Skip to content

Before & After: Designing A Masculine Bedroom

A while ago I was approached by a client to design his new apartment. He had previously been living in a small flat but had finally found his dream rooftop apartment with a nice terrace in the middle of Vienna. As the scale of his old furniture did not fit the dimensions of his new place, this meant that the brief called for completely new furnishings. This rarely happens – most of the time my clients have pieces they definitely want to keep and so it is necessary to design around the existing items. I actually did a little happy dance when I heard this!

As it was just him moving into the space it also meant that only his design esthetics needed to be taken into consideration. Don‘t get me wrong – I immensely enjoy designing for a couple – but it usually involves more discussion as couples might love each other but not necessarily the other persons style preferences.

We had a look at his new apartment as it came with some existing furniture but after taking a closer look we decided that they were neither visually appealing nor functional:

I mean, I know a few men that have small wardrobes but even they could not manage with a wardrobe of this size! The bed that came with the place had to go too because firstly it was white pleather (WHITE PLEATHER, I actually need no other reason!) and secondly it was, well, a well used bed….

The rooftop apartment is a typical development of the nineties so though light-flooded it has a sloped ceiling, a lot of angles and architectural features that are not necessarily striking. I knew early on that I definitely wanted to keep the white walls to not draw further attention to the different angles but also create a focal point that would draw the eye. After the first meeting it was also clear that clean lines would be key, we‘d go for a modern, masculine look with industrial elements, wood and a simple color scheme throughout the entire apartment.

I decided to propose using a focal wall in the bedroom to anchor the design. Focal walls have a bad rep in the design community which I think is unfair as they are a design tool like any other and if used wisely can uplift a space. You just tend to see a lot of badly executed focal walls (especially in but not limited to big box furniture stores). I found an absolutely amazing wallpaper by Rebelwalls called BATTERED WALL that was perfect for the space.

Battered Wall Wallmural by Rebel Walls

The design is actually based on a picture of a peeling wall taken during a renovation and I love the colors in it. Based on this I developed the overall design of the bedroom.

I added a simple oak double bed with a slight retro feel, a white wardrobe with a high-gloss finish that made optimal use of the space, a sideboard that took up the wood and white elements, metal elements in bedside tables and lamps and a rustic bed bench. This was the design board I presented:

Of course we made a few tweaks. We decided to add the NAIROBI chair by Maisons du Monde with a wooden frame and a black woven seat and swap out the lamp with the blue shade for something a bit more masculine (the Fifties table lamp by Nordal). We also decided to use art that the client already owned.

The install took place in the beginning of January – around three months after I gave birth to my baby girl Cleo. I spent most of the time at the install with a baby strapped to my chest or breastfeeding in a corner, looking completely exhausted.

But it was worth the effort because when it was done the client was very happy and the bedroom looks so inviting -in a masculine way of course!

And here again the before and after (I always love seeing these kind of images side by side. I am one of the people always fast forwarding to the reveal in any interior design show) of the area featuring the wardrobe (there is now space for all of the clothes plus the lone ironing board)….

…and the area with the bed:


What do you think of the result? Was it worth getting rid of the white pleather bed? I’d love for you to drop me a line in the comments! Or if you just feel like ogling more interiors (always my favorite pastime), then you can see another before and after of a bedroom here.

Nora Timmel-Ferch

Nora Timmel-Ferch

Join me on a Design Journey! Follow my blog for practical tips and ideas on how to create stunning living areas that suit your style and preferences.