When my ex and I first separated and I got my first post marriage bachelor pad, I probably paid more attention to how it was furnished and the overall look and feel of the place than most guys do. As a man, I know that “decorating” is not top of mind for most of us but for me it needed to be because I had nothing and I didn’t want the hand me down furniture from grandma or the shitty old stuff from the basement or the garage that should have been tossed long before. I was trying to start my life over and I needed a comfortable home as part of the process. If you are a newly single man, I think it’s worth your time, energy and effort to pay attention to how you setup your new place. Here are a few of my thoughts on why and a few suggestions and recommendations
If you are a father, you have at least one great reason. I have children and I wanted my new home to feel established and stable for them. I wanted to make sure that my kids had a comfortable and familiar experience when they spent time at Dad’s place as opposed to feeling like they stepped into a grown man’s version of a college dorm room. Personally, I could have very easily gone with the ultra-minimalist look, complete with a bed, a small table and chairs to eat at, a small sofa and a television. Pretty much the bare essentials, no embellishments what so ever and I would have been just fine. The problem with that was I had my kids 50% of the time and it would have sucked big time for them. Almost to the point where I could see them not wanting to spend time at Dad’s house because it was lame. I also wanted the place to feel established and not temporary. It was already hard enough on me and the kids when I moved out. I didn’t want to make it worse by giving the false impression that maybe, just maybe, Dad’s living situation is temporary and he might move back in with Mom.
Show Evidence Of A Life
When I visit the homes of family or friends, I always notice the photos that they have displayed. It could be family photos, pictures with friends, pictures of important or memorable life events, etc. It doesn’t really matter. The point is that you immediately know that this person or these people have a life. A life with people that are important to them, people that they are important to, adventures and experiences that are fondly remembered, etc. Although I am not an interior decorator by any stretch, for me this is a huge must have when setting up a new place as an adult. The nice part is that printing pictures is cheap and decent frames are pretty cheap too. I actually went shopping for picture frames at the Salvation Army Family Store and was able to pick up a few pretty cool picture frames that have some character for practically free.
A Few Pointers From A Professional
I asked a friend that is an interior designer to provide me with a few ideas and thoughts that my friends could use to spruce up their places. Here are some of his recommendations.
- Use colors that reflect your personality. Most people are pretty traditional when it comes to that. If you focus on earth tones and strong colors like browns, beige, black and some grays, you should be off to a great start.
- Make sure that your main furniture pieces like your sofa, love seat, etc. are neutral colors like black, grey, tan or leather and introduce color by the use of accessories - pillows, draperies, rugs etc.
- Start the decorating process by choosing an inspiration statement piece... Art, rug, pillow... Something that you really like, and use it as a guide for choosing colors, patterns, fabric etc.
- Make sure that the furnishings and fabrics suite your lifestyle. If you have children, pets or if you are an avid entertainer, choose durable fabrics that will hold up to constant use.
- Don't be cheap. Invest in quality pieces of furniture. In the long run you'll be glad you did.