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Masculine by design

If you're thinking about warming up your home now that summer is slipping away and temperatures are beginning to dip, you might draw some inspiration from the classic fabrics and patterns of menswear.

Mixing and matching plaids with pillows and throws gives a warm, up-to-date feel to any room. (Joshua Komer/Grand Forks Herald)
Mixing and matching plaids with pillows and throws gives a warm, up-to-date feel to any room. (Joshua Komer/Grand Forks Herald)

If you're thinking about warming up your home now that summer is slipping away and temperatures are beginning to dip, you might draw some inspiration from the classic fabrics and patterns of menswear.

Yes, menswear.

It's not by chance that a good suit never goes out of style. Quality menswear suiting fabrics always have stood the test of time-and they will in your home-decorating scheme, too.

Wool, leather, corduroy, sherpa, natural linen, crisp cotton and even flannel can be reimagined in pillows, throws, upholstered furniture and wallpaper for a touch of masculinity that both genders can appreciate.

For example, a deep-tufted leather ottoman in a rich bronze or dark brown instantly adds a rugged manly feel to a den, office or family room.

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Take a closer look at typical menswear patterns such as houndstooth or tartan plaid, tweed, herringbone, pinstripe, gingham and buffalo check. They provide the ingredients for a tailored masculine look that's easy on the eyes.

Pinstripe, for example, is probably the most sophisticated fabric menswear has ever known. Vertical pale pinstripe on charcoal gray wallpaper, as a backdrop to modern furniture, creates a subtle contemporary vibe with a nod to the traditional.

Gingham is just as popular in men's fashion as it is in women's. It takes on a menswear-inspired look when used in tailored upholstered seating trimmed with nickel or chrome nail heads.

Warm and fuzzy

Time-honored fabrics, such as flannel and wool, exude a comfort and warmth you'll enjoy throughout the fall and winter months.

What could be more cozy than wrapping yourself in a sherpa-lined, buffalo-checked throw and snuggling into the couch for some lazy-evening TV watching?

Or prop your pillows against a well-padded headboard covered in plaid flannel that offers softness and a familiar feel as you read your favorite novel. A wool, tartan plaid on accent pieces such as occasional chairs or stools adds a dash of color in any space.

Achieve an all-American look by blending plaids and stripes in pillows and throws that rely heavily on red, white and blue.

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A woven, windowpane plaid rug in earth tones lays the foundation for a simple and stylish room that conveys a hint of tradition when teamed with beautiful wood furniture pieces.

Vintage cotton ticking is lightweight and comfy-perfect for a bed quilt, shams or duvet. Combine a classic blue-and-white stripe with grays and related shades of blue to add a sense of casual chic to a bedroom. While blue is probably the most widely recognized, popular colors also include red and white, gray and white, as well as brown and beige.

Don't go overboard with patterns though. Too many plaids and stripes can quickly undo all the benefits of a masculine-inspired space.

Keep patterns in check-so to speak-by adhering to a well-managed color palette, clean-lined furnishings, and a bit of visual rest, courtesy of a few solid-colored pieces.

Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at pknudson@gfherald.com or (701) 780-1107.
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