Turn your man cave into a handsome haven

Updating your home post-divorce?  Here are some winning interior design ideas and tips to transform your bachelor pad into a stylish, yet masculine abode.

Not every man wants a pin-ball machine in their living room or a collection of Blue Bull caps on their mantelpiece. Manly doesn’t have to mean tacky. In fact, it shouldn’t.

“A masculine interior should be synonymous with style, sophistication, and elegance,” says Vinette Diab Nicholls, owner of DIYgirls INTERIOR. “Most of our male clients know what they like and know what they want when it comes to interior design. They just need some guidance to turn their ideas into reality.”

Single dads have an additional challenge: They also want their home to be a place where their children can flourish.

In the past decade, single dads have come a long way, scooping up parenting responsibilities that weren’t commonplace before. Today, they enjoy shared custody and field emails from the same room where their children are doing homework. 

As an interior decorator and a mother of two, Vinette has seen that the old cliché “home is where the heart is,” holds true. “Single dads want family homes too.” 

With thoughtful interior design, it’s completely possible to strike the perfect balance between a child-friendly family home and a stylish, masculine living space. “All it takes is a little design know-how.”

Tips from an interior decorator for creating a masculine, contemporary interior design

Read on to find out how a moody, contemporary design can offer the ideal solution:

The basics of masculine home styling

Masculine interior design is a functional, no-nonsense trend that is all about creating a practical living space with natural elements, simple lines and statement features.  While the style is open to interpretation and doesn’t necessarily need to be manly, the trend calls for comfort and smart minimalism, with a focus on saturated colours, comfortable furnishings, strong materials, and bold lines. 

Masculine interior design home styling with DIYgirls INTERIOR 

A manly colour palette

This interior trend is all about deep, rich, dark hues that create an elegant and sophisticated backdrop. While a monochrome or ash palette with lots of whites, blacks and greys works wonders to create a neutral base for the masculine interior, an addition of royal blue, forest green, matte gold, amber or mocha will add loads of interest. To soften the look, add terracotta or even blush pink, as we did in this guest bedroom:

A masculine colour palette can be softened by adding blush pink accents

Minimalist interior design and raw materials 

Use elements like natural stone, wrought iron and stainless steel to create a feeling of industrial functionality. Then add warmth with accents of wood and leather. The bedside table in this master bedroom oozes warmth with its walnut finish, while the Rimpi Leather Bench introduces interest and texture against a cool, screed wall.

Using raw materials in masculine interior design

Texture and shape 

Mix up texture, shape, and pattern to bring your masculine interior to life. Think clean, simple lines, sharp edges, and lots of contrasting textures and patterns. Combine stripes with geometrics, layer rugs, and mix up different shapes in your soft furnishings.

Mixing texture, shape and patter will bring life to a masculine interior

Table décor and accessories 

Many men flinch at the idea of sculptures, vases, and scatter cushions. They often have the misconception that these accessories are girly. (In fact, an ex-partner’s love for scatter cushions might have contributed to the divorce!) But these accent pieces are key to balancing your manly space.  

You can also add brass and gold, or some traditional, old, or vintage items to add some old-world charm. Look how we styled this coffee table below. The vases and books add depth and will give your home a timeless quality.

Table decor and accessories are key to balancing a masculine interior space

Contemporary wall art

As much as a blank wall can be fabulous in a minimalist space, the right wall art will add loads of sophistication and will spark up conversation. If you don’t have the budget for original art (who does?) black and white photography or prints will also do the trick. Just make sure you use quality paper and frames. 

Wall art is a key element in minimalist interior design


Greenery is always a sure-fire way to add life to a home, literally and figuratively. And don’t stress: If you don’t have time to nurture a plant, get a low maintenance one like the Delicious Monster below. This plant basically takes care of itself and adds instant interest. It’s also the perfect way to bring the outside in and to fill those awkward, empty spaces that just need a little something.

Click here to learn more about caring for your Delicious Monster.

Interior designers love adding life to a home with greenery

With these foolproof interior design tips, you’re one step closer to your dream home, brimming with manly style and sophistication.