Room We Love: A Man's World


THE OWNER of this Davidson home needed a masculine study to work from, but didn’t want a space that was dark and heavy. He asked Cathy Diel, of Diel Design & Interiors, to create a room serious enough for meetings with clients, while staying bright and airy. The result, with moody blue walls, means business.

The walls are coated in Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy, a shade of blue without an overwhelmingly dark base. “We decided to do the trim in the same color because it was so striking,” Diel says. Sometimes clients are hesitant to paint trim the same color as their walls, but Diel encourages them to trust her. “The reward is great if they allow us to do something bold.”

The homeowner uses a laptop and preferred a desk with clean lines and few drawers.  “When you think of a man’s desk, you think of a really heavy piece,” Diel says. “This is not that.”  The desk and matching chest, which serves as a filing cabinet and storage space, are by Bernhardt. 

The antique gold finishes throughout the room contrast nicely with the blue walls. Gold is inviting and warm, but also classic and timeless, Diel says, evoking a Ralph Lauren feel. She continued the theme on the overhead light, which is from Visual Comfort & Co.

There are spaces for cocktails in other rooms of the house, but Diel set this bar cart between two cream chairs because the client often hosts work meetings in the study. Natural light from a window helps keep the space from becoming too dark.