17 Manly Home Decorating Tips for Guys Who Are Clueless

Having a home that is simultaneously attractive and masculine doesn’t mean only hues of brown and loads of animals heads on the wall. Not every guy is Teddy Roosevelt, though most of us wish we were. There’s no reason a fellow can’t make his home lovely, female-friendly, stylistic, colorful, and still allow his chest-thumping manliness to shine through. Contrary to popular belief, there’s nothing “effeminate” about decorating. For decades men have created some of the loveliest spaces in the world, and it’s high time you made your home one of them.

The problem most men face is that trying to make a home attractive seems too complicated for our little minds and requires knowing what words like “pelmet” and “wainscot.” Well, we’ve simplified it down with these 17 home decorating tips for men.

Go Vintage

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This is a thematic choice that can save your bacon. As you choose furniture and decorations, anything that has a vintage or antique vibe is going to look stylized and intentional. Older desks, sofas, shelves, ottomans, beds, dressers, and tables all give a sense of familiarity because they’ve been around. People feel more comfortable with used things, and they’re simpler to buy, because only quality lasts.

Start with Comfort

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Unless you’re trying to pull off the ultra-modern look, any space you decorate should be inviting. Find stuff that makes you feel completely comfortable. It’s easy enough to change how something looks, but altering how it feels is a whole other animal. Make it easy to live with, then worry about making it look good.

Get Heavy

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One of the major cornerstones of masculine decorating is to add weight to the items you choose. The heavier something is, or the heavier it looks, the more machismo it seems to carry with it. There’s nothing wrong with light and airy, but for the sake of simplicity, heavy is the quick rule of thumb for the large items.

Hide Your Sins

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If you’ve bought heavy, vintage pieces that are comfortable, they might have been a little beat-up. Guys are hard on furniture, so slip covers over your furniture, or reupholster to make the old new again. Given a nice lacquer, the most disheveled end table or armoire can be revived. Just because it looks worn doesn’t mean it should look cheap and abused.

Less is More

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Minimalism is a good place to start for a guy new to decorating their home. You avoid a cluttered look by sticking to a few basic items and few accents. Those can come with time. Decorating is a marathon, not a sprint. Get a strong foundation of quality items covered well, that are nice to be around, then pimp your pad.

Show Off Yourself

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If you’re doing the decorating, then hombre, this space is yours and yours alone. If you like planes, or technology, or music, or whatever, show that off. Common sense should be king here: Avoid large comic collections or a terrifying wall-o-pornography, but there’s nothing wrong with a classy burlesque picture or reprint of a comic book cover in poster size.

War Room Your Walls

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This strategy is great for the man who doesn’t really care about art. Maps, flags, charts, and anything you might see in the background of any spy movie or battle film is a handy way to put something on your walls to avoid negative space. Here too, vintage and antique is always great. If you must show sports paraphernalia, go with old-school stuff.

Let the Outside In

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Your view is one of the easiest ways to spruce up a room. Letting light pour in proves you aren’t a hermit and don’t live in a meth den. It gives the illusion of space to cramped quarters, and let’s the world around you do the work. If your view is depressing, liven your window frames in a dazzling color to create interesting contrast.

Wood, Glass, Metal, Stone

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Here’s the patterns to stick to if you’re unsure. Anything that looks like real wood, has a nice metal glint, bears a stony marble, granite, or slate pattern, or things you can see through tend to be considered manly. Make sure you mix it up a little so it doesn’t look like you live in a literal cave.

Flaunt Sustainability

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Function over form is a great way to easily decorate your home if you’re a guy. By showing how green you’ve gone with your window solar panels or bicycle blender, you create a sense of being a citizen of the world. Eco-consciousness is universally attractive in a home, so long as you’re not laying down manure or littering the house with recyclables.

Book It

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You cannot go wrong with a collection of literature. Find hardbacks that are fairly plain, and remove book jackets from anything that’s too flashy. By doing this, you make them look older and more literary, rather than just proving you have the whole Harry Potter series.

Living Accents

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Plants are the most adroit way of adding color to a room when you’ve never used a color wheel in your life. We’re living beings and we like other living things, so putting in a few cacti or other flora that are damn hard to kill into your abode will make it inviting, healthier, and more lively.

Straight Lines

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Don’t try to get fancy with artistic swoops or deco drafting right out of the gate. Stick to right angles with your furniture and avoid whorls and swirls of paint on the walls. Thinking of your floorplan like a series of simple squares – this is the sitting square, this is the table square – keeps things orderly, and orderly is always en vogue.

Shades of Gray


Earthtones with a lot of browns and beige used to be the norm, but that’s shifted. Gray now does that job, and gives a nice, neutral feel to any space. It goes well with everything, and you can get gray mixed with blue, green, silver, and other sea hues to imply color without beating people over the head with it.

Dim the Lights

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Sharp overhead lighting makes a house seem clinical, and is unlikely to flatter your quarters, however well decorated. Get floor lamps with dense shades, or table lights that have gentle, pastel coloration on their covers. Soft lights are inviting, mask problems, and give everything a peaceful, cozy glow.

Picture Perfect

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Rather than trying to figure out colors or artwork, grab yourself some black and white photos. Choose anything tasteful that you find interesting, and you should be fine. Photography is an easier medium to choose than artwork. You don’t need to know anything about it, and when you get it without color, it can fit anywhere.

Remember the Rainbow

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If you want to add more tints and shades to your household, then stick to one little segment of the rainbow. At least, until you get a better sense of what you’re doing. You can also learn about primary and secondary colors, as they can be all you need to survive.

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