Uncategorized over 11 years ago by Liz Adams


I am at a loss. When Dave and I first moved in together, I was so excited about decorating. Lots of big decisions were made and purchased – a new couch, a headboard, rugs, etc. but now I have hit a wall. There are so many gaps that need to be filled in and I just don’t know where to begin. For the most part, Dave has pretty much let me take the reins on decorating and I would have to say it is not the most masculine of homes. However, Dave definitely has comments about the decor – like he needs a more comfortable throw pillow on the couch {our current pillows are a faux mohair and he asked me “what’s a mo?”}, he doesn’t want anything on the coffee table because he’ll end up kicking it off, he actually tried to put a Detroit Lions mat by our patio door – just so you know what I’m working with {a total dude}. 
So here is what I need – any favorite Etsy shops for art? We really need some stuff on the walls. 
I think I am going to buy this mirror to go above our couch, but any other suggestions? 
What would you consider to be a manly addition to the home? 
Where do you find cute bathroom decor? Our bathroom’s are SUPER bare. 
Ok thanks friends, I knew I could count on you!
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  1. My boyfriend had no comments on my decorating. All he asked for was to not have a super pink bedroom. It was super hard to really figure out what I needed to it’s taken me like a year.

  2. Super Rural, based out of Brooklyn, has great posters. I got the “For Like Ever” poster (seen like everywhere) and it’s a favorite of both mine and my boyfriend. We got it in the hot pink so it’s very practical 😉 http://www.super-rural.com/collections/prints

    Also, Banquet has some great prints that are very affordable. This is my favorite one of theirs: http://shop.banquetworkshop.com/product/ten-cactus-screenprint.

    Lastly, Craigs List! I have found cool rugs, lamps and bedside tables there.

    Good luck!

  3. For artwork, eventually I am going to order these cool city maps of where my husband and I grew up and hang them together with pics of some of our fav places http://www.citymapart.com. As far as bathroom accessories, I saw some really cool beachy stuff at PB and I think of beaches when I think of relaxation…

  4. Good thing you are sharing an office with a pretty great designer! ;). For art, I love the etsy shops Wink of Pink (but I think Christine is currently on ‘holiday’ while she settles in with new babe), Siiso is good too.

  5. you should go to twodelighted.com
    its a blog that two sisters have and they do a lot of DIY, cheap projects. Even if you aren’t creative or artistic, its simple stuff and looks awesome!

  6. A great way to meet in the middle with beautiful decor and sports paraphernalia is to get a nice (framed) black and white photo of the team/sport. I gave my Red Sox loving man a black and white panoramic shot of Fenway Park and while it’s not my favorite, the sleek black frame and artsy black and white-ness make it a happy medium between masculine and feminine.

  7. Banksy prints are always amazing…and also versatile enough for both men and women who share a space! My boyfriend and I have two hanging in our apartment, both we found on GILT for pretty cheap. One is titled “Life is Beautiful” and the other is “Barbed Wire Heart.”

  8. Haha “what’s a mo?”. Love that. Sometimes you just need to take a breather and come back to it. But I think you should refer to your talented co-worker 🙂

  9. I think that West Elm has some lovely striped towels that may give the perfect inspiration to move forward with bathroom decor. http://www.westelm.com/products/hamam-stripe-hand-towel-b606/?pkey=cbath-towels

    I also am a huge fan of Stephanie Sterjovski prints + sugar paper too! (but maybe a tad bit too girly)

    As for the coffee table.. we use a tray to put our decor on.. ie vases candles tv remote. so when we want to put our feet up we can quickly just move the tray instead of all the doodads 🙂

    xo L

    1. Totally agree with Lindsay on the tray thing. We, too, have a tray for a candle and books, but move it when we want to put our feet up. I think a styled coffee table is a bit impractical for those of us who actually “live” in that room. But we’re also not a very formal couple!

  10. Decorating a new place can be great, but then the inevitable wall hits. I love the matching ottomans/stools in the first two pictures. We have two dark-stained wood benches. They live at the end of our bed for putting on our shoes, but they’d be great elsewhere in the house – along a wall or by the front door. My boyfriend loves them too – they’re very functional, not girly, but definitely stylish!

    Luci’s Morsels – fashion. food. frivolity.

  11. Map prints are always a good addition! The cities you grew up in, or the cities you went to school. Maybe some black and white photographs of Chicago or cities you’ve traveled to together?

  12. art for the house has been my biggest struggle! I took some of my coffee table books and (sadly) carefully cut some of the pages out for prints. I just got a mat to fit them in a standard size frame. My hermes and Kate Spade books were the best. My favorite etsy shops lately are oh my deer and tastes organey

  13. This sounds very familiar! After styling our coffee table my husband complained that there was no where for his feet and put everything on the floor. And he has tried to incorporate hockey gear into the scheme- which was never what I had envisioned.

    The annoying thing to remember is that you are sharing the space with someone else and that person means a lot to you and ultimately needs to feel at home too! As a decorator and somewhat new roommate to a dude, I recommend taking things slowly and really trying to work with his requests. Keep the fun frivolous things on the walls and in the colors you choose and leave the coffee table styling for when you have guests over. It’s a small sacrifice that will make a big difference in the cohabitation process!

