean) motorcycle in the living room. But I know what you mean by the cliches of “masculine style.” A chrome & glass coffee table in front of a black leather sofa come to mind . . . oh, hello ex-boyfriend.

  2. Great post! Even as a female I loooove this style. Parts of our home are decorated with similar elements. I find it so sexy and sensual. Kind of like a good men’s cologne. Great inspiration pics to file away. Especially when you come into the conundrum of a big brown leather couch. We have one I call “Bessie” because it’s like s big ol cow but we love it. It kind of takes up too much visual weight at times but as the pics above show, lightening it up with pillows in a balancing color solves that.

    • “sexy and sensual” yes I’d agree Megan! Too funny about “Bessie” great idea to lighten with pillows :)

  3. Funny thing…our living room is decidedly masculine, with a touch of traditional. Leather sofa, tufted back menswear tweed chairs and dark wood pieces. BUT, I have accesories that lean to girly too, though not much of it. My husband actually commented that the living room was looking “dark” in style. so I am gradually trying to move in another direction. As it is, I don’t mind it, but when our new house is finished, I plan to bring in a rug that will perk it up! I figure as long as we don’t have huge animal heads on the walls like my friend does, I’m okay with what I have! Her husband now wants to hang an antique rifle above a doorway, on top of having four deer heads around the rooms. No thanks!

  4. I actually prefer masculine rooms. (Minus the motorcycle.)
    When I see pictures of them I want to redo my home. But I just wonder how long I could actually live in a dark, moody space. Would I tire of it quickly? Would I miss light & bright? I’ll never know.

    • I guess you just never know until you darken your spaces and live with them for a while Mary, I like the motorcycle just not in the living room ;)

  5. I’m confused as this is my style completely (except I have faux leather – much more animal friendly!) and I am defiantly a woman!

    Ah, maybe the common rule doesn’t always fit :)

  6. I don’t know that these are that masculine. They are just restricted to an extremely narrow color palate: black, white, brown. I feel for men that feel they need to adhere to this severely limited range of color to feel masculine!

  7. I’m a lady and would absolutely live in that Ionny Brooklyn apartment towards the top. Gorgeous!

  8. yes, it has always been a challenge to decorate when a man and woman live together. It takes skills to find the right balance. I am almost certain that if my fiance was to live alone by himself, he’d have everything black. I like the different textures in this space though!

  9. My husband likes old-fashioned flowery wallpaper, patchwork quilts, and ornate dishes. Basically, if his Grandma might have had something similar, he’s all for it. I prefer clean lines and a neutral palette. Fortunately, I do most of the decorating and shopping ;-)

  10. My husband (who is super masculine…. he’s an athlete for a living for example) beyond loving ugly but comfy leather sofas, is actually the one in our home who has a penchant for pastel colours, frensh antiques, and collecting blue and white porcelain… he just uses me as a front for his penchants… while I’d prefer to lean to dark and masculine ;)

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