Close your eyes and think of the words “bachelor pad” – what comes to mind? Probably 80’s mustaches, exaggerated red and black color schemes and pleather couches. Not exactly a designer dream. But despite the bad wrap, there are ways to ensure that your pad doesn’t fall into the cliché and stands out instead.

Stay Away from Clichés

The classic, cliché pad is all about bold colors, usually some combination of red, black and white. Red walls, black couch, checked sheets – you get the picture. Avoid that scheme at all costs. Instead, opt for sophistication with soft neutrals that allow accessories to shine. Rather than a dark wall color, go for a muted grey or soft blue. Same for furniture; a classic leather couch or neutral grey never goes out of style. To add a pop of color, choose standout curtains and throw pillows.

Furniture Must-Haves

The most important part of any apartment? The furniture. Everything from the texture, size and color will play a part in the overall aesthetic of your place, so make sure a good amount of time (and budget) is spent selecting the perfect pieces. First must is the couch – likely where you and any guests or friends will be spending a lot of time, so make sure it’s large and comfortable. If you plan to host parties or other get-togethers, investing in a custom bar cabinet or island will make a great centerpiece and keep your home prepped for entertaining. It also serves as a great way to let your personality shine – go wooden and rustic if you’re into the craftsman look, or stick to sleek and traditional if that’s more your style. Modern furniture can immediately add refinement and class to any space, so choose wisely.

Play with Lighting

If you intend for your pad to make your guests feel comfortable, there’s no place for fluorescent lighting. It’s universally unflattering in a situation where you want to be painted in the best light possible, and nothing kills the mood faster than harsh fluorescents. Do yourself a favor and invest instead in a variety of lighting. Try mixing it up with pendant lights, oversized floor lights or pick up other modern unique modern options.

Stretch Your Budget

Avoid looking overly put-together by shopping in flea markets and antique stores for one-of-a-kind pieces. A mix of furniture from major retailers and smaller shops will give your home a more personal feel and add a standout piece or two.Try shopping for things like light fixtures, coffee tables and chairs at your local flea market; you’ll be surprised at the gems you may find.

Make Space with Mirrors

Adding a large mirror to the wall will not only help reflect natural light, but also give the illusion of a bigger space. Try placing one in a smaller space like an entry hall to open up the room. Added bonus? It’s an easy decoration tool that takes little thought » Watch Full