  14. I think decorating your own home is the hardest. A friend will ask me to help her with her house and I can instantly come up with a great plan, but for my own home I’m constantly stumped! Man decorating doesn’t make it any easier–every time I think I have a good plan my man says it’s ‘tooooo giiiiiiiirly”! 😉

    My favorite resources for inexpensive, lovely art are:
    Etsy: Erin Tyner (her Tidal and Marine Specimen series would be pretty in a dramatic bathroom), Tastes Orangey (I have her Couple in Love print in our bedroom and her To the Night, Fall, and Undress prints framed in a row in our bathroom), Samantha French, Michelle Armas, Sarah Intemann, and Kerri Blackman Fine Art (she has really inexpensive, beautiful original paintings)

    I also like Society6.com, and their inventory is constantly expanding!

  15. I’m an interior decorator, but my fiance still has “veto power” in our apartment! He doesn’t always get why I’d like more animal print, or why something “goes” together… but he has been patient in letting me try things and show him. I find it helpful for my male clients to show me pictures of design he likes – men are pretty visual and it helps them communicate what their style is when they don’t spend all their time on blogs building a design vocabulary 🙂 That might help Dave show you some elements he likes that you could look for. At home, I try to balance a ratio of every girly thing gets a masculine thing. IE: My floral curtains are balanced by a wide-striped rug. Ryan hates the fabric on our dining chairs but he loves mid-century so I paired it with a tulip table. And so on.

    If it helps, here’s a post I wrote a while back with things to look for to buy masculine accessories 🙂 http://www.maggieroseonline.com/2012/06/25/restyling-feminine-to-masculine/

  16. haha – what’s a Mo! Adorable.

    I love First Dibs… they have such unique, great pieces (though you do have t really look to find!) And have you seen my sisters new throw pillows? They are super comfortable (and 100% washable.)

  17. Love Peggy Wolf and Leigh Viner for art actually. We have framed a lot of photos that Matt has taken…which helps add to the mix of both of our styles.

  18. It has been a challenge to keep my house in my beau’s non-girly zone. I don’t find the decor particularly girly but I guess it could be considered a little femme to a dude’s dude. I framed a bunch of maps for his birthday one year and he loved them. We also have some black and white photography around the house and then paintings done by friends or family members. That seems to be the happy medium for now at least!

  19. Ha! Love knowing that so any of us struggle with the SAME questions. While it is still a work in progress, I find myself sticking to more masculine colors in the big pieces (we have a gray couch, dark coffee table and entertainment console, a dark gray accent wall) and then playing up the feminine side with details – bright fun pillows, vases & flowers, and I love going through my amazing Pinterest boards and printing out/framing/leaning some of those around the apartment. It’s getting there… slowly!

    Big fan of Society 6 (got some great pillows there)…

  20. i haven’t moved in with my boyfriend yet, but we have talked about it. i get to pick out anything i want as long as it’s “not a pink couch”. but he also knows i will do my best to make everything comfortable and practical for both of us. i show him ideas all the time so i know what i will be able to do and not do. and as pretty as mohair pillows are, they are not practical and not very comfortable. i also really like the idea of a tray if you want to decorate the coffee table.

  21. One of my favorite ways to incorporate my husband’s interests into our decor is through our artwork. Pretty much all of our artwork is artistic, screen-printed concert posters from our favorite bands. That way, we’re both represented, and the artwork is super-personal. Also, I wouldn’t resist his love of the Lions! There are plenty of Etsy artists that make awesome vintage-y prints for their favorite teams, like this one: http://etsy.me/ZJveaB

    Another suggestion would be not using girly colors exclusively. Dark woods look really beautiful and can be paired with more ladylike shades, like pinks and aquas.

  22. I am going to have this problem in 1-2 yrs when my boyfriend and I move in together-problem will be having not too girly of decor and not too manly decor. right now all my decor is pretty girly in my apt…. I am thinking for my bf and I, we will have a lot of neutral colors-alot of beige and shades of gray—which I am ok with bc i LOVE the color gray. Decor on walls, we talked about having nice pictures of us and friends/fam in black and white frames.

    for home decor, and bathroom decor and stuff I would suggest going to Home goods, Marshalls, TJ MAXX & The Ross. You can really find great items there for not too expensive. The thing is though with these places, it can be a hit or miss. 1 day you can find EVERYTHING you want/are looking for, and another day you cant find jack squat. so you may have to make multiple trips if you dont mind.

    I also like looking at this website (https://www.jossandmain.com) for home decor inspirations. I find that there are a lot of pieces that look VERY similiar to the stuff at Home Goods & etc. Pinterest is a fun way to look for inspiration too.


  23. I know what you’re dealing with- I have had to veto area rugs too! I usually stalk the local HomeGoods for decor, but it’s really tough with a guy! Luckily we have the same favorite color (blue) so our bathroom is a blue-and-white collaboration.


