The Masculine Shabby Chic.

I can’t deny that I’m a huge fan of the shabby chic décor. There’s something so refreshing and airy about it! It’s like living in a pillow: white, soft, and oh-so-soothing. It feels muddled and actually lived in. But as much as I love the fluffy, feminine touch of the shabby chic we all know and love, there’s something to be said about the warm tones and textures of masculine décor.

browndresswithwhitedots:</p><br /> <p>Hans Blomquist<br /><br />

although it too dark for my taste, i can't stop admiring it. love the trunk! -dorel

Oh yes. The distressed leather. The haphazard throw blanket and pillows. The rustic touches and vintage goodness. It’s the perfect mixture of hard and soft, warm and cold, and it feels like home.

vintage scenarios

the color and distress of that leather kills me (also really love the cluster of frames and objects on the wall)

This is what I like to call the masculine shabby chic. It’s a little Restoration Hardware meets Rachel Ashwell: 1 part rustic, 1 part vintage, a dash of industrial, and all man!

In fact, if these rooms were a man, they would be Ryan Gossling or Aidan from Sex and the City; they ooze masculinity but maintain that mysterious, sensitive side…

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Ok, this guy isn’t too bad either…

Want to add a little masculinity and mystery to your own home? Here’s a good start:

Masculine Shabby Chic

Lancaster Leather Sleeper Sofa, Vintage Cage Light / Faux Fur Throw / Vintage Grain sack Pillows, Vintage Yellow Books, Vintage French Paperback / Anton Coffee Table / Vintage Tulu Rug / Baru Yellow Round Stool / Beach babe Surf Art, Steampunk Fox Art Print, Vintage Framed Postcard, Little Boxes Wall Shelf / Vintage Brass Accent Table, Whisky Stones

GO BOLD & GO STRIPES!

Ok, I’m starting to see a bit of a pattern here – first, I paint a fun little stripe on this dresser:

Antique Dresser Green

Then I go and buy this oh-so adorable diaper bag, and then up go the stripes in the nursery:

Nursery in Progress

And today, I actually find myself wearing not one but two layers of stripes! Do you see where this is going? I think it’s leading to a bit of an infatuation…

Yes, I can’t deny that my eye has been drawn to the bold pattern of stripes: rugs, curtains, couches, clothing, shoes – you name it, and I probably want it in stripes. Perhaps it’s the heat of summer, or the dramatic bundle of joy that’s about to enter my life, or maybe it’s simply a way to escape the many realities pounding at the back door, but most recently, I’ve been gaga for even bolder and sometimes whimsical stripes of black and white.

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(By the way, this amazing room reminds me of this gorgeous bag currently on my wish list!)

Not just any black and white, of course, but black and white with that bright, happy pop of color. There’s something so surreal and positive about this combination – it’s empowering! But as empowering as it is, it does not have to overpower a room.

The rug in the room you see above, for example, is most definitely bold, but instead of the eye being drawn directly to the rug, it is ever-so-slightly diffused by the pop of turquoise and the whitespace above it – the eye is first drawn to the rug, then up to the turquoise table, and then further up to the patterned throw pillows (which pop against neutral background of the couch), and then finally to the whitespace and elegant artwork. Now imagine this whitespace filled with a colorful collection of art – whoa! A little too much going on there, eh? Without a focal point, the eye doesn’t know where to land, and what is individually bold and beautiful simply becomes a jumbled mess of color.

Allow the stripes to become center-stage by creating a bold white-space around it.

If you’d prefer to add stripes a little less in-your-face, consider the smaller pin stripe. And rather than using whitespace as a separate focal point, create a neutral background.

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For example, the gallery of artwork you see above is simple and elegant. It has in it a touch of color but nothing that overwhelms the senses – the blue floral painting with gilded frame being the most eye-catching (which the blue throw pillow on the couch draws the eye away from). And despite the stripes, the natural color of the rug maintains a calming presence. The bold stripes of the couch now becomes diffused by the natural, earthy tones surrounding it. The eye is initially drawn to the couch and as it sweeps across the rest of the room without another focal point to land on, it then takes in the whole picture – the layers blend together to create a glamorous yet relaxing atmosphere.

Give the stripes a more easy-going presence with a neutral, earthy backdrop combined with smaller, thinner stripes.

Of course, if your home is anything like mine – down-to-earth and rustic with a cottage-y feel, you may feel like there just isn’t any room for the boldness of black and white! But don’t give up hope my friends, there is always room…

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You can add a lightweight and naturally textured throw rug at your back door. What an amazing juxtaposition with the otherwise distressed and rustic detail! And that pop of red – oh my.

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You can add it to wicker to maintain that cottage look with a slightly glamorous twist.

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Or you can add it into your tablescapes – indoor or out.

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You can create a little glamour just for the bedroom…

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Or you can simply wear it!

So tell me, how do you plan to infuse stripes into your life?