Tips For Furnishing a Gentleman's Retreat

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"You've got to check out this dude's room!"

I left the IM from a friend unanswered for a few minutes, believing I could leave the "dude's" decor equivalent of a Guy Fieri meal meets Skymall catalog wait till I finished deleting spam emails from my inbox. Finally, I opened the link and was surprised to find a room of serious taste...and tastes...awaiting with a decades oak aged drink in hand.

Rooms set aside for/by husbands or boyfriends have earned a bad reputation (and tend to open a big can of debate). And perhaps deservedly so, with too many examples of designated spaces exhibiting the forethought and presentation of a first Las Vegas buffet plate piled high with supposed "manly" touches (if you want to see spaces with welcoming and comfortably masculine style, be sure to revisit our past "The Inside Man" guide). 

But Rune Jensen, a 33 years old renewable energy account manager in Esbjerg, Denmark decided if he was going to convert the cellar inside a 3 story newly-renovated 1930's house he shares with his girlfriend, he'd infuse the room with the mahogany rich veneer of a 30's noir film, touches of Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire style, all wrapped in a classic jazz spirit throughout (the foundation being a beautiful vintage Bang & Olufsen turntable). 

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B&O turntables like the BeoGram RX can be found on eBay or by searching the collector/enthusiast sites like Beophile.com, where they can be had for $100-$200 normally.


He shared the sumptuously decorated space earlier this year over at Reddit, where it exploded into one of the more popular Reddit Pics posts of 2013, a room furnished for a modest budget of just $1,750 total, thanks to Rune's penchant for online deals, eBay, and flea markets. Like an off-the-rack suit tailored into something more elegant, the difference in Rune's room is in all the details.

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A $183.00 wall mountable electric fireplace like this one similar to Rune's can add a hi-tech touch of sophisticated warmth in a small room.

Gentleman's style site, The Electrogent, followed up with Rune about his tastefully decorated space of manly leisure and got a few insightful tips to help fellow gents plan and furnish their first den (or spare bedroom, basement, etc), to invite any and everyone for a glass of spirits by the fire:

Rune Jensen's 3 Tips For Designing and Decorating a Space (as told to The Electogent):

R: Theme: You need an overall idea for the room. What is the theme? Poker, music, sports, cigars etc.? Then start to collect inspiration online.

Colors: Pick 3 or maximum 4 basic colors you’re gonna work with, in my case it’s dark red, gold and dark brown. Use the colors to set the room, like wallpaper, furniture, frames and carpet/floor. Make sure they contrast and compliment each other.

Details: Attention to the small things is what pulls the whole thing together. It is also what takes the longest, even years, but it’s what makes the difference between something good and something great. When people enter the room they say “wow!”, then they walk around to look at all the small things and say something like “look at this!” or “I remember this!” When they finally sit down and then see the duck on the table…and I then show them how it picks up a cigarette, they just start to laugh out loud – this is what details do. Theme, colors and details also applies when putting on clothes by the way.

More about Rune's gentleman's retreat here and at The Electogent.

(Images: Run Jensen; as linked above)

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