I’ve always believed in the old saying that a house should feel like a home. I’ve lived in a few different apartments here in New York City and, while the process of moving is torture, I’ve always loved getting to spruce up a new space with my quirky aesthetic and personalized touches. Like any artist, I look at every space as a delicate balance between design, attitude, and color.
For many guys, decorating an apartment can be a real chore. With the stress of personalizing a space, keeping those white walls and bare floors starts looking like an attractive option. And before you dub it “minimalism,” let me tell you that even minimalists put some effort into their decorating. *wink*
Over the past few months, I’ve highlighted some design tricks and favorite pieces that make spectacular statements in any residential space, many of which are under $100. Recently, I partnered with my friends at Shutterfly to bring some of my design ideas to life through personalized home décor options like individual prints and custom-created interior accessories.
I’ve always been an artist; it was rare to not find me buried in a sketchbook or playing around on Adobe Illustrator, even as a youngster. In college, I studied graphic design with a focus on textiles/patterns for accessories. Like any avid hobbyist, I have hundreds of patterns that never really went anywhere… until now!
I knew Shutterfly was a leader in photo printing, but had never considered they could help bring some of my graphic patterns to life in my home. I was able to print a few of my favorite custom-created patterns in pillows, blankets, and even a serving tray! How cool is that? Seeing my patterns come to life was a bit surreal.
To further personalize my room, I created a little “nook” where a handful of my souvenirs and travel tchotchkes could live. I’ve traveled quite extensively over the last year so I wanted to find an interesting way to commemorate those life-changing experiences with a few special items.
One standout piece (and my personal favorite) was this woven blanket printed with a photo I took while visited the Redwood Reserves near the Russian River in Northern California last October. I also picked up an awesome 5” x 5” glossy print depicting a favorite photo from my cave exploration in Thailand. Pieces like this work exceptionally well in a guy’s space because they infuse that organic, masculine side of nature.
To top off my revamp, I needed a little green. Plants, that is! I opted for a few dried branches and beautiful succulents. Warm-weather plants are always a good option for frequent travelers because they need very little maintenance – which is always a plus!
Shutterfly made revamping (and personalizing) my space an easy process. Aside from pillows, blankets, and prints, Shutterfly also offers other great interior accessories like canvas prints, wood wall art, and glass photo cubes. With endless options for personalization, you’re sure to find something that fits your aesthetic, your taste, and – most importantly – you!
Need some extra help? Here’s a few tips and tricks to get your revamp started on the right foot:
– Plan First –
Any good decorator will tell you that planning is an essential first step to any revamp or design project. What are your favorite colors? What inspires you? Spent a week or two searching the web, magazines, and catalogs for inspiration. Use your travels as a starting point for your design. Are there any places or memorable trips that you want to commemorate?
– Pin Point It –
Don’t be afraid to use Pinterest. Just because it’s your mom’s favorite website, doesn’t mean it’s off-limits to you! Pinterest is a great resource for constant inspiration. When I was designing my living room a few months ago I used Pinterest as my only mood board, which made it easy to share my ideas with my roommates.
– Breathe Life –
Utilize plants more. Plants add more than just color to your space, they serve as a natural humidifier and purifier for the air – ensuring your living room is a space where you can live better!
Whether you’re an avid cocktail connoisseur or just enjoy a glass of merlot socially, a stocked bar is essential for those moments when entertaining is a must. As an added bonus, a stocked bar not only looks cool but infuses some James Bond-level masculinity in any room.
– Go Bold –
Don’t be afraid to take some risks with your design choices. Guys tend to be incredibly practical when it comes their design choices, but opt for something bold that may not necessarily be needed.
– Couch Potato –
Your sofa should be the bed of your living room. Make it comfortable and keep it dressed. Add a vintage camp blanket or a few personalized pillows to inject your sofa with a punch of personality.
– Collect, Don’t Hoard –
Craft a beautiful collection of like-minded wares. If you love books, find your favorites and begin building a handsome library. Love photos? Order high-quality prints of your favorite photos in different sizes (framed, if possible) and create a wonderful gallery wall. Be purposeful with your collections and find ways to have that collection complement your overall design.
Scout Sixteen is a lifestyle blog from Justin Livingston. Justin grew up in Mississippi but relocated to New York City in 2008. On Scout Sixteen, Justin shares his passion in fashion, travel, food and drink, and mental wellness.