Interior Decorating for Men, Made Easy

It's no secret that the apartment of a single guy isn't much to look at.Whether just out of college or several years into the real world, most guys don't even attempt to shake the dorm room look of plain white walls, movie posters, centerfold pullouts, and hand-me-down furniture.

According to interior designer Kibwe Daisy, owner of Kibwe Daisy Designs and creator of the website Design for Men, some guys fall into the old fashioned belief that interior design is for girls."They don't understand the benefit of creating a space that reflects their personal style and an environment that is comfortable for them and their guests," says Daisy.Money plays a part, too." Many guys hold off on investing in furniture and making any adjustments to their apartments until they purchase a home," Daisy explains.

But, as Daisy tells it, interior design for men isn't as complicated as many think.

"Men actually have an advantage because the key to creating a masculine space is to keep it simple and say something about you," he says, though Daisy admitted that keeping things simple isn't exactly easy. "Make sure that everything that you buy has a purpose and a place in your home. And make sure to express a bit of your personality and hobbies in your space. For example, if you enjoy baseball, integrate some baseball memorabilia on shelving in the living room. But make sure you keep those items neat and organized."

What are some traps that men fall into when decorating their homes?

Well for starters, just tacking up posters without frames is a big mistake. Also, keeping the original plain white walls isn't exactly personal. Then there's the fact that most single men choose furniture that's comfortable or cheap as opposed to thinking scale, aesthetics or functionality. Men also seem to lack an appreciation for how accessories can help personalize their spaces. "While I love 'minimal,' Daisey says, "design properly displaying accessories can elevate an otherwise bland room." Finally, he warns that too many guys think overly sexual imagery is just what their décor needs -- "You may enjoy seeing naked women daily, but it tends to make women uncomfortable."

So men, ready to get started? It all begins with the proper mindset. "The first step is mental," Daisy explains. "It is time to graduate in how you live, along with the new duds for work. You deserve it!"

Then it's time to get inspired.Look through catalogs and design publications to get ideas. "Find pictures of spaces that you feel fits your style and try to emulate the design with your selections," Daisy says. "And do not be afraid to get rid of stuff-a clean slate is not a bad thing." When you're ready to shop, do your homework. "Research is key," explains Daisy, adding that you shouldn't "just go out on a mission to buy furniture," but rather look for foundation pieces, like a bed, sofa, coffee table, or storage systems.

After that it's time to accessorize. Collect artwork and other things that reflect where you've been. "That way your place starts to tell a story about you and where you've been," he says. Finally, maintain what you've accomplished and keep your spaces neat and uncluttered.

But be careful, Daisy warned, personalizing your space can be addictive -- "Once I started to experiment on my apartment with affordable solutions, I was hooked."
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