Modern Renaissance

Beyond pairing two disparate styles to sound cool…I am really inspired by spaces that draw from the rich hues of Renaissance and Neoclassical paintings. I gasped when I saw the Dark Side advertorial in Elle Decoration UK shot in the Salvatori Showroom in Milan. The dark gray walls allow colorfully rich furniture and accessories to pop much like the dark backgrounds and colorful figures in the paintings of Jacques-Louis David and El Greco. My next place will take cues from this rich environment. I particularly love the office with the Vincenzo di Costis and modern trestle table by Cassina.

Images: Elle Decoration UK

Customized Organization: Levenger Circa

Posted January 12th, 2011 by design4men and filed in Art & Accessories, Gadgets
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One of my New Years resolutions: Get better organized.  Relying on my iphone, sketchbook, and work calendars had become cumbersome to say the least.  I realized that despite all of the wonderful tablets, phones, and other gadgets that I couldn’t rely on technology.  I am a paper and pen kind of guy especially with my need to sketch and create lists pretty much constantly. So, I had to go old school and find a planner that combined calendar, project to do list, and sketchbook with some flexibility to organize by project.


The Circa system by Levenger was the answer – essentially a flexible notebook system that allows you to create the planner or notebook that works for you.  The ring binding with custom holes allows you to move around pages.  I was sold but alas – while the weekly planner and project to-do list inserts were available, blank pages for sketching were not.  Almost a deal breaker until I did some research online and found that Levenger finessed the technology originally designed by Rollabind who sells blank pages.  Everything came together and I am pleased with my choice!


I even found a way to customize the cover.  My model making skills came in handy as I cut some illustration board and glued down some fabric samples…the front and back cover are different but I dig the results.

Bring it on 2011 – I am ready!

My advice: everyone works and thinks differently.  Be creative and you can find a system that works for you!

Image Credits: Levenger

West Elm Spring 2011

Posted January 10th, 2011 by design4men and filed in Art & Accessories, Furniture, Interior Design
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Just another reason to be exciting about 2011 and what it shall bring – I am really digging the new collection for Spring 2011 from West Elm.     The following items are already on my wish list.  Topping the list is the great Windsor Chaise pictured above.

Parsons Mirrored Console Table

JOHN PAUL PHILLIPE ART RUGS…just amazing – love the line version as well as the neutral color version.

John Paul Phillipe Sketch Rug

John Paul Phillipe Art Rug

Ellipse Metal Canopy Bed


Industrial Pendants

Upholstered Dhurrie Slab


Industrial Metal Cabinets  and Foxed Nightstand

Images from West Elm

H&M Home 2011 Spring Collection

Posted January 4th, 2011 by design4men and filed in Art & Accessories, Interior Design, Style
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I was finally able to read my December issue of Elle Decoration UK. I was stunned to find that 1. H&M has a home collection and 2. the products are available in the online shop.  Not to mention that 3. the advertorial presents inspiring spaces for him and her.   I thought to myself, yes, 2011 is looking pretty good.

H&M brings their low price tag and attention to trends to their Spring collection for the home. While they are sticking to accessories for now, I foresee them venturing into furniture. Check out some of my favorites from the collection.

And a shot of the storefront of the London flagship store – ugh – yet another reason to be bummed that I don’t live there.

Photo Credits: 1. One Photographic, 2. Ria Trudgeon {Beautifully photographed by Damian Russel, click his name to check out his amazing work}, 3. Tea For Joy, and 4. Style Pantry

Merry Christmas!!

Posted December 25th, 2010 by design4men and filed in Gifts, Style
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I am feeling especially thankful this Christmas as this is the first time ever that I am hosting family.  Yesterday,  a friend asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I quickly said, “nothing”.  And I thought to myself – hmm, it is uncommon for me to not list at least a couple of things.  And then it hit me, my family coming to visit DC is the best gift that I’ve received to date.

