Part of my modus operandi on ManMade is playing with those iconic, and often stereotypical, images associated with men, masculine decor, and craftsmanship. Certainly, taxidermy goes in that category, and I did my own spin with a faux bois deer head silhouette project last year.
My friends Lish and Nick are one of those couples that just make sense. They're a great fit - he's a hacker, she's a crafter - and you can tell they really just like each other. Their home has gotta be just one of those places you wanna hang out, especially now that they just built this custom crafting table to house and work on all their projects.
On the hanging art spectrum, there are two extremes. There's the framed, matte-hung art that makes everything from a postcard to a painting look, well, like art. Then there's the bedroom classic of a poster stuck into drywall with thumbtacks or onto cinder blocks with sticky tack.
And in my house...neither really works. Posters look too much like a dorm room, but frames are just a bit too formal.
I'm betting the psychologists have probably figured this out by now: guys need a space. A special space. A clubhouse, a workshop, a pub, a lounge chair, an office, whatever...men are simply wired to seek a spot for themselves that energizes them.
Of course, moving beyond the way-to-old-to-be-safe-and-most-likely-smelly furniture and the vintage metal signs look isn't always easy. But that doesn't mean a man room has to be done up only in the colors of a sports team or feature multiple neon beer signs.
Recently, Elsie thrifted an awesome vintage paint-by-numbers landscape. Which is pretty awesome in itself, though maybe just a tad too kitschy. So, she transformed it into a text-based stunner featuring a song lyric from one her favorite bands with barely any effort.
Here at ManMade, we try to avoid cliched phrases like, the "man cave" or "bachelor pad." But, certainly, there are lots of awesome spaces inhabited by single guys. And, cream walls with hand-me-down furniture and wires everywhere these are not.
This collection features some bold, streamlined spaces with a strong sense of play and fun. All the best parts about being a guy, living on your own.
"Masculine decor" (whatever that means...) is often so serious: lots of dark colors, too much technology, and not a ton of fun. But, if there ever was a "manly" designer with a sense of humor, Antonio Ballatore is your guy. The fourth winner of HGTV's Design Star and star of The Antonio Project simply gets it, combining color, texture, and good times into some pretty inspired places. His is the only show I watch on HGTV, which, as a full time design and decor writer, is saying something. Dude knows his stuff.
He dubs his downtown LA spot, "Medieval cave dwelling meets modern loft living." And, sure, the guy has a pretty big budget and
I know, I know. Your $20 Ikea coffee table is fine. But, the thing is, I'm old now. I just turned 32, and 32-year olds have beautifully crafted, handmade, coffee tables. I think it's something we're legally compelled to do. Look it up on Wikipedia.
To start out our project, we needed some pretty wood to form the top and second shelf of the table. While at an antiques fair in Massachusetts, my lovely wife found three sets of wooden cigar rollers. Since they came in sets of two, we'd have three for the two levels of coffee table goodness.
Next, we needed the rest of the crap to put it all together. It's best, when doing a build from
To say Christopher and Javier's home looks like a nightclub isn't really accurate. Sure, their downtown loft is replete with an extensive music collection, a well-outfitted DJ setup, and plenty of tech-y lighting solutions, but it's also bright, cheery, and full of mid-century design icons and bold shocks of color.
Over the last few years, handmade pennant bunting has become a popular project in the handmade and DIY decor scene. And for good reason: it's fun, festive, and infinitely customizable.
But, to be honest, a lot of it is, well, girly, and quite ornate. Constructed from multiple patterns of fabric, often with loads of pink, a lot of the fabric bunting tutorials out there are awesome, provided you're hosting a party for your daughter.
So, in prep to throw my sweetheart a kickin' birthday party, I wanted to come up with a quick and easy bunting that looked handmade, but remained clean, easy to make, and gender neutral.
Here's how to do it:
Webecoist sez, "Got a recycling bin full of glass bottles? Why waste them when you could have a new table lamp, candle holder, shelving unit, hummingbird feeder – even a house? Reuse beer, wine and liquor bottles for these 13 fun and creative crafts and projects for the home and garden."
