Spring in your step edition

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Battle on the Home Front

When it comes to décor, males are usually happy to let the female of the species call the shots (unless the scheme involves a complicated quantity of pot-pouri and soft toys). However, we still face a foe that can thwart even the most well planned décor scheme: ‘man-clutter’.

Picture sleek surfaces, scatterings of textured throw cushions, an orchid in a glass bowl… then plonk a dog-eared Popular Mechanics magazine and a Lego robot figurine (with bits missing) into the middle of it. Lovely.

‘Man-clutter’ can include Superhero posters, cables, funny looking connectors that are supposed to be part of a ‘home theatre system set up’, and random items that look useful but probably aren’t, like paint encrusted screw drivers, old keys and used socks (still suspiciously retaining toe shapes).


When it comes to ‘man-clutter’ warfare, call up the three ‘ations’:

1. Organisation –

By making stylish storage a part of your scheme, you give the ‘man-clutter’ somewhere to squat out of sight.

Ideas:
- Get an attractive laundry basket. Whether it is made from bleached wicker, wooden slats, or cream canvas, it needs to be large and accessible, so that it is impossible to miss (literally).

*For any men that might be reading this: a laundry basket might seem like a quaint item, but it requires looking after, much like a pet. Worn garments chucked in its general direction do not supply all its nutritional needs. Be kind to your laundry basket. Feed it well. Put all dirty items INSIDE IT.

- Bedside tables with drawers rather than shelves can go a long way to keeping the beloved comic book collection hidden.

- In the living room, a coffee table with a drawer is also a great help for random man-clutter stowing, as are ottomans or footstools with lift-able lids.


 

Homefront

2. Negotiation –

Living together is a joint venture, so some man-things, no matter how yukky, may have a vital use (real or imagined) or a deep sentimental value. In the event of: ‘but I’ve had that life-size plastic Spiderman bust since I was ten!’ a treaty needs to be negotiated.

Examples to adjust for your own use:

- I keep my so-called ‘dust magnetising’ Asian candle collection, and you keep that hideous tribal mask that your buddy brought back from Chile.

- I keep the quilt my Granny sewed that makes you sneeze, and you keep the rude, novelty ashtray from your Varsity days.

3. Integration –

Ways to integrate for peace on the home front:

- The vital element when trying to blend different tastes is a sense of humour… Décor should never be taken too seriously.

- Nothing unites like a retro scheme because tongue-in-cheek plays a vital role. Come up with funky ways to display both sets of items.

- Modern fabric designs are perfect for male-female taste melds. Keep your florals ‘graphic’ rather than ‘fussy’, and you’re halfway there.

I’ll leave you with this: what’s more important: having all 36 colour coded cushions arranged in descending size order on your bed, or having someone awesome inside it?



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