Be inspired by these gorgeous gentlemanly residences when you’re creating your own bachelor’s lair…
Let There Be Light
While “bachelor pad” comes with connotations of dark and dank man caves, you should really embrace the light and bright aesthetic, particularly if you can take advantage of any sort of view. For one, it makes spaces look bigger. If you’re facing something less spectacular than, say, downtown Manhattan (see pic), you can still take advantage of the natural light with curtains or blinds in pale and opaque material that will hide the details but allow illumination. A well-lit space presents you as an open, honest and positive soul who has nothing to hide. It also encourages you to seize the day, rather than give you any sort of excuse to hide away.
2. Also… Let There Be Dark
While modern man should aspire to be creatures of natural light, it’s also uncontestable that we love the light that emanates from our televisions, projectors, game consoles and other toys. If you’ve the space, you should devote a room to these pursuits, rather than have them dominate the lounge or main room of your residence. Every man should have a tastefully mounted TV (or ceiling projector and dedicated space for a pull-down screen) hooked up to the requisite consoles, players and surround sound system in a room with adjustable lighting and comfortable seating (cupholders are ugly; side tables are better). Of course, if your budget and space stretches, the sky is the limit in terms of décor and lighting.
3. The Boudoir
It has been decades since any woman was impressed by a lumpy futon beside a bedside lamp made “moody” with a draped sarong beneath a “sophisticated” poster of Beatrice Dalle looking French in Betty Blue. You should devote your time, money and energy to getting your bedroom right. Not just for prospective partners, but for you because it’s where you spend upwards of one-third of your life. Designers counsel that gents think of the best hotel room they’ve stayed in for inspiration in terms of the serenity to be found in clean, modern and minimalist design. From there, soften a little with warm touches (colourful curtains or throw cushions; an antique lamp or artworks that reflect your taste) and adjust for your lifestyle (a bookshelf if you’re an avid reader; TV if you tend to binge watch in bed). A few essentials: buy the best bed and linen you can afford; have at least one comfortable chair so the bed isn’t the only place to relax; ensure you have easily accessible clothes storage so you’re not tempted to drape your clothes over the furniture.
4. The Furniture
Any old mug can go to IKEA and pick out an entire collection of furniture. And, truth be told, you can get away with it. The Swedish giant and its ilk do have a staggering array of tasteful and stylish designs that are reasonably budget friendly. But none of it is likely to really jump out and scream you—unless, of course, you’re a Swedish furniture designer named Bille. So think about putting your stamp on your bachelor pad with a few classic or designer pieces. This means taking time to go to bespoke furniture stores, vintage and antique shops or even to furniture auctions. While it’ll take more time, you may be surprised at what you can pick up for the same price or cheaper than what you’d likely buy at a chain store. Other tips: neutral colours are likely to complement each other (and fit into a new abode when you move); buy a sofa you can sleep on (let’s face it, this will happen); rugs instantly liven up any space (a flokati or sheepskin rug is a tactile wonder and virtual invite to her to stretch out on the floor).
5. The Décor
You might think your collection of Transformers toys and framed footy jerseys is totally sweet. And you’re right—it is. But that doesn’t mean that every wall and shelf in your bachelor pad needs to scream “manchild”. Keep a sacred spot for your boy toys — and make that your mancave/home theatre area. The rest of your pad should show a little maturity. A few well-chosen artworks will do wonders for the vibe or your residence and need not cost the earth if you’re willing to spend the time checking out galleries that feature new and emerging artists. They’re also a better investment than a boring old framed print of some dead master. Think also of your pad’s other essentials — from cutlery and plates to fruit bowls and throw cushions — as opportunities to express your personality and add a bit of colour and vibrancy.