Gents Crave Creativity, Too

Advice Editorial: Outlining Men And The Interior Design Process

In a world where aesthetics are everything, men are embracing their creative sides, wanting beautiful home spaces that reflect who they are, how they want to live and what they want to experience in their surroundings. Gone is the thinking that “spaces for him" require only a black leather sofa, flat screen TV and a few framed sports jerseys.

Men have distinct opinions about how they envision their final spaces and are ready to take on what used to be an afterthought.  

Interior design should reflect all those who inhabit the space – women AND men. This tidbit is sometimes lost on a loving female partner. Finding common denominators for all parties is the golden ticket to a perfect aesthetic outcome.

How DO men figure into the interior design equation, whether working with a design professional, solo or in partnership with their other half?

The male of the species is not so different from the female.

Some like to shop, others simply like to crunch the numbers, some like to do both.  Efficiency and linear thinking are usually much appreciated by men in the design process. It’s important to recognize the value all perspectives bring to the table. 

If designing with a partner, it’s essential to clarify aesthetic and budget goals upfront. When considering an interior designer, it’s equally important to identify a designer who can think in both creative and linear terms. The latter is what allows left-brained individuals to breathe a sigh of relief.

Contrary to popular belief, excellent design is quite strategic, logical and in some areas, even mathematical.  

From space planning to line-item budget forecasting; these are the precursors for the development of “the creative,” meaning, the design itself.

Beyond creating the actual design (called Design Development), there are a myriad of logistical details, including project management, resource management, reporting, procurement, inspections, delivery, installations, final punch listing, and possibly, construction team liaison and support.

All this to say, design is not simply about selecting a bunch of colors and some furnishings. The end aesthetic is surely the climax of the show, but there is tremendous groundwork that goes on continually behind the scenes to successfully deliver a spectacular space. 

When considering the modern man within the interior design process, here are a few considerations:

The Process Itself: Although each interior design experience will vary, the process should have a distinct beginning, middle and end. When properly managed and openly communicated, a defined process will result in an efficient, accurate and enjoyable experience for all concerned.  

Control of Resources:  Accurate accounting should apply to the dollars spent and extend across the board: managing and repurposing existing furnishings, time management, line-item budget forecasts, reporting and budget stewardship.   

Aesthetic: Some people are familiar with the interior lingo and how to express a design idea, but they tend to be the exception. More commonly, professionals hear the phrase, “I know what I want, but I don’t have the right words to describe it." An excellent designer can organize and shorthand a design process, to include a “discovery phase” that unearths design cravings.

Keep in mind, from color to design style, there is no single design aesthetic men universally embrace. From tailored transitional, to minimalist modern to warm, cozy traditional, and every flavor between, the male design mind is as varied as it is wonderful.

The bottom line: Gentlemen, the interior design world is your oyster. Embrace these cornerstones and move confidently into interior nirvana.


Instagram: @idhdesigns

About Donna Hoffman:
Multiple award-winning and Bucks County-based firm, Impeccably Designed Homes by Donna Hoffman, specializes in new construction, renovation, whole home- and full-room design, delivering livable luxury to discerning clients. As seen in Forbes, Real Simple and on television, IDH works locally as well as throughout the United States. Industry sources often refer to Donna as a thought leader, calling her the nation’s No. 1 design coach because she founded Donna says she also loves providing online courses that empower DIYers. 

"Men want both right-brain and left-brain interior design deliverables." ~Donna Hoffman

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