“Men’s Spaces” is excerpted from Southern Coastal Living: Stylish Lowcountry Homes by J. Banks Design by Joni Vanderslice
In almost every home that we do now, the men want one room that is their own designated domain: a place where they can get away to, concentrate, watch a football game. They always want these personal spaces to reflect their interests: golf, boats and the nautical life, travel, whatever it may be. Part of the fun for me is pulling that information out of them. Watching them settle in once the rooms are complete is such a pleasure. They really use their rooms. Usually, they cannot wait to show off their space to their friends and visiting family members.
I have found that in men’s spaces, wood is particularly important. Men seem to truly love beautiful woods, especially when it is stained in rich, dark shades. They also love texture. In my experience, they also have an eye for items that show the touch of the hand—pieces that may not be quite as ﬁnely ﬁnished or as perfect as those we would use elsewhere in the home. Once the essential elements are in place, the challenge lies in finding or creating those pieces—whether whimsical or pertaining to a special interest—that express their character, reflect their personality, and capture their passion.
My husband, Rick, has his special place (left) at the top of our house, overlooking the water, just off the area where our daughters do all their art, craft, and sewing projects. We’ve ﬁlled it with items that reﬂect his passions for hunting, ﬁshing, and Africa—including the antique maps of Africa that I collect for him. The old maps are fascinating, in part because it took such a long time to map the entire continent, and in part because the boundaries of the countries have changed so much over the centuries. His maps document the transitions of colonialism, as well as the eras before and after. Each is different and has its own history. I’ve been able to ﬁnd them at auctions, which I love. Because Rick is a doctor, my stepmother searches out a gift each Christmas that is related to medicine; she is the force behind his collection of antique medical bags. His ﬁshing gear is handy, as are his hunting trophies. It truly is a man’s space.