Like his personal style, the space a man lives in says a lot about him. From the contents of your bathroom cabinet to the state your bedroom’s in, you might say that, in some ways, those walls do talk.
So, if the contents of your home paints a picture of who you really are, then what are the things that tell your guests in no uncertain terms that you’re no slovenly bachelor, but a man of taste and sophistication?
Start by adding these to your shopping list:
Taking the party back to yours? Or maybe you’re setting the mood with a potential mate? Whatever the occasion, you’ll need some decent speakers. And no, throwing your iPhone into a salad bowl won’t cut it.
But that’s not to say you need a slap-up multi-room wireless speaker situation either (although it definitely wouldn’t hurt). What you’re after is at least one speaker that performs on two levels: aesthetics and sound quality. If it doesn’t look and sound good, then it’s not worth shelling out for.
Bring Home: Sonos Play:5
The updated Play:5’s sleek design may be unassuming, but its power and bass response is anything but. It packs a pretty big punch for a speaker that takes up the same space as a couple of coffee table books (more on that later).
Available at Sonos, priced £429.
We’re delighted that at some point someone loved you enough to give you giant mugs with ‘Employee of the Year’ and ‘World’s Best Dad!’ written across them in Comic Sans. Really, we are. But we’re not so delighted at the prospect of sipping scotch from them.
Every man – whether tee-total or a total lightweight – needs some well-designed glassware. Start with the basics, like an elegant decanter and a set of six tumblers, and build from there, never forgetting that someone (probably drunk you) will inevitably drop and break them, so don’t get too spendy.
Bring Home: Alessi
For sleek, fuss-free designs at prices that won’t mean you’ll have to drink cheap swill from them, try Italian design authority Alessi. (Just be careful putting them into the dishwasher.)
Available at alessi.com, priced £23.80 for a box of four glasses.
A Supremely Comfortable Couch
Whoever coined that adage about good shoes and a good bed obviously didn’t have a great sofa. We don’t know about you, but a can’t-get-up-too-comfy couch is for us one of the main things to strive for in life.
Solid foundations are key. To save giving yourself a bodyweight complex, look for sofas constructed from a hardwood like oak, ash and beech rather than a softwood like pine.
More importantly, though, you want size. If you can’t sprawl, get a good night’s sleep, or play a spot of Chesterfield rugby on it, then what the hell can you do with it?
Bring Home: John Lewis Tokyo Large Corner Sofa
With a clean, contemporary aesthetic and a “casual sit” (their words, not ours), we can already see ourselves sinking right into this one.
Available at John Lewis, priced £4,399.
It doesn’t have to be a Picasso. It doesn’t have to be pricey. It doesn’t even have to be an original painting. What it definitely does have to be though is NOT any of the following: a Godfather poster, a ‘Keep Calm’ anything or a godforsaken Tube map.
There are two things a good piece of wall art should do: 1) it should please you (and ‘please’, you’ll understand, is a subjective term, so whether what hangs on your wall makes you smile or sob uncontrollably into your Corn Flakes every morning is up to you), and 2) it should look good wherever it’s hanging.
The latter, of course, is all a matter of perspective too – but take it from us, hanging a Hirst in your newborn’s nursery doesn’t say “I’m encouraging my child to find beauty in the unexpected”, so much as “I’m a really sick individual and both my child and I need help”.
Bring Home: A little Of What You Fancy
Something That Smells Good
It’s a scientific fact that men can’t smell as well as women. Which is probably why the default narrative for fabric detergent adverts is a put-upon mum that looks a bit like an eye-roll emoji darting around her teenage son’s apparently toxic room picking up encrusted towels and stained white socks, all the while tutting and wagging her finger at no one in particular.
Now that you’re an adult, you need to make your stuff smell good yourself. Candles and room diffusers are ideal for masking any lingering notes of crispy fried bacon, stale beer or that laundry you’ve been meaning to do for the past month.
Bring Home: Anything From Diptyque
Of all the acclaimed Parisian fragrance house’s candles, Genévrier is our favourite. It’s juniper-scented and smells like gin so there wasn’t ever much competition, really.
Available at diptyqueparis.co.uk, priced £42.
OK yes, you’re right, this is probably getting a little more Patrick Bateman than we thought it would, so we’ll keep this one brief: your home isn’t a home without a good set of kitchen knives.
And they must be sharp. Because there is literally nothing more soul-crushing than trying to slice an onion with a blade duller than other peoples’ work stories. The best knives are fully forged – i.e. crafted from a single block of steel – and come fitted with a full tang (not a citrus-flavoured coating, but rather the name given to the part of the knife that attaches the blade to the handle), which runs the full length of the handle.
Bring Home: Mercer Culinary Renaissance Forged Knife Set
This six-piece set from American cutlery specialist Mercer Culinary includes a paring knife (a small knife that’s ideal for peeling), a small cook’s knife, a large cook’s knife, a bread knife and a carving knife, ensuring you make the cut.
Available at Amazon, priced £200.39.
(At Least) One Large House Plant
They increase oxygen levels through photosynthesis, can help prevent sore throats and dry coughs by releasing water into the air and, to top it all off, they look really, really pretty. (Provided you don’t murder them.)
Bring Home: A Philodendron, Monsteria Or Bird’s Nest Fern
None of these need watering more than once per week, which means you’ll be able to keep them alive for at least that.
Coffee Table Books
As John Waters put it, “If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have books, don’t f**k ’em!” So to better your chances of getting some, get some books.
If you wouldn’t exactly describe yourself as a voracious reader (i.e. the only thing you read is your Facebook timeline), then the good news is that you don’t need wall-to-wall Proust to get wall-to-wall something else – a few well-chosen coffee table books should do the trick.
Or at least when your guests are nearing the conclusion that, yup, they’re sitting in the cultureless void of an illiterate philistine, the right coffee table books could convince them otherwise. (Really you should just read more though.)
Books that not only look good, but make you look good too.
Some of our favourites include photographer Alasdair McLellan’s recently published Ceremony, architecture tomes Concrete and Improbable Libraries, and A Compendium of Collective Nouns: From an Armory of Aardvarks to a Zeal of Zebras.
Have we hit a home run with this list? Or have we not done our homework?
Let us know your home comforts below.