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Style Girlfriend at Home: 4 Steps to Achieving a Grown Man's Living Room

It's not just your clothes that reflect your personal style

By Megan Collins | Aug 20 2013

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Please welcome Shelly Lynch-Sparks to Style Girlfriend! A graduate of Parsons, Shelly has worked in interior design at Anthropologie, HGTV, and Sosh Architects. Currently, she can be found realizing design dreams on the daily for clients at Homepolish, right here in NYC. Find out if the service is available in your city; SG readers get 25% off an initial visit with code: stylegirlfriend


If you’ve been reading Style Girlfriend for awhile now, I feel like I can safely assume you’re a well-dressed, stylish guy, boasting a wardrobe full of clothes that let the world know, “I’m a grown man, man.”

So first of all, congrats, that’s awesome. I bet you’re definitely the best-dressed guy at your office.

Now, I want to challenge you to do the same…at home.

{Does your place look like this? Not yet, maybe…}

Yep, it’s time to get rid of your old banged up IKEA furniture and find something a bit swankier to fill its place. Those framed posters of Al Pacino and John Belushi have lost their charm. It’s time to put your man pants on and graduate to a sleek sanctuary fit for Don Draper (before he got all sad and boozy).

To make a big job feel less scary, here are the four phases of manning up your living space:


Are you a Mid Century modern man with an eye for vintage pieces?

Do you prefer white leather couches and have an itch for anything Italian with a clean modern line?

Perhaps you’d like to spend your future weekends in antique shops searching for the perfect cherry coffee table with traditional spindle legs.

No idea what any of the above even means? That’s cool too. Start browsing interior design sites, like Dwell and Design Sponge and make a mental note of what you like. Heck, go check out the new Threshold collection at Target. You’ll start noticing patterns in the styles and trends that catch your eye.


I know. This part’s not fun. But it’s necessary. So necessary.

Keeping in mind the style you want, play the old Sesame Street stand-by One of These Things is Not Like the Other. Take a hard look at the furniture and accent pieces in your home and begin to decide which pieces fit the look you are going for and which ones definitely don’t. The focus is on minimizing the clutter to maximize the space you have to work with.

Functionality plays a big role, too. Do you really need all the stuff that’s taking up real estate in your house or apartment? Like the

DVDs you bought when Blockbuster was going out of business? Probably not. Take that hideous plastic tower to the curb.

Or what about that end table you bought from IKEA for $7.99 five years ago? You know the one. It came in multiple colors, was stackable, can barely hold a coaster or even a cup of coffee. I bought it. Everyone bought it. Get rid of it.

Thank the internet gods for Craigslist. People will gladly take your old things away from your home for free! Some will even offer you money for the things you think are now junk. What a world, huh?

There are also plenty of second-hand establishments that will pick up your donated items without a hitch.


Once you’ve gotten rid of all the unnecessary pieces from the room, you’ll start feeling lighter, excited even about the abundance of possibilities in your newfound space. If you’re feeling the opposite, well…they have hotlines for hoarders. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.

Grab a measuring tape, pencil and paper. Draw an outline of your living room on a piece of paper and measure each wall. That way, you’ll be able to visually arrange the furniture according to how much space you have. You’ll also have the freedom to purchase new items without doubting whether each piece will fit or not.

For instance, you may have fallen in love with a new piece of art or a comfy leather couch.  Be sure that the frame fits perfectly on the wall and the couch can squeeze through the front door.


This is where the magic happens.

{accent walls draw attention…the good kind}

Choose an accent color for your living room that coincides with your style inspiration.  Paint one wall, or paint all four. Buy a new floor lamp to replace that dingy end table you just threw away. Pick out two side tables that add a funky pop of color.  This is your home and an opportunity to express who you are in any way you would like. Mix elements to give your space a unique feel.

For example, try a glass coffee table alongside a sleek mid century wooden arm side chair. Then try marble-topped end tables with ceramic lamps as a bright accent.  Much like getting yourself dressed in the morning, your style options are endless.

If you find yourself feeling stuck or uninspired; Pinterest has more than enough ideas to keep you busy.  This is about creating a space you look forward coming home to – a living room that’s welcoming and feels like you.  Not to mention securing bragging rights with your friends, and a little help in the lady department.  Own it, and just like with your wardrobe, don’t forget to have fun!

**Remember, SG readers get 25% off their first Homepolish visit with code “stylegirlfriend.” If you’re ready to have your home reflect your grown man status, find out if the service is available in your city.

Tell me:
Does your home reflect the grown man style you’ve developed in your wardrobe? If not, what’s holding you back?
Let's move this to your inbox, shall we?