Ask an Expert: Dave Hime

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Masculine Design Tips

Q: Hi Dave, I have just discovered your website, Japanese Trash, I have been looking on the internet for inspiration and your website photos are awesome and just what I have been looking for. I love it… We are in the process of building a beach-house on the Coromandal in New Zealand and am going to TRY and follow the masculine design as I find most of it robust and hardwearing. I see you are drawn to colour texture and simple materials. Do you have guidelines or tips? Thank you for the opportunity to ask the questions. -Donna-

A: Hi Donna! Thanks so much for your kind words about—I always appreciate feedback on what’s going on there. As far as tips on masculine design go, one of my tried and true rules is: be sure to include variety. Especially in your situation designing a beach house. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of only incorporating a single type of texture or material. For example, mix a rough wood table with sleek cabinetry and slick stone flooring to maximize visual interest without doing too much to compete with the natural beauty of the location.

Image: Planete Deco

Adding a "Girly" Touch to an Industrial Space

Q: Hi Dave! Big fan of your work I enjoy masculine/industrial designs but am still a princess at heart. What is your take on incorporating a little bit of “girly” into masculine designs? Say, adding a touch of pink to an industrial style room? Thanks! -Ellen-

A: Hi Ellen, and thanks for the question! I think adding your own touch of “girly”—be it adding pink together with industrial style, or any other personal style—is how to keep your interiors from becoming boring (or, worse, just like everyone else’s)! The best way to do that is to find small or subtle ways to add a strong color like using throw rugs, accessories, and even painting unexpected undersides/insides of lighting fixtures.

Image: Hither and Thither

Design Balance

Q: Hi Dave! Have you been able to find the harmony between masculine and feminine design? I love flowers and natural forms of beauty, but I don’t want my space to become too overly feminine. What’s the trick to finding that balance? Thanks for your help! -Tessa-

A: Hi Tessa! Finding balance is something we all have to do, right? In décor, I think it’s helpful to think of your pieces in a space as having “conversations” with each other. How does the chair relate to the artwork? How do the lamps reflect the throw? I see this done extremely well, especially when it comes to balancing masculine and feminine, in what used to be called vintage or rustic décor—what’s now more likely to be called “Bohemian” style. That style can also be surprisingly sophisticated, like this bedroom, which mixes masculine and feminine oh so well.

Image: François Halard for Vogue

This Week's Ask an Expert: Jillian harris

Jillian Harris is an interior designer who first charmed us with her irrepressible humour on The Bachelor. She was a designer on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and currently is a co-host on Love it or List it Vancouver. Jillian jets between the U.S. and Canada to run her firm Jillian Harris Design.

This week Jillian will be answering question about how to incorporate vintage into your kitchen design. Ask her a question here.

1 Comment

  1. Great ideas!! Thanks for sharing. It can sometimes be difficult when both the husband & wife have a strong design opinion.

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Dave Hime, founder/curator of, has been an interior design addict for as long as he can remember. In 2005, he bought a house-in-progress and missed several opportunities to have an influence on his own home decor–leaving him wanting more. With design heroes such as Blake Dollahite ( and Robert & Cortney Novogratz (, Dave began seeking out online resources that would exemplify the interior design practices he's most drawn to: using color, texture and simple materials well. Bringing all of this together, along with his specific focus on providing interior design inspiration from a man's point of view, is Dave's mission: masculine design.