Friday, July 24, 2009

a room of his own

Are men neglected when it comes to traditional family homes? Men certainly carve out their own spaces very well and the existence of garconnières has a certain reality when they are on their own, but within the family circle...

A 1950 issue of Plaisir de France touches on the sleeping habits of the French as compares to Anglo-saxon countries. At this period, the article states, Anglo-Saxon countries twin beds seem to be the most current way of outfitting the master suite. In France, the shared bed and bedroom have long been the most frequent custom. Maybe movies made the separate bed configuration seem the only way at the time; filming restrictions wouldn't permit unmarried actors to lie in the same bed. We know, however, that both bedding solutions have always existed. I can think of examples of both separate and shared beds among my own grandparents.

But back to double beds in France 1950 - Should we rethink our habits rather than take it for granted that the bed and bedroom must always be shared the author asks? Custom should not take on the character of a dictate! This can be for the benefit of one as much as the other in a couple. With this in mind, the magazine proposes something we rarely see in magazines: Trois Chambres d'Hommes, three decorative styles for men's bedrooms.

"We think what many think and don't dare to say - that there are those who would find it agréable for a man to have his solitude, for work - or for reading into the late hours without disturbing his partner."

Paris apartment. Alcove with modern lit of Cuban mahogony to accompany the Directoire seating and tables, signed pieces by Jacob. Curtains and draperies of the alcove are of striped satin cream and bordeaux. Mantle with Empire style clock and oil lamps which form the sconces. (decorator Raphael)

Hotel living at Neuilly. Bed-divan and armchairs Brown leather covers the armchairs and bed-divan whose covering is of the same tone surpiqué with yellow. Coffee table, desk, and armchairs made of satinwood. (decorator Jean Pascaud)

Chateau in the Orne region of Normandy. Pine paneling with undulating frieze. Fireplace of green and white glazed brick. Bergère in natural tone chamois skin.

Bedcover and curtains of white cotton cloqué embroidered over with green, as the curtains. Niches painted bright green to set off bibelots (decorators J and B Barroux)

If you're going to do it, do it in style!

photos: The Thin Man, Plaisir de France avril 1950, drawings by Louis Moles 1950


  1. wonderful post-any girl could be happy in these tuck ins- and read late-not to disturb or be disturbed by a partner! I would be all for separate but equal- if it were the case that I was call upon. How I do so so love Nick and Nora. Nora Charles another of my would be likes.

  2. But these were supposed to be for the men this time! of course equally nice his and her rooms are ultimately what is in question...Nick and Nora and Asti, too?!

  3. After being with my beloved for 35 years, I know I would miss his being next to me if he were in the next room. I am, however, in the very near future going to create his own, not a man cave, my husband is too evolved for that. Rather a study, a dressing area and a place to listen to his favorite operas. It will be my gift to him as he retires in a few years. Then he will have time to read his poetry instead of financial dribble and gaze upon the maps he likes to collect. I am looking forward to doing this for him.

  4. The ideal is to have a personal space for each. To have the room for it is another thing. Your husband is a lucky man!