Good Questions: How Do I Create An Urban-Masculine Apartment?

Good Questions: How Do I Create An Urban-Masculine Apartment?

Gregory Han
Nov 6, 2008

AT reader Haris writes in with this question about his first "grown up" apartment.
Dear AT,
I rent, so I am not able to alter a lot of things that need construction, etc. I would like to give my bedroom an urban / New York / masculine / Tom Fordish type of feel. I love pinstripes, fur, linen textures in fabrics, the combination of brown and gray (I love camel and heather grey). I don't want to have a bedroom that is very dark however. So my questions are...

  1. Where do I look for inspiration? Do you recommend any books on apartments? How do I start? Do I decide on the colour of the walls first?
  2. I bought the rolling storage from West Elm, but the "espresso" is too dark for my tastes. How do I lighten it up?
  3. What colour do I paint the walls? I want them to have an industrial sort of feel (not sure)? I am also thinking of dressing one wall with Papilio wallpaper from Osborne & Little.
  4. Where could I find (beaver) fur rugs? Is it a no - no?

Haris, congrats with your first real apartment. We're glad to hear you're trying to make it all your own. To answer your questions:

1) Of course we're going to have to recommend you get a copy of Apartment Therapy Presents: Real Homes, Real People, Hundreds of Design Solutions, as it is filled with 40 real world apartments and homes to inspire your own abode. Another great resource that is absolutely free is to go back and check out our Fall Colors and Smallest Coolest Contests from years past. One of our favourite "masculine" interiors was posted on Unplggd awhile back, so give that a peek.

2) Your rolling storage can either be refinished/repainted, or accessorize with a fabric runner, frames, flowers, books or a myriad of other touches that will make the espresso a backdrop rather than a focal point. You could also add a padded fabric back as a contrast, since the cube style storage appears to be missing a back.

3) How about using warm grays, whites and black for punctuation, like shown above?

We like the idea of adding some textured wallpaper to one wall, and the Papilio wallpaper will add an additional layer of colour and texture to the room. Another recommendation is not to just look for decor publications and sites for inspiration. Take note of men's fashion for colour combinations, textures and details you'd like to see in your interior. A room, like a suit, can exude personality just by some minor details in colours and accessories.

4) Could we interest you in a modern take of the fur rug that doesn't involve actual pelts?

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