Adding Storage and Style to a Manly Space

A masculine, rustic, family-friendly space

Hello there! Dawn here, from Last month I offered up my suggestions for one reader’s submission (in the form of a Photoshop room mockup) and was happy to hear that you guys wanted more! So I’m back at it this month with my thoughts on another reader room dilemma.

If you follow Remodelaholic on Facebook, you already know that’s the place to go with questions. It’s a great place to get lots of constructive advice and inspiring ideas from other Remodelaholic readers, and I love the helpful community vibe of these posts. Each month, I like to select one reader submitted question and a mock up what I would do if I were in your shoes! (Pssssst— you can submit your reader questions by messaging Remodelaholic on Facebook!)

First though, my disclaimer: While I can recommend products that I think look nice, I have never seen this room in real life and don’t have accurate measurements. I can’t guarantee that any of the products I put in my ‘virtual’ design will actually fit correctly in the space (or that they’ll fit your design style for that matter), and this is not intended to be a professional design consultation. So think of this as a just-for-fun rendering that hopefully gets your wheels turning and provides some inspiration!

Ideas? Want to hang my tv and add some bookshelves.

before, tv over mantel with shelves

I picked this question for a couple of reasons. The first is that I think it’s always difficult to decorate around a fireplace, so hopefully someone else out there can use some inspiration also. The second reason I chose this question was that I feel like this looks like everyday life in a lot of people’s houses— complete with kid’s toys scattered about. The third reason I chose this space to do a mock-up makeover was that it looks to me (I could be wrong) like a basement, and I thought it would be a fun challenge to give Kevin a family-friendly man cave. That might be an oxymoron, but I’m going to give it my best shot. Here we go!

As always, I like to start off by scouting out some inspiration photos. Kevin asked for shelving so I found loads of fun images to get my creative wheels turning. While there are so many options for adding storage around a fireplace, I kept my focus a bit narrow for this project, opting for a more masculine look. To me, a rustic-modern style is perfect for a space like this, so I kept an eye out for open shelving, rustic finishes, and man-cave vibes. Not all of these images fit into all of those categories, but it’s a good starting point for the look I had in mind.

Designing a masculine living room space
Found on
great shelves around the fireplace, and those art canvases are hiding the TV!
Found on
Gorgeous black fireplace on a white wall with floating shelves
Found on
Dark and moody black fireplace with floating shelves
Found on
Love the rustic rough industrial look to this concrete fireplace with track shelving to the sides!
Found on
modern industrial shelves around the fireplace
Found on
floating shelves around the fireplace
Found on

So good, right? It really gives a great visual of what Kevin’s space could be with a few small tweaks. So let’s review the original space one more time, shall we?

Kevin Before

And here is my mockup of what I would do in Kevin’s room:

Designing a masculine living room space, with the TV above the fireplace and open floating bookshelves

As I mentioned, I really wanted a family friendly space, but one with a rustic, manly vibe to it. I love the brick fireplace. It is a great color and texture in the room. While I wouldn’t advocate for keeping all brick natural (aka not painting it), this one can stay!

To start off, I added a TV, since this is a manly room and Kevin had already planned on mounting his TV over the fireplace. Then I lightened the walls to a soft greige color and added in a ton of storage with simple rustic open shelving on each side of the fireplace. Building this style of shelving on your own is pretty simple and relatively inexpensive. My two favorite things. I have used this technique a few times in my own home, so if you’d like a walk through, click over to check that out.

After shelving, I layered in a few furniture pieces that I think add some style and function to the space. Obviously it’s not a man cave without a large sectional to sprawl out on, and I think the look and texture of leather are perfect in the space. I also added a beautiful rug in a modern plaid pattern. It balances out all the warm colors in the room, adds some pattern, and cozies up the place.

Finally, I added a few decorative touches. Every space is better with plant life around, so a large fiddle-leaf fig made its way into the corner. I also added a gorgeous art print, some decorative pillows, and several baskets to coral the kid’s toys, further making this a real family space.

So what do you think? Here is a list of sources I used in this room if you’re on the hunt:

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Valspar Swiss Coffee Paint Color


Storage Basket
Stone Pile Print

Throw Pillow
Similar Couch


I hope you’ve found some inspiring ideas in today’s post. What would you have done with Kevin’s space?

Kevin WWYD Pinnable Image

As always, thank you to Cassity and the Remodelaholic team for having me back each month. If you like this post, and have a design dilemma you’d like me to mock up some ideas for, let me know! Ask your questions by sending Remodelaholic a message over on Facebook.) Also I’d love for you to visit me on my blog,, or follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram. Have a great day, friends!


Over-the-sink pendant lighting
Over-the-sink pendant lighting

Exterior Home Makeover Reveal
Exterior Home Makeover Reveal

Inexpensive DIY Family Organization Station
Inexpensive DIY Family Organization Station



Check out these posts, too!

Decorating a modern man caveMan Cave

How to decorate around an off-center fireplace
Decorating around an off-center fireplace @Remodelaholic

Best fireplace makeovers25-best-diy-fireplace-makeovers

Website | + posts

Dawn is one half of the team behind the creative blog, AD Aesthetic. By day she works as the VP of Creative for a design and marketing company (getting paid to make things look good!), while by night she renovates her Midwest home, refinishes thrift-store furniture for fun, and works with her husband on raising two tiny humans. Dawn believes in the potential to design your surroundings and your life one day at a time, and lives by the motto, 'Make everything beautiful.' Get to know her better by visiting her blog,, or following along on Facebook and Instagram.

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