  24. i’m with you on trying to make our very feminine space a bit more grounded/masculine. i’m doing that by bringing more black into the space (frames, recovering seat cushions, pillows).

    i love anthro for pretty bathroom accessories. not going to help the masculine thing, but it’s all lovely.

    i’m also a big fan of jessica durrant’s travel series, and DIY art like framing map wrapping paper from paper source.

    1. I also love Jessica Durrant’s illustrations, she is one of my favorites on etsy! Great fashion illustrations which won’t help with your mix of feminine and masculinity but maybe you could grab a print or two for your personal space 🙂


  25. Add some plants. My boyfriend had no opinion or suggestions on how to decorate as long as things were comfortable. However, once I got some house plants, he liked them, started watering and caring for them.

    I’d stay away from pinks and other pastel colors. Then it won’t feel like his place. Blues, aquas, marigolds are good colors. Do what feels best for you. I personally like an all black-and-white look; European inspired

  26. I recently purchased a great handmade afghan on eBay. It had this Eames type of design on it that my man could get behind. It wasn’t too masculine or feminine and it’s totally soft and functional!

  27. You definitely need a jackalope to man it up around there! I am loving the subway art that is customized to the town you live it – many Etsy sellers let you customize the names to places that are meaningful to you as a couple! Happy nesting!

  28. story. of. my. life.

    can’t have anything on the coffee table & can’t have nice throw pillows on the couch because he basically builds himself a fort with them daily. there ARE yankees items in my house…. way too many. lots of his furniture is dark. it is hard to balance things out.

    i have found lots of good art at Home Goods and got our bathroom stuff there too. in our guest bathroom i did navy, whites, creams – not too girly.

    one thing I found that Mike liked was big decor M’s (Mike & Monika)… I got a few colors and put them places in the house just as little additions. Big books with decor on top seems to work too.

    Best of luck – I know it is alot of work!


  29. So I happen to have some really great advice on this! (Sounds exactly like my situation about a year ago!)
    One of the things I did with our living room décor was ask John what his favorite color was (answer: blue), so I played off a palate of greens, whites and blues. He loved that I included him on the basic inspiration pieces. I also love big coffee table books, and I used some of his books mixed in with mine. It offers some visual indulgence for any visitor that might come by, and is intriguing when you look at the titles together (ex: Johnny Cash paired with Ginger Bliss & Violet Fizz: A cocktail book).

    Also, I showed John a lot of inspiration (Pinterest) and ask what he liked and didn’t like. I learned he HATES Lucite (I am still so sad about this) but I respect his opinion. I was able to show him photos (and convince him) that white furniture is better than dark because it makes a small space feel larger & brighter! So, I won with the white furniture.

    Also, when doing gallery walls or incorporating trinkets – drag him along to thrift shops/antique malls/ikea, whathaveyou and have him pick some items, too! It’s all about making him feel included 🙂

    Lastly, my guy (a huge sports fan as well) was a football player in college. He had tons of amazing photos of him playing, but never had them framed or anything. I took a grouping of my faves and had them all printed in B&W on canvas and hung a mini gallery wall of him. It really is chic and is a mini shrine to his “glory days!” He loves it.

    Best of luck!!!

  30. I hear ya! Finding a balance between creating the home you love, and one your husband can feel comfortable in, can be tricky at times. I sometimes feel like I’m not “supposed” to make things overly girly, so I don’t – and now I live in an apartment that looks like a couple of college guys might live there. 😉 I’m working on it, and hopefully with our next move I can be more assertive about incorporating my tastes into OUR space.

  31. I get so many decor pieces from Cost Plus. It is my favorite for non girly items especially, and I have lots of little vases, frames, and things for the bathroom and bedroom. Decorating with framed maps or cool photos of your city are nice manly touches.

  32. Lulie Wallace, Amanda Talley drawings, Teil Duncan, Britt Bass and Michelle Aramas are all great sources for affordable art. Anthropologie’s Abate Slatted Mirror is a great round mirror and around the same price as the CB2 model. As for adding a bit of masculinity, try masculine colors on more feminine shaped furniture (or vice versa). It’s a happy medium and will blend nicely with your ladylike aesthetic. Homegoods, West Elm, Target and Pottery Barn all have affordable bathroom accessories, but try adding in some accessories that are not typically “bathroom accessories”, it will create a more layered look. Good luck, and if you need any design assistance feel free to message me christine@dicorciadesign.com, would love to help!

  33. Great art suggestions above! Etsy has amazing and really inexpensive prints: try Jorey Hurley, Yao Cheng, Ampersand Design Studio, Ink and Wit, Amelia Herberson. As for non-Etsy but affordable and pretty and fresh, try Banquet and Bold & Noble. I would love to help you, too!

  34. I am so thankful that there is someone else out there who is attempting to balance their feminine aesthetic with a guy’s simplistic manly approach! When the Mr. and I moved in together, I actually moved into his house..which was already decorated to his liking–aka full of brown, wood, and anything comfortable (with no thought to appearance at all!). I am slowly (but, yes, surely!) changing piece by piece room by room as he has several design demands himself!

    Some of my favorite Etsy shops for prints are: ByLucianaM and thewheatfield..plus there’s always Minted!

    Best of luck!
    XOXO, R