I’ve lived in my current apartment for two years now. All of the things that should be hung up are still leaning up against the wall, neatly arranged in stacks of two.
Ladies, welcome to the guy’s world of apartment decorating.
I actually do take pride in a well-decorated apartment, believe it or not. I just never assumed I would be in my current apartment long enough to justify hanging everything up. (Two years later, I now realize I made a huge mistake.) Every time my girlfriend steps foot in my apartment, I can hear the disappointment in her voice. She typically comments on the artwork that’s leaning up against the wall, asking if I’m ever going to hang it up. My response remains the same: “At this point, why would I?”
I have, however, done a few things correctly that get compliments from her. And I tend to think my likes and dislikes are fairly typical of professional guys in the 25-35 age range. So if you run an apartment community and want to stage a model unit to appeal to men, listen up. Here’s a five-step, low-effort guide to staging an apartment for a guy.
- Less is more. A guy’s apartment is almost never going to look like the typical model units shown during tours of apartment communities. A few, well-placed decorations go a long way. That’s an important step to remember as we move along. All the flowers everywhere? Those are flowers we’d have to keep alive. All that stuff on end tables and coffee tables? That just reminds us of stuff we would have to keep clean. Either that, or it reminds us of our parents’ house.
- Ditch the themes. No one wants to walk into a potential apartment and feel like we’re on the set of a bad, local TV commercial. Forget the sports pennants, buckets of popcorn and random team memorabilia. We’re adults, and we’re professionals. Remember, clutter is not our friend.
- Highlight the TV. A guy wants to envision watching the game in style, and he wants to think happy thoughts of how to throw a Super Bowl party in his new home. You don’t need the 80-yard screen from Cowboys Stadium crammed into the living room, but a good-sized television is key. If you mount it on the wall (and hide the wires), even better. If you don’t have a TV in the living space, put a focal piece of modern art on the wall where the television would go. We want to envision something in that space. Seeing a big piece of art means we know a big TV could go there as well.
- Make use of the patio. Consider decorating with a pair of lounging chairs, a table big enough for a meal and a full-size, electric grill. This is valuable real estate for us.
- Be careful with the color selections. In my living room and kitchen, I went with dark reds as the accent color. In the bedroom and bathroom, I went with light blue and brown. Black and gray (remember, sleek, modern and minimal) are always good options to also consider.
With us men, simple is almost always better. Clean, stylish and uncluttered is typically a good rule of thumb.
Dale Blasingame is a copywriter and social media manager for Move For Free, an apartment locating service headquartered in San Antonio, Texas.