Wishing all of my readers, a holiday filled with cheer and the warmth of being surrounded by family…Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Decorating for the Holidays

Posted December 14th, 2010 by design4men and filed in Art & Accessories, DIY, Interior Design, Style
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I love the holiday season, especially because of the cheerful decorations. This weekend, I went crazy decorating. As a single guy, I wondered how I could balance incorporating Christmas (my holiday of choice) cheer and not going overboard. I figured that I would share how you can do just that.

1. Keep it simple – my place is small so I settled on 3 holiday statements – a tree, a wreath, and garland. Also keep the decor simple as well.

2.  Create a budget - prevents overspending

3.  Go real - while a personal preference, there is nothing like the smell and look of a real Christmas tree, wreath and garland

4. Get inspired - what do recall from your childhood? I started with how much I loved our large Christmas trees growing up. Rather real or fake, the tree was always at tall and full.  Image above from Apartment Therapy….great color palette and love the oversize ornaments

Here are some great options that inspired me this season.


Fruitfully Luxe I love this palette of rich cherry red, violet, plum, blackberry blue, and teal. Image from Apartment Therapy

Monochromatic and masculine. I love the ads for Macy’s this season featuring stylish duds in an equally stylish christmas back drop.  Note the great tone on tone gifts in chocolate and silver….Love that combination this season as well. Image from Glamour Boy



My tree of choice this year  and perhaps for years to come is the Concolor Fir AKA White fir.  The trees tend to be quite full and quite wide in diameter but the overall look is phenomenal.   Here are some ideas for trimming the tree.

Images by Cupola House Tree and  Iowa State University

Fruitful Plumage


Silver  with  subtle pops  of color

Love the gold and silver in the Macy’s tree and the pool of ornaments is fun touch – imagine integrating your gifts too.

Tree images Credits: Apartment Therapy 1,3 Your Nest Design 2, Macys 4


My favorite wreaths and garlands incorporate magnolia leaves.  Perhaps it is because I am from the South.

Traditional Charm


Pottery Barn Magnolia Wreath and Williams Sonoma Bay Leaf Wreath  – add a colorful bow to these beauties for some pop


Crate and Barrel Centerpiece Wreath Champagne


Neiman Marcus Shell Wreath and CB2 Bubble Ball Wreath or Garland – a little DIY project

Out of the Box

NM Lodge Wreath (R)- masculine and certainly a conversation piece, although I would loose the dangling spruce cones


My favorite wreaths and garlands incorporate magnolia leaves.  Perhaps it is because I am from the South.

Traditional Charm

Copper Ribbon Garland by William Sonoma – WS has great combos for wreaths and garlands


Pottery Barn Magnolia Garland and William Sonoma Triple Berry Garland


Vintage Beaded Glass Garlands – combining these will provide the look of the garland in the Macys ad I love.

Crate and Barrel Jingle Bell Garland

So have fun decorating this season but remember to keep it simple and classic so your decor will stand the test of time.

Green Interior Design by Lori Dennis

Posted November 27th, 2010 by design4men and filed in Architecture, Interior Design
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Special thanks to Lori Dennis, blogger and interior designer for letting us know about the release of her book, GREEN INTERIOR DESIGN.

The book features over 100 color photos of projects and furnishings and aims to be a great resource for creating sophisticated eco-friendly interiors.    The user friendly manual geared toward homeowners, interior designers, architects, and contractors, includes design tips as well as extensive resources and vendors.  GREEN INTERIOR DESIGN .

GREEN INTERIOR DESIGN includes every aspect of residential interior design—furniture and accessories, window treatments, fabrics, surface materials, appliances, plumbing fixtures, plants, gardens, maintenance and more—discussed from a green perspective in terms of reducing waste, avoiding pollution, and protecting the occupant’s health.

Already digging the sneak preview on Amazon.  The section Antique, Vintage, and Used Sources caught my eye.  Reusing and repurposing vintage furniture and even salvage architectural materials is a great way to recycle and reduce waste…not to mention save money.  I am sucker for a mid-century modern or industrial finds but often people don’t consider that new is not always better.  Check out sites like Ebay, 1stDibs, and Craigslist to find vintage pieces.

