A Masculine Bedroom That She’ll Love too

Dear Laurel,

Why is decorating so difficult?

This all came about because the other day, I was asking my fiancé what he thought of some sheets I was considering getting. He just winked at me and said that he doesn’t want anything too “girly.” I mean, I know that he wants me to be happy, but I know what he means.


He wants a masculine bedroom.


Oh man, I hope you have some good advice because I’m really worried. After spending five years looking for a man I could see spending the rest of my life with, I finally found him.

He’s kind, funny, handsome, and well…  he actually LIKES doing the dishes. Go figure.

In addition, he makes a good living. We have nearly the same taste in music. He dresses nicely.

Oh, I didn’t tell you this. I am 62 and he is almost 60. So, yes, this is our second marriage. And, of course, our kids are grown.

But, you already know what’s coming, I bet.


His decorating sucks.


Laurel, I pished myself with laughter reading the other posts on this topic. My fiance has EVERY single bachelor cliche you mention.


I could keep going. It’s just your typical bachelor-pad furnishings.

What is it Laurel? Is there some genetic coding? You see, I’m from the UK and my decorating style is English, traditional country. The REAL ENGLISH COUNTRY.

I love it when you post work by Ben Pentreath, Trad Chap(Jack Laver Brister) and others. And, I also love those posts dispel those myths about what most Americans call “country.”


And, while we could use ideas for entire home, I don’t want to be too greedy. So, for now, I want to focus on a more masculine bedroom.


If other readers would like more information about how to decorate other rooms so that everyone will be happy, all the better, for future posts.

So, what I mean by a masculine bedroom is definitely not the depressing outrageous bachelor type rooms with dark walls on top of blacks and grays. (and the predictable platform bed/futon combo) But something clean and classic, with a bit of modern, that will carry through the years.

I did love this bedroom post from two months ago. But, there aren’t a lot of sources there; just inspiration. And, that’s good, but sources are even better.


If this next information is helpful, you can use it.


We were both married for over 20 years, but are still youthful in attitude and lifestyle. I’ve actually been to his old home that his former wife now owns. And, I actually very much like what she’s done. Funny, I guess our taste is similar in furnishings AND men. haha.

I dunno. Maybe I should marry her? She seems nice enough. But, alas, she has a boyfriend and I’m not sure how that would work out. lol



PS: I do love Serena and Lily and notice that they are having a sale on their custom upholstery which includes their upholstered beds. Alas, I’m sure that S & L is going to be too feminine for my guy.




Thank you so much Maria! This post about masculine bedrooms that women will love too, is based on a note I received not too long ago from her. Yes, Laurel added a few things actually quite a bit, to turn the query into a little story.


One thing that Maria said. Well, she didn’t say it. I said it for her. haha. Is about Serena and Lily being too feminine.


However, I imagine that’s the perception that a lot of people have.

And, here’s why.

Serena and Lily had their tiny beginnings about 15 years ago. I did find an interesting interview with Lily Kanter from 2015.

And when I say tiny, I mean that in more ways than one. For the first few years, pretty much all they sold was baby bedding. And, they still do. But, it’s no longer the bulk of their business or the focus.

Around 2006 client of mine told me about their tiny store in Larchmont. She was expecting her second child and asked me to go shopping with her. So, we went there and I was immediately enchanted with their sophisticated nursery linens. We selected a darling layette for her soon to be baby boy.

Note. That store no longer exists because it would not be large enough to accommodate their current and extensive line of home furnishings. However, you might enjoy this older post explaining more about their current stores and offerings.


Soon, I was receiving the Serena & Lily catalogs every month. And, I relished each one as they expanded their line quite a bit, each time.


And, while the look of their brand has evolved over the years; the beautiful presentation is something I’ve admired from day one. In my mind Serena and Lily is synonymous with brilliant marketing. Several years ago I purchased numerous items from Serena and Lily and always have been thrilled with the products as well as level of service.


But, here’s the thing. There is nothing even remotely babyish about any of it. In fact, the line, IMO has actually gotten to be over-all, quite masculine.


Or, at least the rooms are spaces that both men and women would feel comfortable in.

What’s the secret? Well, I think it’s a combination of scale, shape, texture, color, pattern. Ummm… It’s just the genius of Serena Dugan, the creative force behind the S & L brand. Lily Kanter is the brilliant marketer.

It has not gone unnoticed by me that almost everything mixes and coordinates with dozens of items, in other collections in the line. And, I love how they do that.

Where other brands put the same collection together in a matched set, Serena and Lily never does that. And, in that way, it makes the furnishings just that much more versatile.

And, while I wasn’t originally going to feature S & L exclusively, for this post, it makes sense because of the beautiful way they market their products.


In addition, they are having a great sale right now on all of their custom upholstery. That includes all of their gorgeous upholstered beds.


One other thing I’ve noticed recently is that while the line is still over-all coastal, in feel, as it has been for the last few years; it is completely adaptable to other locations.


And, although they do love their blue and white; not everything is.


Serena and Lily Masculine bedroom
In fact, there’s a lot of green and coral, soft grays and beiges.


Serena and Lily_Tete_A_Tete Avalis pillow cover pink sand

Avalis pillows in pink sand


For the cool rattan tete a tete chair, click here.


They even have a beautiful shell pink which is the kind of pink that most men wouldn’t object to, because it’s not too sticky-sweet.

