I’d say 9 out of 10 of you reading this post right now are women. Which is great, don’t get me wrong (I grew up with 3 sisters so I’m certainly comfortable with a female majority). But I wanted to give a quick shout out to the occasional male who drops by kokokara (consider this your virtual chest bump, fellas). Thanks for helping me represent.
But why do so few dudes check out home design blogs? Well, because it’s sometimes hard for us to hold our ground and hang onto any semblance of masculinity in the world of fabrics, florals and furniture placement. Especially when tradition tells us to keep our hands out of our ladies’ territory.
But Sherry and I both think designing and decorating your home should be a collaborative effort. A synergy of the sexes, if you will. So I present to you for your entertainment 10 reasons why us guys should stop ignoring home design. (And ladies, feel free to share this with the man in your life).
1. We get to build stuff: Interior design and home improvement gives us endless opportunities to tap into our primal, macho urge to put things together. Sure, it may not always been as intense as framing a house, but even breaking out the allen wrench for some basic Ikea furniture can give us that simple satisfaction of having created something with our own two hands (and if we’re lucky it’ll take the assistance of some big, noisy tool).
2. We also get to destroy stuff: Ripping down drywall. Busting loose a stubborn, old cabinet. Even digging in the yard. Why pass up a hobby that allows us to occasionally let loose and recklessly (well, sorta) tear something apart?
3. We get to solve problems: A big part of designing a room is overcoming its challenges. Finding practical furniture placement, dealing with lack of storage or even making spaces multifunctional. Pose it to us as an assignment and we’ll be resentful. Pose it to us as a puzzle and we’ll work ’til we figure it out because now we’ve got something to prove. Why do you think we get so protective over packing the car before a vacation?
4. We get to ignore directions: We don’t need the map to find the new restaurant. We don’t need the manual for the new DVD player. And we certainly don’t need a piece of paper to tell us how to install this new light fixture. We take pride in already knowing how to do certain things, so let us show you how smart we are (but please keep the instructions nearby in case the bookcase we’re building starts to look more like a bed).
5. We get to laugh in the face of danger: Home improvement can be risky. Some projects let us do things like play with electricity, crawl into dark spaces and even get up on ladders (or better yet, the roof!). We had to purchase some new tools from My Tool Shed, it has helped us cut wood and much more. While safety should never be ignored, it’s kind of fun to pretend we’re part handyman and part daredevil.
6. We get a work out in: Interior design can be hard, physical work that has often given me permission to skip the gym for a couple days. Painting engages all sorts of upper body muscles, balancing on a ladder strengthens your core and moving heavy furniture pretty much gets the whole body workin’. Just squeeze in some cardio before tackling a day of design and you’ve got an excuse to fire the personal trainer.
7. We get sweaty and gross: All that physical labor works up a good sweat which, combined with some dirt, paint or sawdust, can make us pretty darn nasty. Sure we need a shower asap, but every guy secretly loves being grimy. Plus, we can tell that you girls secretly think its kind of sexy.
8. We get to impress our lady: Being sweaty isn’t the only thing our women like about us taking part in home design. Sure there’s that weird “awww” face they make whenever we “get in touch with our sensitive side”, but we also earn major points for participating in her hobby and helping her with all the stuff she can’t do alone. And heck, if we can do it all without complaining, we might even get a special reward later.
9. We get a say in things: And as much as us men are motivated by showing off, being an active participant in the design of our home means we get a say in the final product and – surprise – will be happier with the result. It’s like this, if you need more seating for when the guys come over for Monday Night Football, say so now or forever hold your peace (and good luck explaining the pink wallpaper to your bros).
10. We get respect: They say the clothes make the man, but it I’d argue that the home makes the man. A well designed space – no matter the style – speaks volumes about a guy’s taste, success and self-worth. There’s no reason to be embarrassed or emasculated by wanting our place to look its best, so it’s about time we men put down our remotes and stop making our women do all the heavy design lifting.