It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a great apartment. This a slight reworking of Jane Austen’s imperative opening in Pride and Prejudice, since the ways of the modern world would have the single man go through a few additional steps before he’s “in want of a good wife.”
The maze in which the modern man finds himself becomes even more cumbersome when he must consider that the frat pack paraphernalia or sports trophy collection, to which he still has a particular fondness, isn’t going to cut it when it comes to decorating his own space in a way that will not scare away any potential Elizabeth Bennets.
This is when one will be in want of a good interior decorator. Here too, there is a minefield of good advice that may be daunting to say the least.
In his book “Decorating With Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen” the flamboyant UK author and interior designer advises, as do all interior decorators, that a man’s home should be an extension of his personality. But to illustrate more exactly what he means by that: “It’s like peacock plumage; your home should be an incredibly illustrative device that shows your personality. I think there’s nothing wrong with the home being assimilated as part of the whole mating procedure,” he writes.
If, you still find it hard to display your plumage as a guy living in New York City, there’s always IKEA. But here you will run into the maze, that is, the store itself. By the time you make it out to the other side, you will have had to muster up all of your visualization capabilities, to have picked out all the right pieces of furniture and color-coordinated items that will hopefully add to you cohesive ‘look.’ Armed with this list, you still have to handle the delivery and then the unnerving assembly process.
Of course the web might be the first port of call for anyone contemplating decorating his home. Here too, you will need to have your wits about you.
Johanna Meise, founder of online interior decorating service metro66.com says that “there are websites out there that will pair you with a designer who will say: “I think you’ll need this from this store, and this from this store,” and “that would look great in your space,” make a beautiful designed presentation and digitally give it to them. But the problem is that now this big project is sitting in that person’s hands.” And again, the logistics of juggling multiple deliveries and waiting for items that are out of stock might turn out to be frustrating.
During 11 years of working in home furnishings retail stores, coupled with experience in staging private residences in preparation for sale, Meise has honed her skills and aims to simplify the whole process of achieving a personalized home space.
The web service reads like a menu with clear steps to follow and a minimal amount of time spent making choices. Each customer upon sign-up is paired with an interior designer who handpicks furniture and accessories based on his unique design preferences, home layout, budget and lifestyle.
After signing up, the client is sent a link that can be used with any smart phone to take pictures and download them into to a personalized folder on the website. Any “must keep” items are incorporated and also give the designer an idea of the client’s style. The entire service leads the client in pinpointing his ‘look,’ helping him decide what to buy, where it goes, and the best feature about it is an expedited, pre-assembled, single delivery.
This is where Meise pulls off the “Bachelor pad genie” label because she works with over 50 manufacturers at 3 different price points.
The website that launched on April 1st is a gauntlet to other design services and it really ups the ante in helping the “average Joe” to tastefully display his peacock plumage.
“Guys want a nice looking home but they don’t have the time or the desire to do it themselves. That’s why I wanted to start Metro66 because I just think that guys need something specifically catering towards them, an all-in-one solution. They don’t like to shop and they don’t want to be hassled with everything that goes into it, so I think they need this,” says Meise. She adds that her goal is to service the masses, so that people who can’t afford or wouldn’t even consider hiring an interior designer can now do so.
Oh, and the ‘average Jane’ also gets her own website: bloom-a-room.com. It is essentially the same concept and service but with more feminine touches and colors.
Should you be a guy awaiting the muse of home decorating to work her magic, here are some current trends from Johanna Meise:
Trends for guys
“Right now navy is hot. Graphic textures. I also like to add a pop of a contrasting color, one focal point that will capture your eye. Having navy is a great classic color but also having an accent is fun as well.”
The little things you can do for big impact
“The most important thing is to get rid of the clutter and keep your home organized and clean and if you’re going to add a design element, I would say, paint color can add a lot of drama, pillows, accessorizing. You can really change the look and feel of a space with color.”
“If there’s a nice view out the window, then having a mirror positioned at the right spot to reflect it is good. They also break up the different types of mediums that you’re using. I like to have one mirror in a room so that it’s not all art.”