Click here to purchase your copy.  At$24.95, the book is a great gift for the environmentally conscious designer on your list.

Fall / Winter Fashion Must Haves

Posted November 20th, 2010 by design4men and filed in Style
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Although, I have been in denial, fall is here and winter approaches. The cold weather does mean wearing more clothes which means more opportunity to make a statement with your style. Here are 5 things I am obsessed with the Fall/Winter season.
1. Tailored Preppy American classics are back but with modern tailoring which I love.  And I especially love the clothing from Penguin this season.

2. Blazers & Ties Try dressing up more whether you have to or not…Add a skinny tie to an long-sleeve oxford and a herringbone blazer with dark blue jeans…For a more layered and warmer look add a cardigan or sweater.

3. Work Boots I am obsessed in general with boots but my favorite style this season is military and work boots in dark colors – black, charcoal, or brown.   Specifically, I am digging Corcoran Jump Boots…pretty easy to find on Amazon or even Ebay for a pre-owned pair.

4. The Vest Vests are an easy way to dress up  just about anything.  I especially love a vest with a henley or oxford shirt.

5. Black and Tan Not sure why but this winter – I am all about mixing blacks/grays with camel/tan colors.  I plan to pull out my Camel coat this winter and wear a black oxford, pants, and boots…and you should try it to.

IMAGE CREDITS: 1. The Fashionisto, 2. J Crew, 3. The Blaque Book, 4. Macys, 5. Eclectic Jewelry and Fashion

Chartreuse & Co, Frederick, MD

Posted November 4th, 2010 by design4men and filed in Art & Accessories, Interior Design, Leisure
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A couple weekends ago, I checked out Chartreuse & Co in Frederick, MD.  There is a reason why this place made the Great Day Trips in the Washingtonian.  A collection of different vendors in a barn filled with oddities and unfurnished or finds.  Additionally, on the property, there was another barn filled with discards or works in progress as well as a shed filled with architectural finds. My favorite shop and my reason for the trip was Madison and Mabel (the image and below are of the shop). Great industrial and modern finds.


Of course I had to make a few purchases…but I controlled myself.

Purchased: Crates from the discards barn ($15 for 3, similar to above)


Purchased: Industrial Pendant  and Eames DCM Dining Chair (let’s just say they were a steel)


Tempting: Vintage Steel Magazine Rack and Glass Pendant Lamp

So definitely check out Chartreuse & Co for a day trip or you can even just pop in a couple hours…they mentioned cocktails at their Holiday Tag Sale happening this weekend!

IMAGE CREDITS: Photo of DCM Chair by Gararge; Photo of Crates by MyDeco

Victor Klassen Furniture & Doors

Posted October 26th, 2010 by design4men and filed in Art & Accessories, Furniture, Interior Design
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Victor Klassen, started by the artist/scupltor himself, features innovative wood-working technique from exterior doors and other wood doors, to coffee tables, home accessories and other unique modern furniture pieces. These contemporary styles always exude a life of their own. They get their inspiration from the blend of natural forms and the illusion of movement, which is why their artistic furniture designs curve and flow with an exquisite rhythm.  Speaking of simulating movement through dynamic form…the stunning buffet above features is a personal favorite featuring ubiquitous sweeping curves and integrated pulls.  The following are just a taste of the wonderful pieces on the site:

Curve Table

Skeletal Sofa simply wow!

Nook Coffee Table (also available as console and breakfast tables)


Doors: Wave and Chaotic

All of their pieces incorporate the best quality materials including premium grade Red Cedar and American Ash which are mainstays in their collection. No wonder they pride themselves on modern furniture pieces that are perfect for longevity and stability.

Enjoy your journey through their site by clicking here, and be immersed in the artistic work of Victor Klassen.

IMAGES by Victor Klassen