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The 5 'Masculine' Design Elements You Need to Know

Nearly gone are the days of the frat-house aesthetic. Men are starting to take interest and pride in the look and feel of their homes. Could this be related to the influx of home renovation and design shows featured on popular channels like HGTV, Apartment Therapy, or HouzzTV? We'll let you be the judge. Regardless, it says something that 40% of White Dahlia Design Instagram followers are men. We appreciate you!

While designs are not always strictly "female" or "male", some designs speak more to the masculine rather than the feminine side of the spectrum. Do you desire a more masculine looking space to impress your guests? Here are some tips to get you started.

Leather Furnishings

Leather is the ultimate male-magnet. It speaks to the rough-and-tough aesthetic that many men gravitate towards, while still looking stylish and sharp. Strong and durable, leather is a material that withstands over time, even if you have pets. What you may not know, however, is that it is also bio-degradable and breathable, meaning that it helps prevent moisture and fungi from forming.

If you prefer a more vegan-friendly alternative, you can opt for a polyurethane leather. It may not last quite as long, but it is better for the environment than other faux-leather options on the market. If you wish to scrap the leather look all-together, microfibre and canvas fabrics work well and are both comfortable and durable.

Rough Textures

When looking to add a masculine edge to your home, turn your sights on rougher textures like brick, stone and weather woods. These materials add character and style to a room instantly! Paired with some softer fabrics, light fixtures, and accessories, you can create the perfect balance between tough and cozy.

Texture can also be added using fabric. Burlap, knotted knit, and heavier cotton are some of the most popular choices in masculine designs.

Ways to incorporate textures into your design:

  • Adding an accent wall

  • Choosing accessories made out of wood, concrete or stone

  • Through the use of decorative pillows and throws

Dark Moody Colours or Warm Neutrals

Colour can drastically alter the feel of a room and define a space. Ash grey, black, and navy are just a few examples of the moodier colours often favoured in masculine designs. Their high pigmentation gives off a debonaire vibe that we love! If you wish to still keep the space bright and inviting, pair the dark colours with lighter accent features. White or light backsplashes, floors, rugs, and even curtains can greatly brighten up a home with a darker design.

If the dark-side is not for you, try shades of warm neutral colours like brown, green, or cream. Don't be afraid to add some brighter, funkier colours or metallics in the mix. We're sure your senses, and your guests will thank you for it. You can do this through the addition of decorative accents such as picture frames and our personal favourite —plants!

Artwork and Accessories

Some of our favourite masculine designs are those that masterfully capture the lived-in look, without looking cluttered. A home can be both stylish and functional without feeling cheesy and overdone. We all have that one friend whose idea of 'art' means plastering movie posters and tapestries over the wall and calling it a day. Everyone should infuse their personality into their home. However, there is a right and wrong way to go about it if trying to avoid those dreaded flashbacks of adolescent years.

Love a particular poster? Try giving it a grownup edge by framing it. Art that works particularly well to create the masculine vibe includes paintings with black and white prints, clean lines, patterns and lots of layers. It is easy to enliven a room when you know what works.

Don't overlook the power of good accessories. While you might think them superfluous, accessories can transform a space and give it lots of character. Accessories like decorative pillows add texture and create a feeling of comfort. Plants breathe fresh life into a home by cleansing the stale air and enlivening your senses. Exciting vintage finds elicit feelings of nostalgia. It's the small things that truly make a house feel like a home.


While designs are not commonly regarded as purely 'masculine' or 'feminine,' there are certain features that give off more feminine or masculine vibes. Feminine designs tend to favour accents with more fluidity. Curved edges, round appliqués, and smooth contours are often used. On the other hand, masculine designs tend to feature more sharp lines and clean finishes. Geometric shapes reign supreme in masculine designs.

Don't just limit geometrics to decorative orbs. Furniture and rug companies are also becoming more and more inventive with their designs. Check out the sweet bar above for some inspired male-mojo!

You don't have to be a man to appreciate the masculine design aesthetic. If you or someone you know is fighting the age-old 'expectations' vs 'reality' dilemma when it comes to interior design, give us a shout! Seeing those failed expectations transform is what we revel in!


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