written by:
photos by:
June 30, 2012
Originally published in The Interior Design Issue

So you’ve thrown out the St. Pauli Girl sign, but how can you create an elegant masculine home without going space-age bachelor pad? Interior designer Kyle Schuneman, whose new guide, The First Apartment Book: Cool Design for Small Spaces, hits shelves this August, offers some truly dudely advice.

Designer Kyle Schuneman portrait
Photo by 
Courtesy of 
Jon Snyder 2012
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Designer Kyle Schuneman portrait
Image courtesy of Jon Snyder 2012.

On the man cave:
"Not getting into clichés is important in any design because the last thing you want is to create a theme room. That’s always going to be a trap."

On architectural details:
"One of the most important things in any space is paint. And it’s also the cheapest dramatic change you can make. Colors like charcoal, slate, and taupe make a really good background, and a smart paint job can highlight an architectural element in the room."

The First Apartment Book by designer Kyle Schuneman
On texture:
"Menswear has become a big influence in design, as part of a revival of the mid-century Mad Men aesthetic. Toughening up a chair that has feminine lines with a tweed or herringbone is a great way to create balance. Some men don’t think about fabrics beyond florals, but leathers and the cowhides from companies like Kyle Bunting Rugs work underfoot and as wall panels. Take texture to a different level with jutes and burlaps; natural materials can enrich a space without making it feel any less manly." 

On shopping:
"Big flea markets offer unsual stuff, and outings to find it start a cycle of caring about your space. It’s not just, “This is my coffee table for my remote,” it’s the story that goes along with finding it." 

On art:
"Vintage signage can be really graphic. If you’ve got a white space with a bold, oversize metal gas sign or something that you went out and found, that heightens the texture in the room and the history. Play with scale and remember that art doesn’t have to match the rest of the space."

Bros on a Budget

Schuneman shares his top four affordable picks

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