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Birchbox Man Q&A: Nick Nemechek, Co-Founder of TRNK

In our resolution to put more thought—and elbow grease—into our home design choices, few new sites have inspired us as much as TRNK. Part magazine with photo essays of stylish gentlemen’s homes, part home furnishing marketplace, TRNK celebrates “evolved notions of male domesticity.” Now, that is something we can get behind. We were lucky to speak to co-founder Nick Nemechek (pictured above, left, with fellow co-founder Tariq Dixon) to get his take on the common mistakes men make in laying out their homes, and how we can all learn to be better domestic decorators.

BB Man: What inspired you to first give special attention to the layout of space?

Nick Nemechek: I have been a collector for as long as I can remember. Even as a kid, I loved visiting vintage and antique stores, spending weekends with my mom exploring. I definitely think that’s what has most directly informed my sense of design—I am always looking.

BB Man: We love TRNK’s tag line: "evolved notions of male domesticity." What does that mean to you?

Nemechek: I think when most people think of a guy’s interior design sensibilities, the general assumption is that he is either tasteless (i.e. the stereotypical “man cave”) or apathetic. We wanted to create a site that disproved that notion. We are stylish guys, we live well, so why isn’t anyone speaking to us about our homes? We set out to create an experience that reflected our own design sensibility and celebrated this new standard in male living.

BB Man: What are the most common mistakes you see men making in their home spaces?

Nemechek: A lot of guys get a bit freaked out when it comes to furnishing their apartment, and have trouble translating their own style sensibilities into the home. I think it stems from this idea of “permanence”—that you are stuck with that armchair, or that rug, or that coffee table for a long time. That idea is totally false. I think designing your home should be an evolution and in constant flux. I urge guys to just start somewhere—it could be a cool accent chair, a vintage rug, or a piece of art—and slowly build the room around that piece. Trust your gut.

BB Man: Is there one design ethos all the subjects of TRNK follow? What unites them?

Nemechek: All the guys we visit have created warm homes, gravitating towards objects and materials that age—burnished leather, solid wood, steel. Another common thread is that the homes we visit do not feel over decorated. Instead, they are a mix of different design eras and styles, as well as a mix of new and old. We tried to merchandise the site to reflect these qualities, as they are principles that guide our own personal senses of style as well.

BB Man: Do you believe that guys can "learn" to be great home decorators?

Nemechek: Definitely! I think the biggest challenge is reference points. Your fashion sense is informed by the people you see walking down the street. The same can’t be said for your home, because you generally only visit the homes of your closest friends. That’s why we made inspiration such an important feature of TRNK—offering relatable reference points, and then making the process even simpler by integrating products to execute on the idea. We want TRNK to be the resource for men to inform and evolve their sense of design, and then put those new learnings into practice.

Want more design advice? Check out Nick Nemechek’s roundup of easy home upgrades, and follow TRNK on Twitter at @trnknyc.

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