Trunk Club members frequently ask their stylists for advice on restaurants, vacation spots, and even interior design. In fact, we’ve received so many questions about how guys should furnish their homes that we turned to a bonafide design maven for some insight.
Kitty Bartholomew was the resident decorator on the Home Show on ABC, starred in Kitty Bartholomew: You’re Home on HGTV, and sat on Oprah’s couch several times—all while writing books.
We recently talked to Kitty about the first steps a guy should take when figuring out how to properly appoint his place.
Trunk Club: For a guy who doesn’t really know a lot about interior design, what’s a good starting point?
Kitty: Go out and buy six or seven different decorating magazines, all different looks. One of the covers might look very contemporary; another looks more country. Take the magazines home and start turning the pages. Don’t spend more than 10 seconds per page. If you see something that appeals to you, rip it out. If you see a page and say, “Never, not for me,” rip that out too, so you have two stacks. Don’t overthink it. It’s a gut thing. Then study the things that you like and what you don’t. You’re going to find common denominators. You might see that every picture is filled with shutters or a black sofa, and that will get you started.
What’s a good way to choose which colors will work for a given room?
Kitty: A lot of men are afraid of color, or they aren’t really sure which colors they like. So I would say to them, go to your closet and pick out the things that you’re drawn to. Is there a shirt or tie that you tend to wear more than others? When you’re done, look at everything, and you’ll get an idea of which colors you’ll be comfortable with.
If you live in a smaller space and want to make it look bigger, white is always going to work. When you go with a color instead of white, it will make the space look smaller—but is that necessarily a bad thing? Smaller is often more comfortable. Would you be happier in a large, cold place or one that seems smaller and more comfortable? That’s something to consider.
If white makes a room look bigger, what can you do to maximize the actual available space?
Kitty: If storage is a consideration, one of the best things you can get is a trunk of some kind. An old trunk can also function as a coffee table, or you can throw extra blankets in there, or pillows or whatever. Having something with storage is always a good choice.
*We’re pretty sure Kitty is talking about steamer trunks here, like the one shown to the left. But just in case, we included a trunk of our own.*