Dallas-based Interior Designer Abbe Feninore takes us on a tour of a modern bachelor loft and offers tips on designing for dudes. photography Melanie Johnson for StudioTen25
Men. Football. Interior Design…
A series words you generally don’t find in the same article. Unless, of course, you happen to be interviewing Abbe Fenimore about her latest venture with Dallas Cowboys Tight End, Martellus Bennett. Martellus wanted this downtown loft to be a complete 180 from his current condo just outside of Dallas. He wanted a fun loft where he could record music, hang out with his friends and be in the center of the Dallas scene. Since this was the second home she designed for Martellus, she knew exactly what to expect. When they walked into the empty industrial space his only request were:
1. Purple and gray color palette.
2. Large, comfortable, and affordable furniture pieces that would be easy to clean and quick to delivery.
3. A few fun must have pieces like the pool table, arcade games and a place for his recording “studio”.
…and she had about three weeks to pull it all together!
ERIKA WARD: Which item was the jumping off point for the living room design? The rug, art, or neither.
ABBE FENIMORE: It’s never that cut and dry with Martellus. He is full of ideas so it’s my job to find most important items on the wish list and go from there. I actually started with the sofa. I found a 96″ long piece from Room and Board that he could lay down on without his feet hanging off! Everything else just fell into place after that.
How would you describe the style of this home? What makes it a bachelor space?
This space was the cliche contemporary/modern downtown loft complete with floor to ceiling windows, exposed ceilings and concrete from head to toe. I wanted to bring in his personality with color, texture and unique elements. It would have been boring if we would have created the standard loft apartment. It’s the perfect bachelor pad! The pool table takes the place of a dining table, the master closet is a mini recording studio and the pacman arcade game took the place of a washer/dryer.
This loft has a modern, playful vibe. How did you manage to keep a youthful look while maintaining a sense of maturity in the space?
I started by selecting furniture pieces that could be used in other space once he moved out of the loft. The sofa has a classic modern shape but the fabric was very masculine and pulled together. Adding color is the key to being playful, but using muted and warm tones give the apartment a mature feel. Layering the rooms with fun accessories was the only way to bring in Martellus’ personality. I didn’t want the place to feel cluttered and junky so each accessory was well thought out.
Tell me a little about the Warhol-esque picture above the bed.
This was actually a piece that I surprised Martellus with. He is an artist at heart and spends his free time painting and drawing. I knew he loved Eva Mendes and when I found this purple pop art piece, I snagged it right away. He loved it!
What advice do you give for creating a cohesive look in a open concept plan?
- Start with a color palette that you love and use a little pop of those colors in each room. Use pillows, art and patterned rugs to keep things interesting.
- Grounding the rooms with neutral pieces like the accent chairs and sofa will be the key to get the most out of the space. Invest in good quality pieces that can be relocated easily and updated with a few pillows.
- Use spaces where your limited on space and configuration to your advantage. Dual purpose pieces can be more interesting in the long run.
- Keep it simple. Use ottomans or garden stool as a coffee table and them easily move them around for extra seating when you have guests over.
What do you like most about designing spaces for men?
Simplicity simplicity simplicity. Most most don’t care about the details.
I stick with basic questions and get the more important answers the first time around. I let them handle the electronic and always offer to have everything installed for them.
Let’s go shopping for a bachelor’s pad! Where to?
Room and Board, Crate and Barrel, Zgallerie and West Elm are my go to places.
All of these retailers have stylish furniture and accessories that usually wipe down well. Guys don’t like to wait 6-8 weeks for something to arrive and most of these places deliver in two weeks or less.
Art.Com is a great resource for pieces that you can purchase framed or create a custom piece by selecting your mats and frame. It’s simple and every guy can relate to that.
Bed Bath & Beyond can overwhelm a bachelor but if you take them directly to the towels for example…you can usually get the job done. My advice, get their preferences, purchase a second option if your not sure and return the rest!
Sofa: Room & Board
Floor Lamp: CB2
Accent Chairs: Ikea
Koi Art above sofa: Client purchase at charity event
Pillows: CB2 & West Elm
Master Bed: West Elm
Bedding: Ikea and West Elm
Rug: West Elm
Dresser: West Elm
Lamps: TJ Maxx Homegoods