The Dappered Space is a series designed to help guys apply the sense of personal style they’ve developed to the space they inhabit. Watch for articles on furniture and decor sales & picks, advice on how to style a room or work space, and tackling creating a space that reflects your own (and perhaps a significant other’s) personal tastes. We’ll suggest items that can be sourced online, but always keep in mind that deals can be found at consignment and thrift stores, local stores with floor models, discount stores, and even yard sales.
Everyone needs their own space. Even if it’s just their car, or office cubicle, people typically need something with a few borders around it to call their own. And when humans start cohabiting together in a romantic way, in order to create that personal space, some guys take it to the extreme and create the ultimate Man Cave. You know the one. Outdated recliners and couches with cup holders built in. Kitschy posters with cars and women. Even more kitschy decor that’s typically beer or sports themed. Lots of electronics. And hey, this does create a fun space, but perhaps not the most aesthetically appealing.
If you often visit style sites, then you’re likely to enjoy a more purposefully curated space that borders more on a study than the typical man cave. And even if you like some of the typical man cave decor, the style of the decor can completely change how it looks in a room. A vintage beer or sports photo or illustration looks very different than one from current decades. With that in mind, here are some suggestions on creating a personal space that’s masculine, yet refined enough that you can entertain a variety of other types of people in it, with pride.
1. A Comfortable Chair
- Saddle Brown Pillow Lounge Chair – $319.99
- Tribeca Home Uptown Modern Accent Chair & Ottoman – $397.49
- Abbyson Living Emma Leather Armchair – $418.50 w/ LOVEMOM
- Vero Beach Chair – $699
- West Elm James Harrison Wing Chair – $999 ($1299) shown above, in black, and sold out in that color. Like shoes, you’ll notice that black leather furniture often goes on sale for much less when compared to it’s brown counterparts.
A comfortable, inviting place to sit is key to a room being somewhere you enjoy hanging out and relaxing in. Often guys opt for big, puffy recliners that definitely deliver on comfort, but are far from stylish. You CAN find style and comfort though. And a good looking piece of furniture sets the tone for a room.
- Watson Round Accent Lamp – $49
- Hudson Industrial Lamp – $49.99
- Dan Cordero Shadow Box Edison Lamp – $129
- Rust Crosby Pharmacy Floor Lamp – $150.50
The ambiance in a room can be completely enhanced, or completely wrecked, by lighting. Bright overhead lights serve their function, but can be harsh and too stimulating if you’re looking to relax. Table and floor lamps can create a much more relaxing atmosphere, and they create shadows and depth, creating naturally appealing contrast.
- 24″ x 36″ Vingt Mille Lieues sous Les Mers Canvas Wall Art – $115
- Geometry Study Red on Black Unframed Wall Canvas Art – $90.72 w/ LOVEMOM
- Tree Ring Over-sized Art Print – $150
- CG Pro Canvas Wrap – starts at $9.99
This will depend on personal taste. If you’re just not sure what that taste might be, black and white prints in distressed wood or black frames always look cool. Another great way to create unique wall art is to have a photo you or a friend personally took blown up on canvas. Have a cool shot from a past vacation? It might make an excellent wall hanging. See the shot of the London eye above. Objects can be artful too. A leather medicine ball or football can also look great in a masculine room. Even out of the ordinary objects add visual appeal.
4. A Favorite Book in Vintage Form
- Penguin Classics Hardcovers – prices vary
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – prices vary
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck – $60
- Vintage Hemingway 8 Books Collection Set – $132.65
Finding a favorite classic in vintage form can double as a decorative item. Or you can go with a reissue that has an artistic or vintage look. Not a book reader, but still like the thought of having a few around? A few thrift store stops should result in several old book finds.
5. Stationery & Writing Instruments
- Thank You Cards with Navy Line Border – $4.99
- Flying Fish Notecard Set – $20
- Terrapin Stationers Golden Rooster Stationery – $18
- Kaweco Fountain Pen – $20
- Lamy Fountain Pen – $24.49
- Tree Ring Journal – $24.99
Spending some solitary moments in a study is the perfect time to do some writing. Whether it’s writing out a note or letter to a friend, or jotting down thoughts in a journal. Decent stationery and a nice pen can make this task more enjoyable, and can also be impressive on the receiving end. Loose leaf and a bic will conjure up bad memories of painful note taking sessions from your past. A nice, smooth flowing pen and good paper? That’s recreation, not work.
6. A Small Bar
- Francois et Mimi Stainless Steel Double Wall Ice Bucket – $19.99
- Francois et Mimi Stainless Steel Cocktail Bar Tool Kit – $29.99
- Handmade in USA Rustic Wood Coffee Table Serving Tray – $71.99
- Metropolitan Dark Bronze Industrial Metal Mobile Bar Cart – $152.99
This can be either a bar cart, or a tray dedicated to beverages. Even if you don’t drink, having a set up with some nice glasses and an ice bucket can not only look good, but works just as well for sparkling non-alcoholics as it does the hard stuff. And a bar cart can be used for more than just beverages. You can place a number of decorative objects (books, plants) along side any barware.
7. A Musical Instrument
Assuming you play. But hey, even if you don’t, musical instruments can be used as decorative objects. If you DO play, rather than keeping an instrument stored in a case, why not display it? If it’s a violin worth tens of thousands of dollars, protect that sucker in a case. (Or, under glass? Do people do that?) But if it’s an affordable guitar that sees regular use, keep it out on its stand.
8. Non-Electronic Games
- Sequence Game – $14.49
- Ticket To Ride (Europe) – $32.25
- Chess Royal 30 European Wooden Handmade International Set – $36.95
- Dartboard Cabinet – $200
All of us can play an electronic game at practically anytime we want. Pick up your phone and boom, a plethora of games at your fingertips. Sometimes though, it’s really nice to take your eyes off of a screen, and look at actual 3-dimensional objects and game-boards that require more than that tap of a finger. And games like this actually require you to interact with other human beings, face to face.
Plants can help to fill in empty space, plus add color and architectural elements. The kicker is, you have to remember to water them. You could certainly go with low-water plants like cacti or succulents, but be warned: sometimes these are even easier to forget to water, since you don’t get in the habit. I’ve found one of the heartiest indoor plants that can grow pretty large and looks good is a rubber plant. Even if you forget to water it for a while, it’ll hang on.
10. A View (of some sort)
- 3 Panel Canvas Prints Ocean Floor – $48.99
- David Lloyd Glover ‘Mountain Serenade’ 35″ x 47 “- $107.49
- ‘Live Oak Avenue’ 3 Piece Photographic Print – $126.99
- Isle of Lewis 40″ x 30″ Canvas – $174.99
Not everyone has the luxury of a scenic view from their place, but even greenery outside a window can make the view more inviting (if you’re lacking some, plant some). But if your study is relegated to a room with not much to look at out the windows (or no windows at all), you can create a view through what you hang on the wall. Hanging some landscape photography that resonates with you can provide something lovely to gaze at while pondering what’s next.
Sarah is a long time member of the Dappered team, typically working behind the scenes editing posts, taking some photos, and keeping the books in good standing. Occasionally she’ll come out from behind the curtain to offer her two cents.