This week we have the distinct honor of hearing from Cooper Klein. He’s a blogger and designer that is currently writing for SmoothDecorator.com, and he’s graciously offered his words of wisdom for us this month. He brings a wealth of knowledge about how a Modern Day Gentleman is to prepare the spaces he inhabits so that they are able to foster depth of conversation, thought, and life. Thank you for sharing that knowledge, Cooper. You are a fine gentleman, indeed!


When was the last time you entered a home and were invited to a man’s study? When was the last time you saw a gentleman’s study, except on a TV screen? While the concept of a modern-day gentleman is still alive and kicking, the concept of a gentleman’s study in the modern household has long been replaced by the man cave. An adult man’s playroom.

Needless to say, the man cave should never be synonymous with the gentleman’s study. This was a place that emanated masculinity, bravado, and unparalleled elegance. It was a place where a man could retire at the end of the day to reflect on his thoughts, or entertain his close friends. It’s time to bring the gentleman’s study back into the modern floor plan, so here is how you can create one to please your own gentlemanly persona.

Let the walls set the tone

Everything in a man’s study serves a distinct purpose, and nothing is out of place. At the same time, every functional feature in the room also serves an aesthetic purpose that brings form and function to life in a truly masculine setting. For this reason, you want to let the design of the walls set the tone.

Everything in a man’s study serves a distinct purpose, and nothing is out of place. Click To Tweet

The key is to decorate the walls with functional features such as a floor-to-ceiling bookcase, or a mounted bar, or you can even leave one wall bare, with only an earthy foundation accentuating its dominance in the room. No matter how you decorate the surrounding walls, always make sure that the wall behind you boasts a window and a simplified design.

Throw in a manly statement rug

Before you move on to the furnishing, pay attention to the floor, and how it, much like the ceiling, serves as background and should frame the design. Without over-accentuating this particular feature, the rug should ideally cover the entire floor in order to eliminate any unwanted noise while creating a comfortable space.

You can also expose the hardwood floors in some areas, but aspire to introduce an earthy serape carpet to cover the seating section, and the work area as well. The design of the rug shouldn’t be overly complex, but it shouldn’t hinder the overarching design either, so consider only hues complementary to the wooden elements.

Decorate with the right furniture

Wood and leather are the symbols of masculinity. From a full-body work desk to a sophisticated replica Eames chair in the lounge section next to the bar and side table where you can enjoy your favorite literary works of art, the gentleman’s study needs to radiate pure masculinity through these select pieces.

Keep in mind that there can be no room here for overly complex or playful décor – this is a man’s room, and the décor line needs to follow a certain motif. Let that motif be a mix of leathery elegance complemented by the manly charm of dark wood.

Put yourself in a position of power

It should go without saying that a man needs to be the ruler of his domain. In your study, nobody else but you can be in a position of power, which is why you want to structure the layout and use furniture pieces to accentuate your authority in every part of the room.

When you’re at your desk, you want to be facing the door, with a window behind you, and a comfortable yet elevated armchair to support your towering figure. Likewise, the lounge area should have a dominant lounge chair where only you are allowed to sit.

Use natural accents to frame the design

Last but not least, natural elements can play a vital role in creating a peaceful, serene setting a man can fully enjoy no matter the time of day. Without greenery strategically placed throughout the room, the entire space can feel confined and overly brooding, which is why plenty of natural light and a few accent plants can make all the difference.

The gentleman’s study has gone out of fashion a long time ago, and it’s a crying shame that something as trivial as a man cave took its place. It’s time to bring the gentleman’s study back, so let this essential guide help you build the study you deserve.

Cooper Klein

Cooper Klein

Cooper Klein is a cool dad and an interior designer. He’s currently working from home as a blogger for Smooth Decorator and several other sites. You can find him on Twitter.
Cooper Klein

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