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Grown Man's Guide to Decorating

Grown Man's Guide To Decorating

So you’ve graduated college, got a sweet job, bought a nice tailored suit and moved into your own place. You may consider yourself a “grown man” now. Congrats. Too bad your place is reminiscent of a college freshman’s dorm room. You’re all grown up and it’s time your pad reflects that. Whether you’ve got a decorating budget of $100 or $10,000, follow our tips and you’ll be golden.

Taping  it Up

Posters are the wallpaper of choice for the teen demographic. Since you’ve waved goodbye to your teen years some time ago, be cautious about what you post up on your wall (we’re not talking about Facebook here).  Toss out any posters of beer-inspired art, a ganja smoking Bob Marley, humorous lists, inspirational quotes and anything else that screams “college dorm room.” And for God’s sake, put away the scotch tape and use a frame.


Avoid the Kitsch

Don’t use the same decorating practices in your home that you would find in a frat house. This means no neon signs, empty alcohol bottle collections, lava lamps, or life-sized posters of busty blondes in various stages of undress. Instead, keep your place functional and stylish without going ‘broverboard’.



You may love your bobbleheads, but most people are going to view them with the same vague bemusement that you feel toward your grandmother’s commemorative spoons. With that said, forget the exhibit, display your collectibles in moderation and stick to a couple of key pieces. While some sports memorabilia or a few vinyl toys on a shelf is fine; a cabinet dedicated to your mint condition Transformer action figures is just odd.

One easy way to alter the appearance of your apartment is by painting. Start off by selecting a light color (often, people make the mistake of painting with dark colors, which actually make a room look smaller). Light colors give the illusion of a larger living space and brighten up a room. If you have some time and money to invest, opt for a different color to paint your ceiling; go one to two shades lighter than the color of your walls. This will give the illusion of a higher ceiling and make your living space seem larger as well. If you are unsure, don't hesitate to ask friends and professionals for their opinions.


Acrylic paints are relatively inexpensive, easy to apply, and don't smell, making them the perfect choice. Make sure, however, to use a medium- to high-gloss finish such as a pearl finish for the kitchen; it's easy to clean and resists the elements and climate of a kitchen. To speed up the painting process at no more than the price of pizza and a case of PBR, invite your buddies over for a weekend of painting.

Lighting is one of the most effective (and underestimated) improvements to one’s pad, as it can lend an entirely new dimension to a room. It might be hard to completely restructure your home's lighting, especially if you live in a rental, but there are other ways to enhance the lighting in your rooms without having to add recessed or track lighting -- both of which are great ideas, but require complete electrical rewiring.


Invest in some cool floor lamps, table lamps, and even ceiling fixtures (if applicable). From wood to leather bases, and "Zen"-looking shades, your minimalist-looking lamps can give your place maximum appeal.

Investing in the right furniture is crucial. If you buy the right stuff now, you won’t have to buy more later. Focus on quality and the details. Furniture size should be relative to the appropriate space and free of bold patterns. Furniture on legs keeps the floor area clear, while solid, bulky furniture can overwhelm a small room.


For those already equipped with furniture, you may find that simply rearranging your pieces can open up your living space (or at least give it a facelift). Try to set your furniture against the walls rather than in the middle of the room; for example, placing your couch against the wall can free up space you may never even know you had. In addition, reconsider your furnishings and their purpose; do away with pieces that have a static function. Keep in mind: A dining room table can also function as a desk and an ottoman can double as additional seating.

Nothing is worse than a bare wall, but luckily this is an easy fix. Remember the expression "A picture is worth a thousand words"? Well, choose yours wisely, as photos, posters and artwork can reflect your personality and that of your living space. We recommend finding a number photos all with a similar theme (black and white, all color, vintage cars, architecture, nature) and framing them with some relatively inexpensive, rimless frames. Then, all you have to do is affix them to the wall in a somewhat logical layout and suddenly you’ve added a lot of personality to your apartment with very little work or cost involved. 

Coffee table books are designed as accessories to help spruce up your pad, and hence they're much more geared toward aesthetics than reading pleasure. You and your guests browse through them during spare moments, and they often serve as conversation pieces, which is precisely why you should change your coffee table books regularly. The books you choose should always reflect your personality and interests, but should be sufficiently intriguing to others to encourage them to have a browse through your collection.


To inspire you to add a new book to your collection, we’ve listed our faves.

Condo, 2-room apartment, 2-floor duplex, penthouse, log cabin, tent; wherever you live, whatever your accommodations, your house must be a reflection of you. Cut down on the kitsch, but not the character. With a little effort (and money) your place can easily have as much personality and style as you. No one wants to live in the real-life replica of a dull Ikea catalog. Go forth.

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Rockin' issue! LOVE design and decor! You covered it well!