Gentleman's Victorian Home Study

Part 1: Introduction to the Gentleman's Study

What defines a study?

Although very different in nature an office, mancave and study are commonly used interchangeably to describe a space that we have dedicated to ourselves. It’s how we design and what we use this space for that dictates what it should actually be called.

Despite the similarities they share, an office and a study are fundamentally different in one major way. The main focus of an office is productivity, some would even argue that it is the only purpose of an office. Whereas with a study, you want a space to have a cocktail with an acquaintance, find solitude after a long day, study, work, make your plans, maybe even host a poker night with a small group of associates.

With the office having a productivity focus, the mancave is on the other end of the spectrum, as it is mainly a space for adolescent leisure. Typically a terrible place for work as it has numerous distractions and usually looks like a random corner in a frat house. The study is for the man who finds enjoyment in both his leisure as well as his work and prefers a more refined space to do them in.


History of the study

Around the late medieval and early modern Europe period the study was born. At the time referred to as a cabinet room or studiolo, they were created out of the necessity noble families had for increased privacy to read, meditate, be productive and to simply find solitude from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Mainly found in castles and palaces, these rooms would consist of various seating options, artwork, books, personal devices, a desk, small to medium sized tables, a fire place, candles for light, shelving, various worldly objects and often a series of portraits of praiseworthy men that came before them.

Later in the 18th century upper middle-class families with larger houses began dedicating an area for the study, a space where commercial work, reading, planning, meetings and various other activities could be carried out in private.

Over the last decade or so this space dedicated to our fellow man has been used for entertainment purposes more and more turning our sophisticated study into the aforementioned adolescent mancave. Cut to present day and the pandemic has opened up the door for a large portion of the workforce to work from home. The need for a home office has increased dramatically and with it a need to once again have a dedicated area of our residence to be used for productivity. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be an either or situation, office or mancave. The study allows us to reclaim the best of both worlds, a place where productivity and entertainment can coexist successfully to elevate our standard of living.

In the next article in this series we’ll cover examples of exceptional studies throughout history by examining the studies of better men. As always if you want to discuss this topic in more detail, feel free to leave a comment or reach out to me on Reddit.

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