How to Build the Home That Every Man Wants

Yes, you can take the lead when it comes to designing your space.

Men build the nest. Women take care of the flourishes. Right? But what if you’re not down with your wife’s obsession with Provençal bastides and Pinterest pink? Because your home is yours, its configuration of tables, chairs, and beds should harmonize with how you live and reflect your taste. It should really look like you (and not just characters from a Paul Cézanne painting) live there. With help from Mawen Ong, CEO of MOs Design—the furniture hub that celebrates a decade of curating directional styles from major league design houses like BoConcept and Vitra—learn how to fill in the details of your private spaces.

Why you should give a damn about a chair “A man should care about [furniture] because how and where he works, eats, and sits can further define him. Just like his choice of car or shoes, how he sets up his private space is all about identity and character. There are no right or wrong choices. It’s simply finding out what point in his life he is in.”


“Owning a real WISHBONE CHAIR sets you apart from the rest. It says, ‘I support design history, environmental sustainability, and handmade crafts...’” Wishbone chair by Carl Hansen & Son

Men, women, and furniture “In our society, I will generalize by saying that men leave key decisions about furniture to the predominant women in their lives. But I believe every man would like to see their tastes realized by having a room all to themselves, choosing what they like to use, or [creating] their version of organized chaos.”

"The DUPLEX TABLE comes in three sizes. You can stack these together to make an arrangement of diff erent levels. You can use it as a tray or a coff ee table that organizes magazines. It can even pass for an impromptu bar!” Duplex tables by SancalCool

What you want “They say, ‘I leave it to them because they know better, but I prefer this if she will agree with me.’ But I noticed that when they have freedom to choose, they are quite decisive. They know what they want when they see it. I encountered a man that even came back to [the store] to put a sofa onto his pick up because he didn’t want to wait for the delivery.”

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“The TOGO SOFA seems to be a favorite among our male clients. Many of them have purchased this sculptural piece designed for lounging—and breaking the ice.” TOGO sofa by Ligne Roset

How you choose “Some style-confident men really have a good vision of where they’re going with the selections. I admire their choices! They have a unique way of putting stuff together. Other men only want a say on an armchair as it is what matters to them. They like sofas with technology that enhances their usability—like a sofa with Bluetooth to play music.”

How the sleepy man chooses “There was this family that was shopping for sofas and spent an hour checking out the different brands. A man in his fifties [from the group] sat on one of our Natuzzi leather sofas and soon was fast asleep. An hour later, he was still asleep, snoring away. I was quite amused, and I wasn’t sure if we were supposed to wake him up. When the group came back to look for him, they haven’t made up their minds. The sleeping man woke up and said, ‘This is the sofa I want to buy,’ and it was over!”


The dark and soft FENICE BED, says Ong, will make you declare: “I chose this for myself and no one will stop me.” Fenice bed by Natuzzi Italia 

Processing sticker shock “The price is equivalent to the value and make of the furniture. If it has a high price tag, there’s a reason for it.”

What to do first “Plan the space. Make a furniture layout. No brands or colors or materials involved—just space planning. This is the tough part because planning your space is like planning your life movements at home.”


SancalCool things to know about the CUPERTINO DESK: It features seamless storage, and actor Mads Mikkelsen (aka Hannibal) vouches for it. Cupertino desk by BoConcept0617 

What to do next Figure out your furniture requirements. A single bed or a large bed? A space for a desk or a large AV setup? How much storage do you need? Do you like having guests over? “This way, you’ll get to see how your life will be affected by the space you planned,” she says.

One last tip “Being the cheeky interviewee that I am, I will then suggest seeing us at the MOs Design store,” says Ong, who promises to help you find what you want within your budget.

MOs Design is at 9th Avenue, Bonifacio High Street, Taguig City

This article originally appeared in the June 2017 issue of Esquire Philippines.

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Clifford Olanday
Editor in Chief, Esquire Philippines
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