A Modern & Masculine Condo Makeover

When we started this little blog, we had no idea that people would consider us “experts” in the home decorating field. We still consider ourselves to be hardcore rookies when it comes to interior decorating. However, we’ve certainly learned a few tricks along the way, and we’re always happy to share what we learn with our friends and family.
Recently a few friends have asked for our help decorating their own homes, and we’ve eagerly jumped at the chance to lend a hand. It’s fun for us because we get to tackle spaces that are new-to-us, and we often get to incorporate new styles and colors that you might not find in our own homes.
So when a good friend invited us to come decorate his Chicago condo…we cleared our schedules and happily jumped at the chance to help him out!
The masculine family room has no color and plain walls.
Our “client”, Mehul, recently purchased an amazing condo in the West Loop area of Chicago. It’s a gorgeous one bedroom, with a sleek and modern feel. However, Mehul really didn’t have much going on in the space. In fact, it looked like no one really lived there at all! He did have some furniture (a couch, table, chair, and TV), but that was about it.  Mehul works 6 days a week and therefore doesn’t have much time to devote to decorating his home…so he called us in to help him out. And boy were we happy to help!
This masculine apartment has messy TV cords.
Here are some of the before shots of the space. You can see Mehul lives like a typical man. Big flat screen TV and a big comfy couch. He’s pretty minimalistic…no books, no knickknacks, no picture frames….really not a whole heck of a lot to work with. We knew a few shopping trips were definitely in our future…
This masculine apartment features and large couch.
He did request that we keep the space looking masculine and modern, and he didn’t want it to feel too cluttered. “Masculine” & “Modern”….oh boy this was going to be a fun new direction for these 2 gals….
The wood floors in this masculine apartment are classy.
He also asked if we could incorporate some personal elements into the space to make it feel a bit “homier.” Now that we could definitely handle…

After a half dozen shopping trips, we had tons of new fun decor for Mehul’s pad. This redone masculine family room features wood decor pieces and metal wall art.

We brought the sleek silver bookcase into the room to serve as an entertainment center. Instead of resting on the floor, the TV box now has an inconspicuous place to call home. The bookcase also gave us a great area to display family photos and quotes.  We tried to keep everything within the blue/gray/silver family to show off the great paint colors that Mehul had already chosen for his walls.
This modern book shelf decorated with photos and other accessories is industrial.
As for the accessories,we tried our best to be as “modern” as possible. Pops of silver, geometric patterns, and cool tones helped us stay on track. We also purchased some storage pieces like the small marbled box and large gray patterned one (both finds from HomeGoods!)This collection of decor pieces from a bar sign to city artwork adds to the man cave.
Mehul also requested that we bring in a few Chicago/city elements into the space. Lucky for us, he had a street artist paint a gorgeous mural for us to incorporate into the family room. It added quite a bit of color and definitely helped to show off Mehul’s Chicago pride.
This Chicago map on the wall pairs well with the modern book shelf.
We also found a really cool Chicago map at Target (in the background of the above photo) to hang on the wall.
These bar stools pair well with the metal bar sign.
This leather coffee table tray is great for a masculine apartment.
A geometric tray on the coffee table helped corral magazines, remote controls, and coasters that used to just sit haphazardly on the couch.
The throw pillows add color to the plain couch. The black framed pictures and dark stained book shelf compliment each other.
We also hung a few more family photos in sleek black frames, and even added this Chicago watercolor print to show even more hometown love.
This masculine family room and kitchen are simple and manly.
This chic bar cart is modern and silver.
This one of a kind bar cart is decorated with lots of alcohol.
You guys all know we have a special place in our hearts for bar carts (here’s Casey’s & here’s Bridget’s!) So it shouldn’t surprise you that we wanted to incorporate a little entertaining area into Mehul’s family room.  We found this modern bar cart on Overstock, and ordered it immediately. These 2 rookies opened the box and after a few cuts, curse words, and bruised egos (putting stuff together can be rather difficult)…we officially had a sweet bar cart.
These chic decanters add character to the bar cart.
We found the various decanters at thrift stores and estate sales, all for less than $10 a piece. The silver martini shaker and ice bucket are both finds from HomeGoods.
This Kentucky Derby cup adds a personalized touch to the bar cart.
Mehul lived in Kentucky while attending school, so we decided to include some of his awesome Kentucky Derby cups onto the cart. Gotta add a little personality here and there..right?!
These fun straws add color to the bar cart.
Mini napkins and a snack go great on bar carts.
The bottom level of this bar car is stocked with drink essentials.
The cups on this bar cart are unique.
This bar cart has everything you need to make a cocktail.
Now he is all ready to have some friends over for a cocktail (or two!) just in time for summer. We think they’ll be rather impressed with his swanky bar cart setup.
This masculine apartment is plain and neutral.
One last look at the boring before…and now the after.
This bar cart and wall art add to the masculine apartment's decor.
Thanks to a couple shopping trips to purchase some fun accessories, his condo now feels like an actual home. He can come back after working long days, pour himself a drink, and sit back and enjoy new space.