Man-cave or bachelor pad?

Remember the scene in the movie Notting Hill when Hugh Grant’s character goes into a flat spin tiding up his apartment before letting his dream woman (played by Julia Roberts) through the front door?

It’s a stereotype that works in romantic comedies but does the average bachelor live in a mild state of squalor, only tidied up for a date? And by ‘tidied up’ we mean throwing almost everything into cupboards and dimming the lights so she can’t see the dust, dirty carpets or grubby walls.

Single guys; take a look around your home. Does it reflect your style or does it look like a college dorm room? Are there remnants of your mother or worse, your ex-girlfriend’s ‘feminine touch’ in your home? If you can’t see your living space objectively, answer this question:

Would you post photos of your home interior as it is now online for the world to see? If you hesitated, you need to read this!

We asked a few women what they think the biggest bachelor home décor turn-offs are and got their tips on how to convert your messy man-cave into a stylish bachelor pad.

1. Keep it Clean

Sometimes it’s the simple things, like a clean home, that make the biggest difference. Melissa Van Oordt, an emotional and language development guidance instructor based in Cape Town, says a single man’s home should be tidy, from a clean kitchen to a made-up bed.

Go the extra mile by repainting walls and having the carpets steam-cleaned. Nothing says clean and pristine like freshly painted walls and clean carpets.

2. Keep it Simple

“I definitely don’t want to see floral curtains and tired old linen dating back to the eighties,” says Annie Mercer, a recruitment specialist in IT, online marketing and executive placements in Cape Town.

Keep it slick and simple with blinds. Neutral blinds and matching linen creates a timeless sophisticated look, and works with the modern designs currently gracing the pages of top home décor magazines. AMERICAN shutters’ day and night honeycomb blinds are versatile and stylish. Pull the one cord and you have the block out fabric, perfect for blocking out any exterior lights from shining in at night. Pull the other cord for the translucent fabric to allow a soft diffused light in during the day while maintaining your privacy.

AMERICAN shutters’ unique Privacy louvre blinds can be finished to match your shutters perfectly. The Privacy range has no punched holes through the louvers achieving exceptional block out and the tightest closure. Order the extra wide 63mm louvers which will give a stylish “shutter” look at a fraction of the price.

3. Keep it Stylish

What every bachelor should have in his home?

“Lots of books, art, perhaps a musical instrument and I’m sold!” says Bridget Stacey, a South African currently working in wedding planning and events management in Cape Town.

But what artwork and décor will work in your home and what will make the ladies turn and run for the door?

“Once I was invited to a guy’s house; he had these wooden cats almost EVERYWHERE and lots of teddies. I never went back,” recalls Annie Mercer.

Santie du Toit, a South African living in the UK, says animal trophy heads, animal skins, Star Wars memorabilia and “booby posters” make her shudder.

Think of home décor and art like a suit, it could either be cheap and tacky or George Clooney chic. We presume that you’d prefer the latter and here’s how to achieve it:

Invest in art but if you are a first-time art buyer be sure to look for a reputable dealer or gallery. They should be able to tell you about the artists’ professional background and training. When purchasing photographs or prints be sure to ask if it is a limited edition or a once-off piece because the more limited, the more value it has.

Another (budget friendly) option is to frame a series of your own photographs. Use scenic shots taken while on holiday in South Africa and/or abroad and group three or four together to create a series. Black and white photography is classic and modern, ideal for a stylish bachelor pad. By using your own photography you showcase your interests beyond work and provide a topic for conversation.
Regardless of what is en vogue, choose artwork that appeals to you, after all you’re going to be looking at it for a long time to come.
Open plan homes and loft style apartments are gorgeous but if you work from home you may want to hide the office when hosting a romantic dinner date. Internal bi-fold shutters are a perfect option for cordoning off areas when necessary.

Follow these three tips and when the woman of your dreams knocks on your front door it won’t be a romantic comedy… unless of course you’re Hugh Grant.

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