Call me a design snob, but the phrase “bachelor pad” has always brought to mind tasteless wall calendars and cheap leather furniture. In my dating years I spent most of my time outside of his apartment, for reasons extending beyond his lack of design aesthetic, and thought of what I would do if he every asked for my design help.

For example, I find that most men do not use their formal dining room. Instead this area becomes a catchall space consisting of furniture from their college days, outdated media equipment, and sports paraphernalia. If your guy ever solicits your help in cleaning up his act, here are a few alternatives to make this “spare” room more conducive to his lifestyle.

photographer: joe schmelzer

Make his telecommute both functional and comfortable by creating a handsome home office space. Be sure to assess his needs regarding storage solutions so everything has its place. Here, he will be more focused and efficient while working. This equates to less overtime and more time to spend with you later!

design: kate hume

Is your guy a high achiever or a great athlete? Does he have an impressive art collection? If so, put his accomplishments on display. Create a museum of sorts displaying all of his accomplishments, trophies, photos, etc. It takes little furniture to create this space. After the installation, just add a bench or accent chair as seen in the photo above and you’re done!

photographer: joe schmelzer

Score points with his family by creating a guest room. When his parents or sibs come to visit, they have a comfortable alternative to his cheap leather sofa. Again, it doesn’t take much to complete the space. A bed or respectable air mattress along with a lamp and side table will do the trick. If the dining room is open to the entry, use a futon or sofa bed in lieu of a bed.

photographer: manny rodriguez

If your guys is set in his ways and rejects Options 1-3, then proceed to Option 4: Show Him How It’s Done. Show him ways to add a healthy dose of testosterone by using pinstriped fabrics to recover chairs or as drapery fabric. This isn’t his grandmother’s dining room (no offense, Granny). The chrome chairs, rich wood tones in the table, and the rustic antler chandelier (as seen above) will make any man proud to have a proper place to wine and dine you his guests.

design: brian patrick flynn

So there, I’ve given you the plan of attack! Just make sure you have “creative license” before you start moving things around in his place. Hopefully the transformation will encourage him to do something about the rest of the place.

What is your biggest pet peeve regarding your guy’s place? Which room needs the most help?

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About Erika Ward

Multi-passionate entrepreneur, spokesperson, speaker, and philanthropist, Erika Hollinshead Ward worked in the design-build industry as an accountant before turning her passion for interior design into a successful business. Named by Atlanta Tribune as having one of the top design firms for two consecutive years, Erika is a highly sought after expert whose work has appeared in several media outlets such as House Beautiful Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, Fox 5 (Atlanta Affiliate), Huffington Post, and many others. Her influential voice in the home improvement sector has lead to marketing collaborations with leading home and lifestyle brands including Home Depot, S.C. Johnson, and Home Decorators Collection. Erika holds an undergraduate degree from The University of Georgia and resides in Atlanta with her husband and five children. With her sharp business acumen and design prowess, you can rest assured that she is one to watch as a voice for working mothers, women entrepreneurs, and interior design enthusiasts.

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  1. Tonia {Chic Modern Vintage} Says:

    One of my biggest pet peeves is, plain 'ol not being clean.


  2. Talking with Tami Says:

    My hubby and I have very different taste in home furnishings. He is all about comfort and Im all about style. We can never come to any happy medium. Plus with kids its hard for mom to have any kind of style in my home. One day will have that shabby chic office that I crave. All whites and a hint of pink. lol


  3. The Budget Brides Handbook Says:

    Love the last pic. The graffiti painting really pops.


  4. Emily A. Clark Says:

    Great solutions for an often un-used space! :)


  5. keely @ luxe + lillies Says:

    Erika! I SO love this. I don't think we realize how many guys come across our blogs when they are online looking for some design help! These are great tips… and I have to agree with Tonia. My boy can't pick up to save his life.


  6. Isabella & Max Rooms Says:

    Oh, I can't even go there, the spaces some of my boyfriends lived in, with one exception. The perfection of that place was a bit frightening in its own right! Janell


  7. eddieross Says:

    Gorgeous rooms! I've always loved that B & B Metropolitan chair!

    Jaithan + Eddie


  8. Leah Says:

    In LOVE with the last picture so guy hip! Hope your having a wonderful Monday


  9. Kiran Says:

    Sorry…I did not check my spelling.LOL

    You cracked me up with having the cheap sofa scratched out…too funny. Well, chin chin to another fabulous post,lady! :-)


  10. Tamstyles Says:

    the rooms are love love the first one. that green is burning me it.


  11. DesignTies Says:

    I love the idea of re-inventing a space — just because a room is technically a dining room, doesn't mean it needs to be used as a dining room.

    Your ideas for other ways to use a DR are great — I especially like the gallery :-)



  12. Phyl This Says:

    So fabulous, so upbeat and eclectic! When I get my new place, I'm calling you!!! MEAN IT!!!! You're a designer extraordinaire!


  13. MySkinConcierge Says:

    Boy do I need your blog. I need to start on a lot of projects now! See you at the #RitzGlam event on the 30th at the Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead!


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