If you’re young and single, you may be inviting members of the opposite sex over… so fellas: keep the Scarface paraphernalia, dirty laundry and gaming consoles tucked away.
“You want to create a space that reflects your style but keeps it inviting for your (ahem – overnight) guests!” says Lauren Makk, Yelp’s Home expert.
That may start with buying everything from the same place (whether it’s IKEA, Urban Outfitters or Target). “Your apartment shouldn’t look like a showroom or catalogue on steroids. Instead, pick a color palette and style that you love, use Yelp to find local thrift stores and retailers to pick pieces to incorporate into your space,” says Makk.
Bedding—sheets in particular—should be white and cotton. “Dark or plaid bedding screams “college dorm room”—and can be very off putting, as can your Star Wars sheets,” says Kristy Woodson Harvey, design expert and author of The Secret to Southern Charm, in bookstores this April. Silks and satins…Just, no. Please no.
It may sound obvious but keeping your bedroom clean and clutter-free is so important! “First impressions are everything and you don’t want to air your dirty laundry (literally!) when someone sees your home,” says Woodson Harvey. Plastic laundry hampers are fine as long as they’re hidden in the closet. If there’s nowhere to hide the hamper, upgrade to a basket or natural fiber hamper. Plus, simple actions like making your bed every morning can be a wonderful boost for your frame of mind.
You may be in love with your favorite down comforter, but that doesn’t mean you have to show it to the world. “Duvet covers or coverlets with matching pillow shams can be inexpensive and add a finished feel to a bedroom while still being extremely simple to maintain,” says Woodson Harvey.
We all remember the pillow stabbing scene in Along Came Polly. But a couple of accent pillows on a bed are a wonderful touch and make your bedroom feel like a grown up’s. “When in doubt, choose a neutral color. A white pillow sham with a monogram in a blue, tan or gray goes with everything,” says Woodson Harvey. Guys, you can never go wrong with an Old English monogram—it’s dignified and gracious in or out of the South.
That overstuffed recliner crammed in the corner of your room was fine when you were in college. But, as a grownup, it’s time to focus on scale and proportion. “If you have room for a chair (or a pair) in your bedroom, that’s fine, but they need to be the correct proportions for the space,” says Woodson Harvey.
If you have older furniture that looks a little dirty, tired or Duct taped and you can’t replace it, slipcovers are a simple way to cover a multitude of sins. “Look for varieties that you can pop in the washing machine, and stick with neutral colors,” says Woodson Harvey.
Make an effort with accessories. “A bedroom should be a clutter-free safe haven, sure. But a little can go a long way when it comes to creating that finished, grown-up look,” says Woodson Harvey. Start with lamps on the bedside tables and maybe even add a few photos or favorite books.