Behold, a man's apartment. Where so little can say so much. I don't think I've ever walked into a straight guy's place and thought, "Wow! He knows what he's doing." My rating of his home is normally based on cleanliness and whether he took to the time to hang something - anything at all - on the walls. If both of those check out, I'd say he's doing ok.
But what baffles me about a guy's place - much like men's fashion - is that you can accomplish so much with so little. Colors don't have to be outrageous. Textiles and furniture - like a classic button-down shirt - can be simple and unfussy. It's amazing what a mix of whites, greys, and black can do, sprinkled with navy, green, perhaps a punch of red or orange. Yet somehow, in my experience, men have a tendency to find the most awful, oversized, overstuffed, gaudy furniture there is. And furniture sets. What is it with men and furniture sets? Dressers that match nightstands that match headboards. Coffee tables that match end tables that match TV stands. My hope for men everywhere: stop buying furniture in sets! I don't care if it's easier. Unless you want your wife or girlfriend to sell it sooner rather than later, take the extra time to mix and match. It'll do wonders and save you money in the long-run.
But enough of my complaining, let's take a look at one guy who seems to have it all figured out (probably because he's Seattle-based interior designer, Brian Paquette). He managed to pack so much cool into 200 square feet of space, as seen in the latest issue of Rue.
Sports memorabilia: Unless you have some super sweet autographed jersey (which on occasion is acceptable so long as it's properly framed), just go vintage. It's easy to find, affordable, and looks oh-so much better than Jordan's Wings poster. In fact, let me just state for the record, nothing should be Scotch-taped or pinned to a wall. Anywhere. Ever.
Bed: White sheets and a grey, brown, or navy duvet. Avoid pattern. Stripes are the exception. Easy. Done. And if you can afford it, maybe invest in a headboard. Even if it's kind of ugly, it shows effort, and women like effort.
Bathroom: Go to West Elm and buy a nice looking bathmat and a coordinating hand towel. I'd recommend Target, but there are too many scary options available there that could trick you into messing this one up. Maybe hang something on the wall for bonus points. Oh, and do everyone a favor, and stick a nice scented candle in there while you're at it.
Kitchen: I actually have very low standards when it comes to a man and what his kitchen looks like, so long as it's clean. But I do advise having a set of 4-8 plain white plates and bowls, and glassware (including wine glasses). Throw out the plastic mugs complete with team logo that you got for free at a football game. Sadly, college has come and gone.
And one last tip from me to men everywhere:
The Couch: Please, please find the will to avoid living room furniture that reclines. Pretend we live in a world where La-Z-Boy doesn't exist. Please.