Thanks to the surge in popularity of industrial design, a man's cosy den is the latest opportunity for interiors inspiration.
Masculine style often conjures images of sad bachelor pads or ultra-minimalist spaces, but think again. The new masculine space can actually be a stellar compromise between the sexes - not too frilly, yet not too sterile. It's filled with supple leather, burnished brass, thick textiles and print-inspired artwork, providing the perfect comfy spot for a man - or woman - to while away a Sunday afternoon with the week's papers. A masculine interior takes a little finessing to ensure it doesn't cross the fine line from warm and cosy, to dark and dreary. Here are four key pointers to help you bring this top trend into your living space.
1 Tone and Texture
The key to masculine style is to lean heavily on warm, neutral tones like browns, greys, and even deep, dark blue. Layering natural textures like wooden table tops and thickly woven textiles bring warmth into your space.
Adding an industrial edge with metallics will make the room feel expensive and finished without breaking the bank. That little sparkle instantly adds an ever-so-slightly feminine touch. Consider brass table lamps or iron hairpin table legs on the coffee table.
Buy it: Bermondsey table lamp by Garden Trading, €142, amara.com
3 Graphic Artwork
Bold, black and white artwork in simple black or metal frames makes a big impact. Maps or vintage posters can also add interest and meaning to the room. If you don't have the budget for expensive artwork, sink a little extra cash into the framing for an instantly expensive look.
Buy it: 'Ah Here' print by April & The Bear, €20, aprilandthebear.com
Leather couches in deep, chocolatey brown can give masculine style a base, but watch out for overstuffed sofas that scream 'rental'. Look for Chesterfield-inspired tufts or mid-century square lines. And if a leather couch isn't on the cards, opt for leather accents - a chair or photo frames.
Buy it: George armchair, €1,235, House of Fraser
Does the thought of lashing charcoal paint on your walls make you nervous? Have no fear, dark paint colours aren't just for seasoned interior designers. The first step in making dark shades work is to choose just the right colour. Try Farrow & Ball's Blue Hague - a deep, luxurious navy; or creamy Charcoal Grey from Sanctuary at Homebase. Then layer in warm wood tones and patinated/oxidised metal accessories.
If you're still wary, Kirsty Maclagan at Farrow & Ball suggests: "A feature wall is a striking way to highlight a rich, strong tone such as burgundy into a smaller space without it being overpowering. Painting wooden furniture and accessories such as picture frames or shelves is a great way of introducing depth of colour without making the room close in." Paintbrushes ready?