Listen up, dudes — it’s time you gave a little thought to your home furnishings. Now, we’re not here to be your mom or take you to task for daring to buy sheets with an insufficient thread count. You’re an adult, and you get to decide what goes in your house, apartment or condo.
The truth is, however, that making certain upgrades to your bachelor pad will genuinely improve your life. Taking on the responsibility of decorating like a grown man might feel weird at first, but we promise, the reward of a classy and well-equipped apartment is worth it. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. From the need for a proper bar to the virtues of a pellet grill, here are eight secrets of decorating and equipping a modern bachelor pad successfully.
#1 Bed Frame & Bed Set
Do you really want to be one of those cliche guys without a bed frame? Social norms aside, there are tangible benefits to getting a frame for your bed. It makes your mattress and box spring more supportive, which can help you get a comfortable and restful night’s sleep. Plus, it helps prevent mold, mildew and dust mites from accumulating under your mattress, which can reduce its lifespan and possibly even set off allergies. Oh, and get a full bed set including at least two pillows and a sheet set. In fact, make that multiple sheet sets — having an extra one clean removes any excuse not to change and wash your sheets.
#2 Comfortable, Attractive Seating
Maybe your gaming buddies are OK with sitting in tailgating chairs when they come over, but even they would probably appreciate some real seating. A couch and loveseat set is a good start, possibly with an additional armchair. If you can afford it, a matching set is a great investment and gives your living room an instant aesthetic upgrade. Even if you’re buying secondhand, though, at least give some thought to how the combo of fabrics and colors will look together. Finally, don’t underestimate the decorative power of adding one or two throw blankets or pillows.
#3 Bar Essentials
If you ever plan on having guests over for drinks, do yourself a favor and grab a decent bar set. This should include a basic selection of cocktail ingredients, plus a jigger, shaker, bar spoon, strainer and some glassware (typically including wine, rocks, pint and shot glasses). Consider getting a matched set for the barware — it looks seriously classy, and you’ll get all your must-haves in one go. As for the actual bartending, get familiar with the essential liquors and try learning a handful of simple cocktails for each one.
#4 Lighting That Looks Nice
Trust us, that harsh overhead light really isn’t setting the vibe you’re looking for. First, remember that natural light is often the most pleasant of all, so try some tricks for increasing it, such as adding mirrors across from windows. For the evening hours, invest in a selection of lamps and/or lighting fixtures and outfit them with some warm-colored bulbs. Floor lamps are a great choice for larger areas like the living room, while table lamps are good for more intimate spaces like offices and bedrooms. In the kitchen, some tasteful task lighting is clutch, especially if you own your place and can install fixtures.
#5 Outdoor Chill Zone
If your place has a backyard, a balcony or another outdoor space, put a little effort into making it a fun place to hang out! Grab a matching set of patio furniture for an instantly sophisticated look, and think about adding an outdoor kitchen kit if you’d like to do some serious entertaining.
Speaking of which, if you’re an outdoor gourmand (or you want to be), it might be time to replace that beat up old grill with something high quality. WiFi pellet grills have become popular with a lot of guys who want maximum BBQ flavor and the flexibility to grill or smoke their food, but more traditional options like a gas or charcoal grill can also be a good choice.
#6 Decorative Artwork
Hanging some tasteful art is another key way to rescue your spot from the dorm room look. First rule: Frame it! Any time you hang a print or poster on your wall, a frame is the best way to instantly class it up. It’s also worth investing in a couple of big “statement” pieces of art that can occupy large blank wall spaces in your home. Don’t forget the power of working in three dimensions — things like vases and sculptures can add a ton of visual interest to your place and make your other decor pop more.
#7 Real Kitchenware
When your kitchenware is inadequate, it’s way too easy to fall into the takeout trap. Instead, buy a good basic set of pots and pans, and make sure you’ve got a rack or another good place to organize them. Other kitchen essentials include a decent set of food prep knives, cutting boards and measuring cups. If you’re looking to improve the aesthetics of your kitchen, invest in a matching set of plates and bowls, which will give you an instant confidence boost any time you have guests over to eat.
#8 A Pleasant Bathroom
A gross or under-equipped bathroom will be an instant turn-off for anyone visiting. Start improving it by getting a set of matching hand towels and changing them at least once a week; nobody wants to dry their hands on a shower towel. A shower curtain with an attractive pattern can set a good vibe for the whole room, and a place for storing toilet paper will help ensure that there’s always a roll at hand when needed. Make sure to also keep some cleaning supplies in the bathroom — and, of course, actually use them.
The bachelor lifestyle doesn’t have to be a low-class one. Sprucing up your bachelor pad is ultimately all about creating a space that allows you to be your best self — an adult who can express his identity while taking care of business.