Tuesday, January 31, 2012

decorating with a man in mind, part two

welcome back to the adventures of decorating with a man in mind! part one covered the living area, but this time we are moving to the bedroom.

bedrooms, in my opinion, should be safe havens from the hustle and bustle of everyday life where you can fully retreat for much-needed r&r. i would love to do an airy white bedroom with subtle pops of color and metallic accents, perhaps something like this:

sigh. doesn't it look cozy? 

since i share my bedroom with the boyfriend, there were two opinions to account for and we had to compromise (no fluffy bedding; i even showed it to him, on the off-chance that he might go for it. he did not.) 

behold our actual bedroom:

titus photo-bombing
we built those shelves!
paisley pillows add a gender-neutral pattern
my little corner

i think we achieved the cozy retreat feeling here, although you can see it is a bit of a departure from what i might do if left to my own devices! 

there are some keys to decorating a bedroom with a man in mind:

1. bedding: this can be especially challenging; practically everything is flowered, or only comes in girly colors, so striking a gender-neutral balance involves some legwork. the boyfriend really wanted blue sheets, but i prefer the white ones because i can bleach them - it makes them look fresh, even after a year or two! to compromise, we chose this blue duvet cover and i added paisley pillows for a dash of pattern. 

2. furniture style: we chose pieces with modern silhouettes, since the vintagey traditional angle can trend towards too romantic for gentlemen. the dark wood theme is carried over from the living room for some visual continuity, and the dressers fit both our budget and the dimensions of our smaller-sized bedroom.

3. adding flair: we ladies have no trouble finding tzotchkes to enhance our personal spaces, but men tend to lean towards simple, or even bare, decor. if you are sharing a bedroom, i would recommend discussing any large decorative accents, like mirrors or artwork, to make sure the room is a comfortable retreat for both parties. for example, the boyfriend used to have a poster from the movie the boondock saints hanging above his bed. that really didn't work for me, but we both loved the idea of framing some postcards that i had sent him from venice.

marshalls, tj maxx, and homegoods are wonderful for buying bedding on a budget- they stock sheet sets with high thread counts that won't break the bank, including some designer labels like ralph lauren, donna karan, and calvin klein. west elm and the company store also have great options that are affordable and aren't overtly feminine.

ikea furniture is good for small budgets, and they even have some nice wood pieces that hold up over time better than their particleboard counterparts. i love their picture frames: they're inexpensive and come in sizes that fit most pictures and prints, with a few different frame colors to choose from.

lastly, never underestimate the power of a good sale. i have found treasures from some of my favorite stores (ahem, west elm) at incredible discounts, so it never hurts to check back periodically!


  1. Love this post - you are writing about my life! Michael and I had a similar bedding discussion. We settled on Restoration Hardware's Italian Hotel Collection duvet, shams and pillow cases, white with black trim (being able to bleach was important to me as well). He had a grid of Picasso's bull fighting ink drawings above the bed in his old place (hardly creating a relaxing atmosphere), so we subbed those out for a wood block print of Venice that I bought at the stationery shop down the street from the PGC, remember it? Aside from the bed, we have a gold crushed velvet armchair (sounds awful, but it's surprisingly charming), cherry wood bedside tables and a large cherry mirror. I think mirrors are good for bedrooms with boys because they are neutral and add an open feeling to the room. I love the print you have on your dresser "I have always..." and I am wayyy jealous of your fireplace! Lovely room.