Textiles for Masculine Décor

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Figuring out the best way to use fabrics in home decorating is an art in and of itself, and I don’t claim to have any special wisdom in that regard. But I do have an eye for what interior designs appeal to men—so it’s from that perspective that I’m taking a look at using textiles in masculine décor.

As with most decorating, there are no hard and fast rules—what works for you, your style, and your personality is always best. But for anyone looking to create a guy-friendly space and wanting a little help or a place to start, this may be worth your time.


Traditional Masculine DecorImage: Homedit.com

Using clean, crisp white lines and adding limited color and subtle patterns is a foolproof solution for bed fabrics. The example shown above does this masterfully, using rich blues and a muted tan, while throwing in a pop of graphic fun with the black and white pillow. The addition of texture, with the burlap covered side table, is a terrific touch as well.


Southwestern Masculine Decor
Image: H&M

Theming your graphic approach with fabrics can be difficult to do well—but, as you’ll see, it’s a tried-and-true approach for manly spaces. This example takes advantage of Navaho designs once again focusing on a limited and muted set of colors. I think this works surprisingly well in the industrial setting. Though, one thing I’d likely change here is replacing the furry textured pillow with a knotty knit like the throw. Another note of caution around theme textiles: use them thoughtfully. There’s a big difference between a few Navaho pillows and using yards of the same design in curtains or upholstery.

School Days

Varsity Masculine Decor
Image: Better Homes & Gardens

This space is completely cohesive—its many parts all work together to tell a great story and show off the varsity-inspired style really well. Even if this is not your particular taste, there are some elements here that can translate easily into a different, but still masculine interior such as leather upholstery with contrasting piping, chino-like fabrics in neutral tones, and stripes.

Graphic Treatment

Swiss Cross Pillow
Image: The Cavender Diary

The iconic Swiss cross graphic works like a charm on this pillow, don’t you think? Paired with a vintage chair recovered with an Army blanket, this is my personal favorite combination of manly fabrics. I almost feel like I’m scaling the Alps in my own living room.

What textiles do you use in your man-friendly spaces?

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Dave Hime, founder/curator of JapaneseTrash.com, 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 (ruraltheory.com) and Robert & Cortney Novogratz (thenovogratz.com), 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.