Bachelor pads get a bad name. The term immediately brings to mind a mountain of dirty dishes, an empty fridge (save for 3 lone beers and a bottle of pasta sauce) and a futon that’s way past it’s prime and probably needs to be cleaned with a pressure washer. Thankfully though we’re going to show you how to upgrade your living space in style and on a budget. Plus, now's a better time than ever since you're spending nearly every minute inside your house. Sure, it might be painful getting rid of that impressive old school Nintendo game collection you have, but hopefully, you'll make it work.
Outside of tips, make sure you check out a few of our recommendations for direct-to-consumer startups that are going to help take your home style up a notch.
Invest in Some Proper Art
In addition to making your place not look like a mental institution, some decent wall art is an immediate conversation starter. Think of it as a first impression when someone walks through your doors. And, when we mean art, we aren’t talking about the Bob Marley poster you taped onto the wall or something massive, expensive and weird. We’re talking about pop, contemporary, hell, street art, or at the very least, some cool black and white photography. Visit a local gallery or go online to educate yourself and figure out what you like. Then, do yourself a favor and get it professionally framed. Not only will it protect your investment, but it will make it look more legit. Start with the basics from places like art.com, minted.com, and Ikea and you’re off and running.
Throw In a Pop of Color
The only thing an aged, brown leather couch that looks like Keith Richards says about you is that your parents probably have new furniture. But furniture is damn expensive so if you can’t spring for a few new pieces, add some throw pillows in feel-good fabrics, fun designs and/or eye-popping colors to spice things up. Also, draping a proper blanket on the arm of a chair or on the edge of your bed is the easiest way to spruce up your mundane surroundings. Don’t be afraid to take the color to the furniture either and try accenting a dark, wooden table with a bright yellow or cobalt blue chair or decorative item. Remember, it’s about contrast, not conflict. For some more inspiration check out sites like apartmenttherapy.com and homepolish.com, the house tours and decorating tips will go a long way.
Find Killer Deals Online
Craigslist isn’t just for serial killers (we kid, we kid) and weird sexual hook-ups anymore. You can actually find great deals on eclectic home goods. Say, you’re on a Mid Century Modern kick and you want to find a bar cart or a cool armchair. Sure, the easy and more expensive thing to do would be to hit up a fancy store but why not get the real, retro thing by doing some legwork on Craigslist or eBay? You’re way more likely to find vintage items for a good price and in great condition from someone moving or who no longer wants it. Plus, if you love a good (fine, we’ll say it) DIY project, sanding down and refinishing a coffee table, kitchen cart, or end table can be an easy weekend undertaking. All it takes is some patience and a little bit of elbow grease.
Invest in Some Proper Barware
Sure, they’re convenient and make for a great game of flip cup but at this point, it’s time to have a few proper glasses around and invest in some barware. You don’t have to break the bank at top-shelf cocktail retailers, instead, hit up your local Home Goods or Marshalls and pick out some inexpensive wine glasses for when you’re hosting dinner, beer mugs for Monday Night football, and mason jars for Sunday brunch. Swap meets and yard sales are also excellent places to find vintage glassware, as in decanters and ornate cocktail glasses — just do some cleaning before you use them. Form there, a simple cocktail set and some basic tools and your kitchen and bar are stocked and ready.
Magic Carpet Ride
An area rug is like a good center on a basketball team in that they cover a lot of ground, while literally spacing the floor. A good one (sharp patterns, accent colors, a bit of texture) can turn a lifeless space into a winner. If your place has hardwood floors it’s going to add a bit of comfort and warmth to the space and if you’ve got awful apartment carpet, it’s going to add some much-needed style and color. Large-scale online discounters like Overstock.com are going to be your best bet for something reasonably priced and style-worthy.