In a recent episode of FX’s “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” Dennis spoke of the allure of having a boat as a way to score with the ladies. “She looks around and sees nothing but open ocean,” said Dennis. While Dennis’ implication was rape (which even known-slut Mac was disgusted by), the proper bachelor pad decor is a little like having a boat out in the open water, a man’s island–a place where both resident and visitors feel relaxed (repeat: without the implication of rape).
Yet, sometimes a man’s decor can leave a woman overboard, swimming for shore. One look at the furniture, lighting, and general appearance and the woman can, to quote Mac, make “rash decisions based on fear” (i.e., breaking off the relationship and going out with someone who doesn’t have a vintage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie poster on his wall).
Here are 8 ways to make your apartment girlfriend-ly:
1. Proper lighting.
Bad lighting can be the female equivalent of a “boner killer.” You don’t want a lady to wince when she walks into a room; you want her to feel relaxed and welcomed. Overhead lights can often make people feel like they’re either being interrogated by police or they’re living in a sanitarium. The best way to avoid strain on the eyes is to invest in floor lamps.
2. Posters are OK…within reason.
If you are going to put posters up, try to frame them, and maybe even have reason surrounding the placement of said poster (for example, A Serious Man poster in your computer room…for when you get serious). However, also think about the message of some posters. For example, “Kiss” by Tanya Chalkin might send the wrong message to lady visitors. Shut it down.
3. Find a comfy couch.
A couch, where when you sit in it, you never want to leave. Chances are when she sits in it, she won’t want to leave either.
4. Give old garage relics a new twist.
Got an old thrift store typewriter that you just can’t part with? Put it on a table and you’ve got apartment art. You can do the same with old cameras.
5. Amy Sedaris’ F— it Bucket.
In Amy Sedaris’ decor and party-planning book I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence, she has a section on the F— it Bucket. All you do is get a bucket, put some candy in it, and write “F— It” on it. When life gets you down, just say “F— It” and grab some candy. When adults are over, you can leave the bucket out for chuckles. But when younger nieces, nephews, or cousins are over, you can just turn the bucket around and make it look like a regular candy bucket. Candy is one of the quickest ways to people’s hearts (including women).
6. Instead of buying generic pictures, frame things of meaning.
A well-written letter? A particularly special birthday card from a relative? Chicks will dig the sentiment as well as the originality.
Drapes mean business. Drapes mean you actually put time into what your apartment looks like, and ladies will notice. Windows without drapes are like walls without art: they’re bare. An no house is a home if it’s bare.
Guys should go with thermal drapes. They usually aren’t too fancy (earth tones and solid colors), and they can cut your utility bills down by 20 percent. So you’re economical and window-dressing savvy.
8. Make it look like a man lives there.
Not like your mother or your sister helped you, and not the version of what you think women think of as a man (because it’s probably wrong). Be yourself. You don’t need fluffy throw pillows or candles. But if you like that sort of thing, there are manlier candle scents like “Leather.”
Above all else, the most important thing when it comes to apartment decor is to create an atmosphere that brings you comfort, a place where you can unwind and seek refuge after a day at the office. After all, it comes down to having a place where you feel most at ease, not a place that has chick essentials just for your girlfriend—bros before throws.