Are we not men?! – How wallpapers turn bachelors into men
Stylish interior design not only depends on a tasteful choice of furniture and accessories, but on a good eye for space and proportions, too. The framework is essential. And the right wallpaper provides this framework.
These days, the classic wood-chip wallpaper (as useful as it once might have been, as it covers a multitude of sins!) is very rarely the wall covering of choice when decorating one's own four walls. But how do you rise to the exciting challenge of giving your home the personal touch (perhaps for the first time)?
In times long gone, the distribution of roles was clear: the woman's responsibility was motherhood and family as well as maintaining a comfortable home. The man's area of responsibility was outside the home - production, business, politics, work. In his role as the representative figure, the head of the household, as a father and husband, he was entirely at the hands of his wife's ideas of style and good taste.
Despite the fact that those gender stereotypes have thankfully been left behind, the fact remains that women often have very clear ideas about their style of living, and the stereotype of the slightly messy, unkempt bachelor pad is alive and kicking. Does this ring any bells?
You don't need to become metrosexual or grow a hipster beard to discover your abilities as your own interior designer for your private surroundings: Even in the first ever edition of Playboy Magazine in the mid-fifties of the last century, readers were encouraged to design their own apartments for the single lifestyle.
“A man’s home is not only his castle, it is - or should be - the outward reflection of his inner self: a comfortable, liveable, and yet exciting expression of the person he is and the life he leads. But the overwhelming percentage of homes is furnished by women. What of the bachelor and his need for a place to call his own?” (US Playboy October 1956, P.65, quotation Beatriz Preciado)
It is fair to assume that the Playboy culture had a significant impact on altering the image of the bachelor as a man who hangs out in bars, goes fishing, plays card games and sports, to being a gracious host. Especially in urban settings, one's own four walls became a representative backdrop to tasteful soirées where friends (and girlfriends!) would have a few Martinis - and in turn, the bachelor pad became a stage for the self-expression of the host. Taking into consideration that the number of single households has significantly increased since the mid-20th century, it is also reasonable to expect that their homes play an important role in terms of self-promotion on the marketplace of matters of the heart (and vanity!).
Today, this trend towards self-definition and self-expression is reflected in various press formats, too. The Neue Zürcher Zeitung, for instance, boasts a monthly feature named Folio, where photographs of a home are being analysed by a psychologist and an interior designer to form a picture of who might dwell there (followed by a big reveal, of course). Some of the popular “style” supplements of many weekend papers even go as far as asking so-called “psychologists of residential spaces” what women might find out about a man by checking out his home... And despite the occasional gender stereotyping in these pieces, some male readers might feel slightly rumbled. They might look at their abode with different eyes. The might even feel the need for change.
Those changes probably don't require the help of a psychologist though; taking the time to think about one's own needs and tastes should suffice. A good start would be to get rid of a few old knick-knacks that only collect dust, and to re-arrange what is already there. But even for a more profound change, a true refresher, a totally new interior design style, you don't need to replace all your old furniture. A new definition of the basic style will freshen up your environment and give your existing furnishings a new lease of life. And what better way then to start with the wall décor?
There is a huge choice of wallpaper patterns and motifs with more or less unambiguous messages, and the fact that they are relatively easy to apply enables any budding designer to realise their individual or classic, subtle or direct style ideas and completely change the character of a room. In the Wallpapers from the 70s catalogue, the designs are divided into categories like: floral, baroque, glamorous, romantic, geometric, striped, and (of course!) I love the 70s. So if you cannot even entertain the idea of glamorous or romantic wall décor, there are hundreds of other designs to choose from. And for those Peter Pan type amongst you, we have more than 100 children's wallpapers (some of them washable) - depending on how they are used, they can be a humorous and clever addition to a man's environment. If you are unsure about your first selection, why not print your pattern of choice out or have us send you a sample? It will certainly help you make your decision.
Once that decision is made, recruit a friend to help you and spend a fun weekend wallpapering together. Even if you just adorn one feature wall in your lounge, the effect will have an impact on the furniture, the visual lines and, finally, on you! And perhaps it will awaken a desire for more wallpapers (for instance in your friend!).
All that remains is the decision whether you will have a full-blown party to celebrate your successful new design project, or just a few beers and a pizza with your helpful mate.