You saw an episode of Changing Rooms in the 1990s and understand the rules of matching belts and shoes – so accessorising your home is going to be easy, right? Wrong. The things you think you’re ‘nailing’ might actually be putting the nail in the coffin of your sex life.
Take these tips from interiors experts on what not to spend your hard-earned cash on to make sure your digs don’t look like student halls crossed with a regional branch of HMV.
It might be the perfect spot on which to kick back and binge watch a whole Netflix series in your pants, but what do you think owning a chair with the name ‘La-Z-Boy’ says about you?
According to interior designer Susan Ferrier: “Almost anything can be used in a man’s interior if some level of discernment is used – except a kickback sectional with cup holders.” Time to upgrade.
If you’ve rightly come around to the idea of ditching your lad-pad recliner, be wary of swapping to a giant leather chair.
Designers at interiors firm MA Allen want to add saggy, oversized leather furniture to the list of no-nos: “It’s like they are trying to scream ‘I am a man!’ There are too many other beautiful masculine fabrics to include in a scheme.” Try out checks or houndstooth patterns as a stylish, modern alternative.
Lose The Game
Video games and beanbag chairs might go hand in hand, but they can be the ultimate mood killer. Even Beavis and Butthead had a sofa.
If it hurts too much to hand your console over to your teenage brother, designer Ryan White says that appropriate seating is the game-changer you need: “Swap your used old beanbag for two vintage club chairs for a smart, sophisticated take on your teenage pastime.”
Don’t Share The Love
You might adore your Ma ‘n’ Pa, but do you really want a potential love interest locking eyes with them while they’re on top of you half naked? Not that he needs to but designer Vance Burke points out that this can be the ultimate turn-off: “They’re just not sexy. I’m sorry.” (We’re sure he means the pictures, not your parents).
Set & Match
You wouldn’t just go into a shop, look at one rail and say, “I’ll take it”. So don’t try to shortcut to a stylish home by buying a pre-collated set of furniture either.
“[Buying sets] gives the impression that you don’t not know how to make decisions and lack general style,” says Allen. “Anyone can buy a matching set, but interesting men are able to combine different pieces together to create an eclectic overall look.”
You (hopefully) chucked out the Spiderman bedding a while back. But if you’re working with cheap, patterned covers, your bedroom is still probably screaming ‘manchild’.
“No-one should have cheap bedding or mismatched sheets in their home after a certain age,” explains Elle Decoration social editor, Lindsey Campbell.
Swapping your printed bedding for high-quality, plain (and above all, matching) sheets, covers and cases will ensure you look like you’ve got your shit together.
Ban The Booze
One of the most common creep-out crimes is surrounding yourself with what’s known as ‘good-time goods’. Beer and drinking paraphernalia might work in a dive bar in Dallas, but in your living room in Doncaster it looks tragic.
Take a leaf out of interior designer Jon Call’s book: “Your vices are not art, so ditch the neons and beer towels for some framed vintage literature or movie posters.” Or at least hide the keg stand kit.
Throw The Towel In
Still clinging on to the mismatched towels you nicked from home when you moved out? They will be noticed and will lose you valuable points, however good your chair collection is.
A full set of clean, white bath towels is a non-negotiable if you’re looking to impress, according to designer Nicole Fuller: “White towels show sophistication and will leave a good impression”.
Don’t Fake It
We get it, you’re a busy guy that isn’t in the habit of killing things willingly, but still want a bit of greenery. Even still, don’t be tempted to go for plastic plants: “If you have a real job, have real plants,” says Fuller.
If remembering to water them daily is a stretch too far, opt for succulents or cacti – they’re stylish and you only need to water them about once every two months. Even you can manage that.
Keep It Clean
Unsurprisingly, top of the list of domestic turn-offs is often dirty dishes and laundry. Invest in a proper clothes basket if you have to wait until the weekend to get to the machine and buy a plate rack to at least stop them from being scattered across the kitchen.
Still seems like too much work? Call has some harsh words: “If you have a problem staying clean, it’s time to hire someone. And no, your mother is not allowed to still be doing your laundry.”