Restyling: Feminine to Masculine

A few months ago when we put in our new wall shelves, I styled them up in a way that mostly appealed to me. Some brights, some naturals, mostly feminine. Yes, there COULD be more girly junk (mirrored stuff, damask print stuff, etc) but in general it leaned to the girly side. Then a few weeks ago I was giving them the eye from my workspace sofa, and wondered if I could take MOST of the same elements but give it a masculine feeling instead. Just to show my (few) male readers that "styling" isn't just for the girls.

Here are the results...

First, the original (girly) vignette:

And my more masculine take:

Despite the obvious lighting differences, you will see that the color palette is changed out for more neutrals, I used darker tones, and there are fewer bitsy pieces.

However, elements that stayed are what I consider to be gender neutral - stone, globes, baskets (especially vintage Indian baskets, like this one). I added a tarnished silver bowl (polished strikes me as more feminine), swapped out the lucite frame for a dark wood one, added a small wooden bowl, and changed out some of the brighter book covers for black and white.

During this process, I realized that we don't OWN a lot of accessories that I consider to be masculine - is that because in general the idea of "accessorizing" is pretty feminine? I don't know many bachelors that would start accessorizing with more than a cool poster.

Other ideas for masculine elements (that I would have brought in if we had them):

  • Leather (maybe a leather covered box or picture frame).
  • Trophies (vintage, so cool).
  • Sports paraphernalia (Ryan's not really into sports, but for another guy I might include a prized signed baseball or pennant).
  • Taxidermy (for bookshelves, something along the lines of a single (naturally shed) antler, beetle in lucite...
  • Wood (the wooden bowl was a good start, but even a cool piece of driftwood would work)
  • Metal (an abstract sculpture, vintage signs)

Of course, I'm not implying that women won't like these things, or even that all men would like these things - but in a design sense, a "masculine" object is a little rough, unfinished, and dark/neutral. And so much of it is about texture.

How do you think I did? What elements would you swap around to make a masculine look?