Sure having a winning personality is great, but if you'd really like to impress the object of your affection, good interior design is the way to go. A well designed place doesn't mean you have to spend your life savings on interior decor. The three most important things to consider when designing your bachelor pad: organization, modern design trends, and personality. Your bachelor pad should make you feel comfortable and at home but also be a space where you're proud to entertain guests. I've outlined a few of my favorite tips below. But if you need more help and you're local to San Francisco, stop by my Bachelor Pad Design workshop on Thursday at the Tastemaker office.
1. Keep It Clean
It doesn't matter how nice the things you own are if you have a dirty home. Even if your bachelor pad looks like a DWR showroom, gross man smell will create an urgency for guests to leave your space immediately. If it's too hard to keep clean on your own, splurge on a cleaner to pick up your slack. Oh, and wash your sheets often; dirty sheets smell and feel gross.
2. Hide Your Cables
Yes, we know you have every gadget known to man, but we don't need a web of cables to tell us that. Use a cable organizer to keep your cords neat and hidden.
3. Containers and Doors
If you've got a lot of stuff or have a hard time keeping your bookshelves organized, buy containers for storage or put doors on your shelves. Sure you're proud that you own two copies of every game ever released on your favorite console--one to play, of course, and one to keep sealed as a collector's item--but that feat isn't one to display. Keep your place looking tidy and modern by putting all your media behind closed doors. Not only will this make your space look better, but your home will reflect the grown up version of you rather than your inner man child.
4. Buy a Sofa
If you don't already have one, it's time for a real sofa. Futons are for people who don't care about comfort (aka youths). So the best way to make your bachelor pad look like it's not a dorm room is by getting rid of your futon. This is non-negotiable. What's that? You need an extra bed for friends who visit and that's why you can't get rid of your futon? Get a sleeper sofa or an air mattress (a nice one that wont deflate in the middle of the night).
5. Mix High and Low
It's still ok to shop at IKEA, just don't buy everything there. Stay away from the college IKEA classics like the LACK table and POÄNG chair. You can afford to spend more than $7 on a side table, right? When shopping at IKEA pick out things that are a bit higher quality and look like they belong in a home, not a dorm room. To create depth in your interior design, add a few pieces from stores like west elm or CB2, and pick one splurge piece--maybe a leather chair, designer piece, or plush rug.
6. Show Your Personality
I realize that I did tell you to shove some of your favorite possessions behind closed doors, but that's not because your space shouldn't reflect who you are. Your bachelor pad shouldn't reveal everything about you at first glance. Be a little coy. If you love Star Wars or the Giants, don't fill your whole house with figurines and pennants so visitors react, "Holy crap. This guy loves ____." Choose a few interesting decorative accessories that show your passions in a modern way. Are you a tech geek? Display a vintage radio or flip alarm clock. If you love music, perhaps create a gallery wall of your favorite album covers. Love to travel? Pick out throw pillows that incorporate patterns from your favorite countries. Do you bike all over the city? Hang your bike on the wall as a statement piece. Basically, highlight your passions in ways that look cool and create curiosity. Now your interior design will work in two ways: it will look great and provide conversation starters for your guests.
A few more tricks to elevate the space: have (and use) ceramic dishes and metal silverware, frame any posters you might hang on the wall, use throw pillows and blankets to add color and comfort, and make your bed every day (wont your mom be proud?). Have questions about bachelor pad interior design? Drop me a line.