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The cliché of an eternally chaotic student pad occupied by a 40-something man as if he were 20 years younger may still occasionally be encountered, although most men tend to prefer a more orderly and aesthetic home ambience.
Yet it’s sometimes painfully obvious that the households of single males lack womens’ archetypal nest-building instinct.
Whilst women are naturally skilled at artfully combining colours, shapes and objects, many men seem incapable of duplicating this feat. In reality, however, they merely “tick” differently and consequently apply different criteria when furnishing and decorating their homes.
Functionality is important but no longer all that counts
Men typically have a more practical bent. They look for high-quality materials and good workmanship. But they also increasingly value attractive designs, so functionality is no longer the only thing that matters to them (although it continues to be important). A couch or armchair is no longer simply a place to sit; now it is also expected to harmonise with the room’s overall appearance and perhaps even serve as a special eye-catcher. What captivates men is good-quality workmanship enhanced by clever little technical or practical extras. For instance, a bed can score points with them if it has integrated bedside tables. They now also attach greater importance to brands, like in the cases of cars, tools and watches. If everything is just right, men are also more likely to reach deeper into their pockets. Where floor coverings are concerned, brand-name laminate flooring “made in Germany” is all the rage. The wide spectrum of different decors fulfils their wish for attractive designs. What’s more, laminate floors are both robust and easy to clean, which satisfies their yearning for functionality. The authentic natural-wood looks of the extra-long panels of the MAMMUT series make an exquisitely elegant impression. At the same time, they are extremely rugged and hardwearing. The Harbour Oak decors of the EXQUISIT series are also popular because of their prominent, natural-looking grain.
Too Much of a Good Thing
A home that’s thoroughly styled from top to bottom can easily seem sterile and catalogue-like. If every single detail is absolutely perfect and arranged, guests will feel uncomfortable, as if there were “do not touch” signs pinned everywhere. It’s hard to relax in that kind of setting – it may be totally chic, but it winds up coming across as frigid and anonymous. What’s missing is individuality. It’s an unfortunate fact that a home like that doesn’t tell you anything about who lives there. Having the courage to break with the style here and there fills rooms with life and personality.
Decorating Without Plush Accessories
Scented candles, velvet cushions, airy curtains – the decoration departments of furniture stores are a paradise for women but a horror trip for many men. This doesn’t mean that men entirely dispense with accessories, however. They are simply more likely to buy fewer but larger decorative articles. An imposing piece of modern art measuring two by two metres might decorate a wall, for example, or a towering plant could replace a windowsill array of pot plants.
Striking Pieces Made of Natural Materials
As men often like to decorate according to the maxim that “less is more”, the few objects they place around their homes tend to be real eye candy. So they don’t choose just any old sofa that will do the job, for instance, but instead an ample black designer couch that doubles as a room’s centrepiece. Or instead of run-of-the-mill flooring, nowadays men are more likely to put in attractive laminate. An unusual floor design can also serve as an eye-catcher. Some of the decors of the are excellently suited for this: Malmö, for example, with its fascinating melange of grey and beige hues, or Kopfholz, with its truly exceptional look. Men like to adorn their homes with retro objects, specially designed shelves or utilitarian furniture. It’s important for them to be as robust as possible. For this reason alone, you’re unlikely to find a white plush sofa in a man’s home.