hile most men tend to think home goods and decor are utilitarian (if they give it much thought, at all), there’s something to be said for a man who takes pride in creating a welcoming home for himself and guests, regardless of his relationship status. If you’re single and dating, your date will definitely appreciate these small things and they could very well be a deal sealer. If you’re in a relationship, showing that you’ve taken initiative to improve the proverbial nest will always be appreciated by your partner. Below are a few simple upgrades to quickly improve your home.
The Smell of Success
Unfortunately (or fortunately), you probably don’t know how your place smells. Regardless of whether you forgot your sweaty gym socks in the corner for the past month, or just cooked your weekly 5lbs of bacon, your place probably isn’t the freshest.
Cleanliness is obviously a huge first step in this department, but outside of that you may need an assist. Whatever the state of affairs, it’s time to invest in some scented goods. Relax, I’m not talking about over-the-top lady candles or scents so strong they make you light-headed, just a few simple options to make your house or apartment smell masculine and inviting.
The two best options are a good candle and/or a reed diffuser. A candle or two is going to impart a great scent and give you that “on/off” feature so you can light it up whenever needed. A reed diffuser is a jar or bottle of scented oil with wooden sticks that draw up the scented oil and “diffuse” it out into the air. I like these best for bathrooms because they provide a light, consistent scent that’s always in the background.
What scents to choose?
That’s up to you, but I have a few suggestions:
- Try lots of options
You never know what you’re going to like or how it’s going to work in your home.
- Go for scents that lean toward the woodsy (pine, cedar, sage, tobacco) or fresh (citrus, eucalyptus, grass)
They’re masculine and pleasing without being overwhelming.
Try a candle in your living room and on the nightstand and add a reed diffuser to your bathroom for an instant improvement in the smell department.
I’ve given this candle from Athropologie to men and women over the years and it’s universally loved.
A few of my favorites include PF Candle Co, Good Candle, and Norden.
These are two, well-designed diffusers.
Any woman will see these from Jo Malone and understand you’re not messing around with your scents.
Many, many options available here.
An Inviting Bed
Maybe it’s obvious, but clean, quality sheets and bedding can go a long way – both for you and guests/partners – by creating an inviting bedroom environment. Not that we don’t love your Ironman sheets, but it’s probably time to step it up a bit.
While the true merit of “thread counts” is kind of a myth, you definitely want to invest in something that’s high-quality, soft and durable. Design-wise, stick to neutral color like greys, blues, and/or subtle patterns. While white sheets are lovely and crisp, know that if you invest in them they’re going to require some extra care and more frequent washings. I highly recommend using a fabric treatment like Oxy Clean to keep them fresh and white.
Thanks to a variety of enterprising entrepreneurs, you no longer have to drag yourself to battle the hordes at Bed Bath & Beyond or Target on a Sunday just for some decent sheets. Two of my favorite brands, Brooklinen and Parachute, are high-quality at reasonable prices.
A Well-Stocked Bathroom
I can’t tell you how many horror stories I’ve heard from friends about nightmarish bathroom situations at the homes of otherwise solid, upstanding gentlemen.
The importance of getting your bathroom in shape can’t be stressed enough. Outside of general cleanliness – the sink, toilet and tub/shower, it’s important to have it smell nice (see the scents section above) and have a few key items in good, working order.
A fresh roll of toilet paper, some decent liquid hand soap, and a clean hand towel will go a long way here. But while we’re talking about towels, it’s probably time to invest in a proper set for your bathroom and guests. Unfortunately, that beach towel hung from the shower curtain rod isn’t going to cut it anymore.
Please, for the love of all that is holy – have a trashcan with a lid!
We use a lot of items throughout the course of a day and night that we’d prefer not to be visible in the trash. Just trust me on this one – everyone will appreciate it.
In this area, you really don’t have to spend much. Below are the products I personally use and recommend to friends and family.
I use these in all my bathrooms. They’re cheap, well-designed and work well.
I personally use this one, but there are many options available at great prices.
Just like their quality sheets, Parachute makes great towels, too. I also love the options from Boll & Branch.
Coordinate & Decorate
Decoration and presentation are big parts of making an initial and lasting impression. A fancy, hand-crafted cocktail isn’t memorable if you serve it in a red cup and that Jordan poster on your otherwise bare walls won’t win any points, either.
It’s important for you to give some consideration to a few stylish pieces of wall art, some matching dishes and glassware, and a functional decor piece like a bar cart or nice arm chair that are going to elevate your pad to a level befitting of the gentleman you are.
I love Snowe – a cool, one-stop shop for glassware and all things home; it’s basically a better online version of Ikea, but without the Swedish meatballs. Prices range anywhere from $30 and up to accommodate any budget.
On the decor end, for affordable wall art options outside of solid home stores like West Elm and CB2, sites like Artsy and Artspace offer easy, affordable access to great art pieces and photography. If you’re just starting, keep it simple with tasteful black and white photography or muted abstracts. If you’re feeling adventurous, nothing impresses like a cool, large-format statement piece in the living room or over your bed.
Use these few simple updates to get yourself well on your way to domestic success and style with ease. So, now we’ve covered that, what are you going to wear?