The following is a guest post by Kate Canterbary in honor of the 1 year publication anniversary of Underneath It All, pertaining to the main male characters in her Walsh Associates series:
Men as Types of Architecture
I spend a lot of time thinking about men. Probably more than necessary, but it’s all in the name of research, right?
In this time, I’ve determined a few things: Men are special creatures. While no two are identical (don’t get me started on twins), certain patterns—trends, themes, organizing principals—emerge upon close study.
And when I’m not thinking about men, I’m thinking about architecture. Naturally, I see men as types of architecture, and some of my favorite men are the Walsh brothers—Matthew (Underneath It All), Patrick (The Space Between), Sam (Necessary Restorations), and Riley (untitled 6th book). They’re as different as brothers could be, but if there’s one thing they can agree on, it’s loving architecture.
Most Modern architecture centers on the principal of paring down designs and prioritizing minimalism. This style favors sharp lines, asymmetry, geometric forms, and natural light, and is free from most elements of ornamentation.
“The hallway floor creaked beneath my feet, and I leaned against the door frame, gazing at Matthew’s bare backside. I didn’t think they actually made men like this—strong and defined without being muscle-bound, dark without being excessively hairy, and gorgeous without being too pretty. And most importantly, he was naked in my bed at three in the morning.”
The Modern Man comes across as serious, even harsh or emotionless, but don’t misinterpret him. He’s a linear thinker, and he assumes the roles of problem solver and mediator in most situations. He craves openness and freedom to shake off his thoughts. Not unlike Bungalow Men, Modern Men prefer simplicity. They know their pleasures, and they seek them without apology. While he prefers order and structure to decorative embellishments of any kind—you won’t find the Modern Man coordinating his watch with his cuff links or tie clip—he knows how to lavish special treatment on the right partner.
Nearly four hundred years of architectural history encompasses the Colonial style, stretching all the way back to the original colonist. The style has evolved in that time, but many elements hold true over the years: strong, symmetrical façades, gabled roofs, and evenly spaced windows. These homes stand the test of time, and as trends come and go, the Colonials remain rock-solid.
“Patrick’s short reddish-brown hair shone in the afternoon sunlight and his hard hazel eyes flashed with interest as he sat. His shirtsleeves were rolled up to his elbows, exposing a long stretch of freckled skin over rippling forearms. He came in around Matthew’s height but his presence seemed larger, definitely unapproachable and certainly intimidating, and I figured he preferred it that way.”
The Colonial Man is reliable, he comes through in every crisis, and his tough, serious exterior never reveals his soft spots. The Colonial Man is direct and honest, and he hates reading between lines and playing games. Though he doesn’t usually know it, he’s devastatingly sexy. He prefers to watch events as they unfold and determine a clear strategy before jumping in, but when he see something—or someone—he wants, he’s not afraid to go for it. Colonial Men know their history, and that makes them mesmerizing storytellers (and dirty talkers).
The Victorian style encompasses several eras and substyles, though the most defining characteristic is its overarching eclecticism. Influences from range from British to French to Asian to Middle Eastern, and in North American, Victorian architecture is decidedly decorative, ornamental, and picturesque. Advancements in technology allowed this style to emerge, and precision and time required to build Victorian homes was enormous.
“Sam oozed trend and charm. His auburn hair was strategically sculpted into the perfect tousled look, and I was positive I saw his entire outfit—light gray glen plaid trousers and matching vest, crisp white shirt with funky cufflinks, and hot pink tie—in a boutique window on Newbury Street. Sam’s frame was shorter and slimmer, a contrast to his brothers’ broad, sculpted bodies, and though he most resembled Patrick, his look was all his own.”
The Victorian Man is particularly concerned with appearances, but they aren’t shallow. They believe in looking their best, and on most occasions, that involves statement socks, three-piece suits, and Windsor knots. While the Victorian pays extra attention to his façade, the interior is equally impressive. While they may appear overly complicated, every element of the Victorian Man serves a purpose, and it’s his partner’s job to uncover those purposes. It isn’t easy getting past the layers, but it’s always worth it. To know a real Victorian Man, to explore his niches and secrets, is to love every complex part of him.
The Bungalow is a distinctly West Coast approach to architecture, a contrast to the lavish Victorians, Tudors, and Greek Revivals that dominated during first half of the last century, and Bungalow Men embody the same contrasts.
“His technical vocabulary wasn’t precise and even his most detailed ideas sounded vague…Riley worked unbelievably hard at giving everyone the impression he didn’t care, but I knew he did…”
They’re all for the easy, straightforward lifestyle, and they’re intentional in their desire to be simplistic but that doesn’t mean they skimp on the fun. If anything, Bungalow Men take fun to the next level—they can mix any drink, they know how to keep the good times rolling, and they always want to go streaking. Bungalow Men aren’t just frat boys; with the right partner, they’re patient and affectionate, and they hold little back. They seek good friends, good times, and above all else, the love of a good woman.