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A guide to help the average man... look less average

Filtering by Category: Lifestyle

Bedroom Inspiration

Mark Kwak

Source: GQ

Source: GQ

A year or two ago, I came across an article on GQ that really caught my eye. Titled "Wake Up Your Bedroom," it displays five photos of a simple, yet beautiful modern bedroom. Now, I'm no interior design guru, but I do appreciate thoughtful living space aesthetics, and I think these pictures are on point.

By the way, I find it hilarious that GQ feels the need to post up a woman in some of these photos. Perhaps they want to convince you that with a bedroom like this, you can easily attain a supermodel girlfriend who will sit on your chair half-naked reading magazines while you're off at work. Oh GQ...

Source: GQ

Source: GQ

Source: GQ

Source: GQ

Source: GQ

Source: GQ

Source: GQ

Source: GQ

Okay, now four quick thoughts on the bedroom design:

1. Platform beds are awesome. Dark oak platform beds are even awesomer. <-- real word?

2. I love the dark blue color scheme. Dark blue sheets, dark blue walls, dark blue furniture... If I didn't rent, I'd do this myself. Also really makes the bright paintings and wooden furniture pop.

3. The article encourages a neat room overall, but a bit of manufactured (and highly curated) clutter - see mess on floor and TV stand. I think it's a bit unnatural/fake to carefully curate each small pile of mess in your room, but I do like the juxtaposition of a neat living space with some subtle carelessness.

4. Details matter. Look at the complementary color of the blanket. Or the symmetry of the nightstands + lamps. Or matching blacks on the furniture trim, TV, and clock. Oh yeah, and how her lingerie matches the floor rug. Just playin'.

Anyhow, hopefully this article gives you a little inspiration to go home and spice up your room. A clean and aesthetically pleasing bedroom can be a beautiful thing, especially if you're the type that needs a haven to come back to after a long hard day.

Quick Reminder. Purge.

Mark Kwak

Source: NYHabitat

Source: NYHabitat

I've been reading this book for the past week called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Sheesh, what a title.

This book has become hugely popular in the recent months, even getting onto the NY Times Bestseller's list. It's all about minimalizing, a topic you guys probably know is close to my heart. Anyhow, I'm not done with the book yet, but I've already found that one thing is becoming painstakingly clear... the key to tidying / minimalizing is to discard, discard, discard. Oh yeah, and also to discard.

Too often we just move things from one place to another. Or shove everything into a hidden closet. We think: "out of sight, out of mind!" But of course to no one's surprise, the accumulation of useless things inevitably continues, until eventually you're right back where you started- stressing about the clutter of your place.

Source: Decoist

Source: Decoist

So in case you feel like your living space is too messy or unreasonable, I ask that you go home today and take a nice long look at your closet (or wardrobe, or bookshelf, etc.). Then... without hesitation begin to purge. Yes. Discard, dispose, shed, trash, ditch, abandon, toss, [enter next thesaurus word]. I know it's not easy, but it's the only way you'll keep yourself organized and free from clutter. It seems as though there are no alternatives.

....Though of course I'll let you know if the book changes its mind somewhere towards the end.


Apple + Wood

Mark Kwak

Source: Grovemade

Source: Grovemade

It seems like living in San Francisco has made me a full-blown Apple fan boy. Since my move in 2010, I’ve accumulated six Apple devices - a Macbook air, Airport Express, iMac, iPhone 6, Airport Extreme, and iPad. Thanks goodness some of those items are company-issued (oh how my wallet would cry otherwise).

Anyhow, this post isn’t to talk about my obvious sickness, but instead to introduce a pretty cool company for those who own a bunch of Apple devices like myself. It’s called Grovemade, and they specialize in wooden accessories and stands for your Apple products.

Grovemade2.jpg

Yes, these wooden pieces aren’t cheap. But hey, sometimes you want the best for your phone, computer, or whatever.  I’m particularly a fan of their iPhone dock and monitor stand. Just putting it out there in case you’re a fan of that modern wood + aluminum look that I’m personally fond of. Looks scrumptious.

To a new beginning

Mark Kwak

Source: Bacardi

Source: Bacardi

Hello loyal readers… I’ve neglected this blog for far too long, but I’m coming back!

Over this nine month Simpler Man hiatus, I’ve done a lot of thinking about what I want this blog to be. Originally it was (and hopefully continues to be) a resource for men who have no idea where to begin when it comes to clothing. My whole thesis is that you really don’t need to know too much to look great. It’s ultimately about keeping it simple- you’ll never guess how finding just a well fitted, high quality collared shirt or pair of jeans can elevate your sense of style two-fold.

However, in writing multiple times a week, I find the scope of menswear a bit more limiting than I’d prefer. I want to start expanding beyond the walls of fashion and talk about my other life passions as well. Dining, cocktails, technology, music, motorcycles, coffee, exercise, movies, business, design, you name it!

Basically all this to say: though Simpler Man will continue to remain primarily about style, the next step in its journey will have a splash of lifestyle in the mix as well. Too cheesy? Eh probably. At the end of the day, the good news is that I’ll be writing more often now, just be aware it may be about more than just OCBDs and selvedge denim.