Why this works: Traditional with a twist

I’m a big fan of masculine interiors. I’m not talking sterile bachelor pads here, I’m talking sophisticated, glamorous spaces with a gentleman’s club vibe. The one above has all of this in spades, which is why it so works. Classy, with a deep and inky palette, so of course I’m a fan. Something I don’t touch on enough actually is form, which is one of the key things that determines if a room looks “masculine” or “feminine”. Oh and by the way when I use those terms I mean it as a kind of shorthand for a particular sort of vibe, it’s got absolutely nothing to do with who lives there. Case in point, this is actually the home of Tracie Ellis of AURA Home. I was interviewed recently by Domaine about how gender affects interiors, and that was the first thing I had to say (also, spoiler alert but gender doesn’t come into it really!).

Anyway I digress. Back to form, that is the shape and weight of the pieces in a room. This is a big factor in whether a space works or looks like a hot mess. Straight lines and sturdy looking pieces like the gorgeous sofa here bring the masculine edge. Where this space gets it right is in introducing subtle variety so everything doesn’t feel super boxy. The fireplace and chandelier are ornate, but nothing’s overly fussy. It’s all balanced perfectly. There isn’t an abundance of accessories and the few there are are super cool and well chosen, so they have much greater impact. Sometimes simplifying the details can have much more impact than if you chuck everything and the kitchen sink at it!

Here’s my picks of the key pieces to get this look, with the hero piece of course being the droolworthy vintage leather sofa. The dark tan fireplace and sofa are incredible against the black walls – whoever said black and brown can’t be mixed? Perfect colour scheme for a sophisticated sitting room or study I feel.


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Clockwise from top left: Rhino wall plaque | Ballroom chandelier | “Drunk” painting | Jefferson supersized mirror | Veyed console table, French Connection | Glass pendant, Curiosa & Curiosa | Lene Bjerre cushions, Houseology | Photo dome, Urban Outfitters | Vintage 3-seater studded leather sofa

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