The other thing is, if I wanted to, I could make the rooms more feminine. It just depends which colorways, light fixtures and rugs one selects.


And there are some patterns which are not masculine such as this gorgeous blue and white floral wallpaper called Fairfax.


Broad_Beach_Gobi_Beach_Pierson_Dresser - Masculine Bedroom - Serena and Lily
I think that with these handsome lines, that a piece like this white Pierson Dresser would be a piece that both men and women would like in a more masculine bedroom. They always style everything so beautifully, too. Love that hunky Midbrook table lamp which is also new this season.


Serena and Lily Low Broderick_Solana - masculine bedrooms

This shelter-style Broderick bed in a lower height is new this season. It also comes in a higher headboard version. And there’s one that comes with a slipcover. However, I think the lower profile gives the bed a sleek contemporary look.


Below is a tiny sampling of some of my favorite products and vignettes Serena and Lily has created that I think make for a beautiful masculine bedroom



I hope that gave y’all some good ideas for creating a bedroom that both men and women would love to have. That’s not always easy to accomplish. In addition, I feel that these furnishings are classic and will stand the test of time.


LR_Barton_Black leather sofa - Serena and Lily

Barton Sofa from Serena and Lily in Black Leather


However, Serena and Lily have done such a fabulous job, they can even create a black leather sofa that’s chic and stylish.





PS: Some of you know, but we lost all cable/internet last night for several hours. However, the Hot Sales did come out yesterday around noon. So, please check them out if you haven’t already.

18 Responses

  1. Hi Laurel! Your timing of content is in sync with my current projects, or I make it so. I’d love a pretty chandelier like the Serena and Lily photos. Is there a standard height to hang it over the bed? Thanks!

    1. Hi Kelly, that’s a very good question. I think it depends on the ceiling height and size of chandelier. Usually, it’s going to hang about seven feet from the floor. It can go a little lower if going directly over the bed. But, what I’ve always done is to eye-ball it with the electrician if in doubt.

  2. This is a great post. I love Serena & Lily, although I haven’t yet purchased anything from them. When I saw the topic of this post, the first thing that came to my mind was William McLure – the bedrooms of his that I have seen are gorgeous and aren’t too feminine.

  3. I was at the Westport CT store on Saturday, they are showing tons of burnt orange, in pillows, throws, ottomans, etc., which I love and have used in my dining room on chair cushions and drapes…

  4. I love the Serena and Lily catalogue! I bought a big basket from there to hold sheet music.

    Speaking of print media, I am really going to miss Traditional Home Magazine. I looked forward to every issue. I have stacks and stacks of them. They were the only thing I “hoarded” lol.

    1. Hi Patricia,

      Seven years ago, I got one of their big laundry baskets. Or, at least that’s what I use it for.

      Yes, I too, love Traditional Home Mag and am sad to see it go.

  5. I love looking at the English Country stuff like Ben Pentreath but all I want to know is how many housekeepers they have, how often they come, etc. As a person who cleans her own house, has a beloved dog and gets mice in the winter even if every crumb is in a vault, it is all I can think about when I see the linens drying over the stove and the artful piles of magazines on the floor.

  6. Every bedroom is so inviting
    Now, I just need to find a nice man and I’ll change my bedroom with a wedding ring on my finger.
    My daughter in law took her sweet time culling my son’s possessions. So proud of her.
    Laurel, ur humor and tremendous knowledge inspires me.

  7. Laurel, I totally agree with you that Serena and Lily can appeal to both the masculine and the feminine. What I love about their things is that the lines and materials are clean and modern, without ever being cold and clinical. Their Harbor Bed in particular could very easily appeal to a man or woman, either in that gorgeous Natural finish or that newer Ebony finish. Speaking of which, I was SO disappointed when they discontinued the Full/Double size in that Harbor Cane Bed as I had my heart set on it for a guest room. I just don’t have room for a Queen size bed. Ah, the demise of the Full size bed….what happened to it ?! But I digress……….

    1. Hi Maggie,

      Actually, it’s a very good question. Like other things that fall by the wayside, they probably weren’t selling very well. I blame it on the Americans with their propensity to super-size everything and philosophy of “bigger is better.” I rarely even had a client who did a queen-sized bed.

      Yes, I’m American in that I was born here and lived here all of my life.

      Apparently, it was a mistake. ;]

      Alas, I do have the Harbour bed in the full-size. I’m not sure when they discontinued it. I purchased mine near the end of 2012. However, I only need about 12″ haha. Therefore, if I’m lucky enough to one day be sharing my 55 incher with a hot, handsome hunk, that gives him a full 43″ of sleeping space. That should work.

  8. Hi Laurel,
    I just love Serena & Lily’s things. But I never thought of them as feminine. I perceived them as more Coastal.
    But that’s overall. I’m sure if I took any of their items & placed them in any other type setting, it would be fine. And take the room up a notch. They certainly have beautiful things.
    I hope you are doing well. I think of you often. 😘

    1. Thanks Mary. I do miss some of the smaller items and accessories they took away. And, I wish they would bring back some ready-made curtains. Oh, and I’m not sure why they changed the Jackson, I think it was dining chair. The chair is practically the same. But the slip-cover is down to the floor. And, I very much prefer the short one they used to have. But, nobody asked me. haha

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Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

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