Bachelor pads have been around for as long as single men. Even the popular “man cave” is just another offshoot of the concept — a cheap knockoff of what used to be referred to as a nobleman’s nest, a king’s kingdom, or a prince’s palace. While today’s man caves typically consist of little more than a couple of ratty La-Z-Boys, a Styrofoam cooler, and a Playstation in the corner of a basement, a proper bachelor pad makes up an entire apartment or flat, as typified by upscale furnishings, top-of-the-line entertainment systems, a clean, functioning kitchen, and enough creature comforts to impress a date should the opportunity arise.
The truth is that your bachelor pad doesn’t even have to be posh. It just has to be tidy, with plenty of rip-free furniture and a refrigerator that’s large enough to hold a case of beer and enough food to feed a small crowd. Most importantly, a good bachelor pad effortlessly reflects the passions and pastimes of the guy who lives in it.
Comfort and versatility are imperative here, as friends’ tastes tend to vary (sometimes in the span of a single visit). Make sure to keep plenty of oversized floor pillows around for people to lounge on. Recliners are usually a big hit, too, as are overstuffed armchairs with ottomans for leg stretching. And, of course, you’ll want a couple of large, comfortable sofas where two or three guys can sit alongside each other to discuss a movie they’re watching or experience the agony and the ecstasy of a televised sporting event. Leather is nice, but less expensive upholstery can be just as inviting. Just make sure it’s easy to clean and treated with a solution that deters food and drink spills. Since the majority of bachelor pads are one-bedroom units, it’s usually a good idea to have a futon stashed in a closet or a sofa that can easily be transformed into a bed for those guests that just can’t seem to leave.
While many designers recommend combinations of brown, blue, and white with accents of leather and natural wood for bachelor pads, that choice is ultimately up to you. Men’s color preferences are as varied as women’s, so if your favorite colors are peach and lilac, go for it. After all, one of the perks of adulthood is actually being able to make such choices unencumbered by tradition. It’s also fine to mix and match décor throughout different rooms. If you feel like it, you can even go battleship gray and crimson in the living room, lemon yellow in the bathroom, and forest green in the bedroom. Just make sure that small things like window treatments and area rugs all complement one another to create some kind of a balanced ambiance.
The heart of most bachelor pads (and most homes in general) is the entertainment center. The largest flatscreen TV you can afford is a given. A quality sound system for music is also a must, and preferably one that can be expanded to accommodate speakers in every room. If you and your friends enjoy playing a friendly game of poker or indulging in board games every now and then, you’ll want to make sure you have a table conducive to group play. Video game enthusiasts will need comfortable chairs to sit in as they battle it out online. They’ll also want to keep their consoles and accessories in excellent shape and close to an adequate number of power sources. To top everything off, consider investing in a shower radio so you and your friends can rock on while you freshen up after a pick-up game in the driveway or local park.
Overhead lighting can be pretty harsh. Either put those fixtures on dimmer switches or strategically place table and floor lamps around the apartment so the walkways are well-lit and no one has to strain their eyes to read playing cards or text messages during their visit. And just in case you have a date over for dinner or dessert, you should always have a stash of candles (either real or battery-powered) on hand to create a romantic atmosphere.
Whether you’re a gourmet cook or more of a hero sandwich type of guy, a kitchen with lots of counter space, a good size cutting board, a few really good knives, and a full set of dinnerware, glassware, and cutlery is key. Choose good-quality pieces, but not ones that are so expensive your guests hesitate to even use them. Keep in mind that a dishwasher makes life easier and a microwave helps feed hungry friends fast.
Men often ignore the importance of a well-stocked bathroom. Stock up on hand and body soap, shampoo and conditioner, and deodorant for those unexpected sleepovers. Have plenty of oversized, thick terrycloth towels in the linen closet, as well as several absorbent bath mats. Versatile showerheads that can be used both overhead and by hand are very welcome, as are bath benches so guests can sit down while showering.
Take the time to plan out your bachelor pad. After all, many of your best memories might be made there. Even if you embellish those remembrances as you recall them down the road, you’ll always want the setting to be flawless.