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A Metrosexual’s Guide to Bachelorhood – Interior Design

February 6, 2015

Episode 3 – Interior Design.

As a good, honest metrosexual, I feel it only right to open with a quote from Uncle Monty¹.

richard e grant and richard griffiths in withnail & i

Gentlemen, if she asks for her ‘mauve’ top, mauve refers to the colour of the top. Mauve is not an Italian designer. Mauve is, somewhere between pink and blue. It can’t make up its mind.

Colour is not a 16-bit thing chaps. Windows is limited in its outlook, blinkered in fact and, as anyone who’s been into a shop that sells paint will tell you, colour is infinite. As such, it is not unreasonable to expect differentiations to be made between different shades of, say, green. You may have no idea what chartreuse is, but when it comes to organising a colour scheme, as with anything, knowledge is power my friend, knowledge is power.

This is chartreuse.

chartreuse bottles

So is this.

chartreuse pantone swatch

And so is this.

chartreuse dress

See? Yes, I know it’s green and I know, as a colour it might just as accurately be described as ‘snot’ green, but an on-duty metrosexual has to leave his inner five year old in the crèche and engage with the adult world. The inner five year old can have a laugh about it in the pub later with his mates and ridicule how she thinks because it’s named after a French liqueur it is automatically elegant. A metrosexual will quite happily do this over a pint. Even a seasoned metrosexual would think twice about being caught dead with a poncey, snot-coloured liqueur that comes in a sherry glass. Don’t worry – there’ll be plenty of time to giggle at the word ‘liqueurs’ later…

So we’re obviously talking about the type of conversation you will have with a young lady when you are contemplating co-habiting. She will call it ‘interior design’. You will know it as ‘painting and decorating’. Sounds less scary already doesn’t it, but beware, there are plenty of potential pitfalls ahead.

Unless you’ve put in the hours on the sofa next to her whilst she’s subjected you both to hour upon tedious hour of programmes like ‘Changing Rooms’, ‘DIY SOS’, ’60 Minute Makeover’ etc, etc, she knows more than you. No, she does know more than you. Well you try telling her she doesn’t! Whereas once upon a time she thought that kiwi was a fruit, now she thinks of it as a colour as well.

She will also have her own ideas about your sense of decorating. Athena posters of bare-cheeked tennis players may well be classic, but they will play no part in your cohabitation. Your favourite colour scheme may well have looked ‘perfectly alright’ as your football team’s home kit for the previous 125 years, but she does not want to sleep in a Manchester United duvet and, let’s face it, who can blame her?

But is the goes going to go in exactly the opposite, totally feminine direction? Not while there’s breath in your body it isn’t, is it? No! That’s the spirit. So you’ve got to do some spade work. You have to come up with some suggestions of your own. If all you do is veto her suggestions, she will assume that you’re not bothered. True or not, she can’t be made to feel like this. Go and get some swatches from your local DIY outlet. They’re free and, if you know anything about painting and decorating, you can blag it that you already know what types of paint suit which walls. Don’t forget, the practical element of applying emulsion to flat surface is a ‘technical’ job that you will be best placed to do – she might have to rely on your ability to be practical and what’s more, she knows it. Brownie points will be earned by your ability to go out and procure the rollers, brushes, trays, masking tape, turps and other bits and bobs that a painter and decorator needs. Turps, or white spirit is a useful purchase because, even if you have no intention of using it, she has even less of an idea what it’s actually for, which will make you look even more of an expert.

And now you have an interest in what’s going on, you will be able to hold your own in the conversation. She will respect you, which has its own perks, and you are much less likely to be railroaded down a path you don’t want to end up going.

Advanced metrosexuals will wish to research ‘minimalism’, a design style which favours crisp lines and a clutter-free approach to decorating.

If you’re still having difficulties, just drop me a line.


¹ Uncle Monty is a character played by Richard Griffiths and appears in the 1987 film Withnail & I, starring Richard E Grant and Paul McGann. It is, quite possibly the most quotable film ever and, imho, a must see. In this quote he is referring to McGann’s character and sexual ambiguity. Mauve, as a colour, can be viewed as ‘ambiguous’. And gay.

athena poster

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