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Decorating with the stuff guys love


If you live with a man who is a car enthusiast or a sports fanatic — and you’re not — there’s a good chance he wants to decorate with a lot of memorabilia that makes you cringe. Take, for example, his collection of model cars or the autographed basketball he’s been hanging on to for more than a decade. You might want to stuff these items in the attic or sell them at a garage sale, but he might insist on decorating your home with these items. Ack! What do you do?

Trophy cabinet

Above all, learn to compromise. Having car and sports décor in your home doesn’t mean it will look like a bachelor pad. There are several unique and sophisticated ways to decorate with a man’s favorite memorabilia. Here are some suggestions.

1Showcase his trophies or memorabilia on floating shelves

According to Barbara Green, a design columnist and owner of Sensibly Chic Interior Design, “The best way to display car and sports memorabilia is with floating shelves. They enable the memorabilia to be the focus and not the structure. For added drama, the wall can be back-lit.”

2Display his prized memorabilia behind glass

To showcase items that are fragile or need to be maintained in pristine condition, Green suggests placing them inside a glass display case, such as those you might see in a jewelry store. “Since so many stores are going out of business, glass display cases can be found very affordably at store fixture re-sellers,” she explains.

Also see: Girly decor your man despises >>

3Create wall art using shadow boxes

When hanging autographed jerseys and banners, many men are content to simply tack them to the wall. Unfortunately, this kind of haphazard display tends to look careless. A more effective way to display jerseys, banners and similar memorabilia is to place them inside a shadow box that hangs on the wall.

“That makes them look edgy and cool, like a piece of art, as opposed to just a banner stuck on a wall. It is all about housing the item so that it looks finished and sophisticated,” explains Jane Brown, director of Jane Brown Interiors.

4Find creative places to store and display memorabilia

Brown also says you can embellish furniture with memorabilia. “I’ve had clients’ signed baseballs incorporated into a coffee table with a glass top so that the balls can be easily seen and admired and at the same time protected,” she explains.

According to Green, another effective way to integrate car or sports décor is with creative window treatments. Here are a few of the applications she says she has used: sporting items as curtain rods, such as fishing poles, swords, golf clubs and oars; a surfboard as a window valance; sports banners stapled to a board as a valance; and tennis balls as finials on a rod.

These tips will help you avoid making your home look like a bachelor pad while incorporating car and sports décor. Remember, the trick to decorating with this kind of memorabilia is to be open-minded about the many ways you can display these items.

Tell us

What is your least favorite item of your man’s décor?

Share it with us in the comments section below.

More guy-friendly décor advice

Home colors for men
Decorating tips for moving in together
How to decorate a sports-themed room

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