So, you finally got your own place – or are living with a roommate – now, what do you do with it? Whether you have just graduated college or are further along in your career, there are some easy and inexpensive ways you can spruce up your digs. Here is what you need to know about designing a bachelor pad that you will be proud to show off to family and friends.
1. Add Personality
Use your space to showcase who you are. This will also keep your place from looking too stiff. Be bold and paint a wall your favorite color or use the color for accents like throw pillows.
Cover those naked walls with art. It doesn't have to be a Picasso. There are a lot of possibilities: framed art, canvas, or simple photographs. This is a terrific way to add more of what you are into, like pictures of cars or nature. Whatever it is, it should be something that you want to look at day after day.
It is OK to hang posters and to showcase memories and your favorite sports teams. However, you want to do this without your space looking like a dorm. Use a frame to hang posters instead of tacks and tape. You can also showcase something like an old team jersey or ticket stubs in a frame or in a shadow box. If you are opposed to or unsure of how to best hang photos, use small stand-up frames on shelves and tables for family photos.
Add books or magazines on the coffee or side tables for an air of sophistication. They are also excellent conversation starters, especially when entertaining a new guest.
2. Bring in a Little Life
Consider adding some greenery when designing your bachelor pad; plants add life to your space and help purify the air. You can go with a simple succulent – which is easy to care for too – or get a beautiful orchid to add more color and charm if you have a green thumb.
Getting a pet can help you relax and reduce stress. Fish are easy to take care of and are OK to be left alone for a day or so, which is good if you are hesitant to get something with a higher level of commitment.
Plants or pets will show your parents and guests that you a fully capable of taking care of yourself, and possibly others.
(You can always cheat by getting a fake plant, which will be just as effective at brightening up a room.)
3. Give Everything a Place
Avoid clutter, or at least hide it well, by making sure everything has a place. Get storage containers, ottomans, or shelves— whatever it takes to make sure all of your stuff has a home, especially the small things. You can always keep storage containers in a closet.
Get an entertainment center with cabinets and drawers. Not only will this hide all of the wires that come from your gaming and home theater systems, but also it will give you a place to store controllers, games, and movies.
Once you have everything organized and each item has a home, make it a habit of putting every thing back in its home when you're are done using it. The last thing you want when you have a last-minute guest is to worry about playing the "where can all of this stuff be hidden in five minutes" game.
4. Keep it Simple
Having a killer place to hangout with friends does not mean you have to fill up every inch of space or have elaborate décor. Focusing on those things can become a slippery slope, and suddenly you look around and see that your dwelling is just an eyesore.
Yes, when designing your bachelor pad you want to add a personal touch, but within in limits. The line between adding a pop of color and having it look like someone went overboard with the paint samples can be thin. If you stick to basic, neutral colors, it will be no sweat to stay on the right side of the line. There are many paint and design companies that offer color schemes that will show you which colors go together. Of course, you can always build your own color scheme if you know what you like and what you're going for.
These color schemes don't have to stop at just paint, though. You can make the most of your chosen color scheme by using it to incorporate other décor and furniture. This will help with decision making and will ensure that you have a room that is well put together as opposed to a room that was, well, thrown together.
When it comes to trying to fill up a bare wall or fill an empty space, do not feel like you have to. It is OK to have a wall with nothing on it, or to just have something small and simple to make it feel homier.
The same goes for furniture. You do not need an expensive high-end furniture set for a chic space. You can use an old couch and put a slipcover on it if you're on a budget. The goal here is to make sure you have the essentials covered: you need a place to eat a meal, a place to sit and hangout with your company with end tables or a coffee table to place drinks on, and a place to sleep.
It all comes down to not going overboard and remembering that it is neither your old dorm room nor a locker room. This also means having real dishes and silverware. (Red plastic cups are NOT for everyday use).
Follow these guidelines when designing your bachelor pad for a place that will get nothing but compliments.