Tattoos, tattoos. Some can be amazingly beautiful, and I imagine some of the best and most talented artists and illustrators today make their living in high-end tattoo parlors and salons. These guys have their skills down, with no erasers or undo buttons available.
But they sure are painful, and permanent.
So, we're really digging this collection of tattoo and flash-inspired home decor and furniture pieces.
Giant LEGO storage boxes? Who wouldn't wanna store their stuff inside an oversized, stacking modular toy?
"Our neat new giant LEGO storage brick boxes have been made especially for STORE under licence from LEGO themselves and just like the original LEGO bricks, each storage box can be clicked together and then stacked to create a giant LEGO structure but with the added benefit of storage within.
I'll admit it - it never occurred to me to source or make vintage arrows as a home decor accent piece, but why not? They're fun, colorful, and masculine-ish/tongue-in-cheek enough to totally make sense in lots of spaces.
Mom Danielle created these bold arrows while making over her sons' rooms. The shafts are made from dowel rods, and covered in patterned washi tape, fabric scraps, and acrylic tape. And note the erasers as arrow heads - would work quite well with the office supply crossbow, no?
I'd seen Tony Alleyne's home - which he's transformed into a replica of the Starship Enterprise - on at least ten home decor/design blogs, and had always ignored it. I don't know much about Star Trek: The Next Generation (read: Anything besides the fact that the dude from Reading Rainbow is on it and has no eyes, and that I think Whoopi Goldberg had something to do with it...), so I figured I couldn't really appreciate the good work, since I have no idea how it compares.
But, this week, I saw it again, and I've still never seen Star Trek TNG (check out my in-the-know abbreviation. I also learned about DS9!), and I think it's super cool.
"Anyone can go to Design Within Reach and buy some stuff and say: 'Look! It looks like "Mad Men." But if you actually watch the show, you'll realize you've never actually seen anything sold at DWR. The set dressers purposely avoid iconic mid-century pieces by outfits such as Herman Miller and Knoll, opting for timely pieces, not design classics. [I did spot a few Saarinen womb and office chairs when Don went to Calfornia, but they filmed it in the famous Case Study House #22, so in every way appropriate.]
"In keeping with the producers' gag order on details about the upcoming season -- even the exact year in which it's set -- he declined to talk about how the residential scenes, including Don and Betty Draper's home (or homes, should she go through with the divorce threatened in Season 3), might evolve this season. But he did share a few hints about how interior design changed going into the mid-'60s. "Part of it is a color thing," he said. The show is moving more toward primary colors, and away from the muted tones of the '50s. During that time, people moved more toward more curvilinear, shapes -- wilder shapes and colors. In one sense, I'd say it's less sophisticated, the '60s," he said. "We are moving toward that to a degree."
If there's anything we've tried to promote on ManMade, it's that guys and girls alike should make things that make their lives better. And this is never more true than when in reference to designing the spaces you in which we live and work. Unfortunately, as Dave Odegard points out, "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."
Dave has done a great interview with design Kibwe Daisy of Design for Men, a
I've been eyeing the assemble-at-home laser-cut cardboard animal busts from Cardboard Safari for the last few months. I've been trying to figure out a way to do it on my own, but could never quite get how to get that exploded-diagram look while still creating a supportive structure.
But, thankfully, young Instructables member and juggler TheGnome54 has figured out a fine method, and has shared it with the DIY community. "I had a large cardboard box lying around that I really wanted to make something out of, and I happened across this website: http://www.cardboardsafari.com/ Inspired by their products, I decided to design and create my own cardboard animal bust. It was a pretty fun process with a satisfying result, so I thought I'd share my experience. I decided to make a giraffe because their horns and head shape are iconic and would hopefully be recognizable even if I messed up a bit. In order to create the bust, you'll need to have a good concept of the 3-d shape of the animal head. I just looked at lots of pictures of giraffes from different angles, until I felt that I had a good idea of what they were shaped like."