Bachelor pads often get a bad rap. They have stereotypically been associated with plain interiors, that are devoid of personality, and poorly reflect their inhabitants. The design of these spaces tends to rely heavily on matching furniture sets or passed-down items – an ageing leather sofa placed squarely in front of a television, with chairs lined up against a wall, lumpy oversized bean bags, and somewhat questionable artwork choices.
The issue often boils down to a matter of convenience. Some men can perceive decorating as a matter of mindlessly buying accessories and furniture to then scatter around their house. However, we can’t blame them for this: we have been conditioned by catalogues and shop windows that suggest design can be as simple as a one-stop shopping expedition. Fortunately, the rise of social media and increased accessibility to inspiration has improved awareness of design, prompting a shift in these mindsets. Rather than following an outdated formula, resulting in a tacky space, ‘Bachelor pads’ have become more refined, less stereotypical, and now have a stylised aesthetic.
The art of creating a spectacular bachelor pad can be approached in various creative ways. In this blog post, we will guide you through a comprehensive transformation, offering a range of ideas to help you break free from the clichéd mould of the typical bachelor pad.
Define Your Style
Defining your style marks a significant step, whether this is the first move since leaving the family home or university, you’re moving to a new place, or simply want to renovate. Whatever your circumstances, creating a home of your own can seem a little daunting, especially if you're yet to discover an interior style you resonate with.
Living on your own grants you a ton of freedom when conceptualising your living space – it is a canvas for expressing yourself, your comfort, your interests, and your favourite hobbies. It might sound a bit cliché, but a bit of soul-searching is essential before diving into the world of decoration. Consider the design styles that best match your taste—be it modern, traditional, eclectic, retro, or any other. Choosing the right interior design style for your home will depend on the ideas that resonate the most with you, and your budget.
Designing a space which encapsulates your tastes and personality takes time. Don't be tempted to rush out and buy cheap fixes, focus on quality furniture made from long-lasting materials which will grow with you and provide a platform for evolving tastes. Take your time to collect pieces that suit your style.
As we mentioned previously, if you're moving into a new space, resist the impulse to buy everything at once, even if the desire for a 'finished' look is strong. The beauty lies in the layering of your home with things you genuinely love. This creates a beautiful aesthetic, as each item holds a significance that no catalogue or store could possibly replicate.
One of our favourite styles is Industrial interior design. The style not only exudes a substantial masculine vibe, making it ideal for a bachelor pad, but it also embraces simplicity and sleekness. This style relies on robust materials like concrete, metal, and wood, all of which are durable. To elevate the industrial concept a step further and make the flat super cool, consider featuring at least one exposed brick wall.
Consider your Colour Palette
While bachelor pads don’t need to be confined to a rigid colour palette, colours play a crucial role in interior design. They establish the mood and ambience of a space and add harmony to the overall look. You may already have some colour ideas in mind based on your collected inspiration, possessions, and style. However, don't hesitate to experiment with various colour combinations to discover those that best align with your vision.
Some colour choices remain timeless. Traditionally, a masculine space is associated with a dark colour palette, but it's essential to know that black, grey, and white aren't your only options. If you’re looking for something slightly more vibrant and less neutral, consider opting for rich, deep hues like navy blue, chocolate brown, hunter green, and even deep purple. To prevent the room from feeling excessively dark and moody, use accent hues to infuse some brightness. Metallic elements such as brass, copper, and brushed gold can work wonders in this regard.
The previous catalogue matching aesthetic of bachelor pads, often left spaces feeling overly stark or clinical. To avoid this, it is important to introduce texture to create visual interest. Two materials have become bachelor pad classics – leather and wood. The leather and wood combo looks expensive and carries a lot of warmth. Leather is versatile and wood adds a natural texture to the space. Select pieces that match or complement the colour palette of your space; fabrics such as bouclé and velvet, along with steel furniture with natural patina patterns are subtle but effective.
Showcase your interests
As mentioned, this is your space and is the opportunity to reflect you, your personality and your interests. Anyone who is an art connoisseur can make that the focal point of a bachelor pad. If sport or cars are your thing (stereotypical we know), don’t hold back from showing this off. Here, Jonathan Clark, Creative Director for Shelved explores how storage and shelving can be utilised to add a stylish and personal twist to a masculine interior.
“Personalising a space is key to creating a warm and interesting home. Especially, when inviting new friends or a potential new partner over. Highlighting hobbies, be it music, artwork or a certain genre of book is an important part of showcasing your intellectual and creative side. Sentimental items go a long way here too, family photos and mementoes further tell the story, adding a homely and family feel, even if you live alone.
Feature open shelving is an ideal way to present these, a collection of asymmetric openings allow for displays at a number of height variations, meaning personal items can be enjoyed from a variety of viewpoints. Not only that, a large shelving unit can also double up as a room divider, perfect for creating zones in an open plan room.”
Highlight the tech, but keep it tidy “To avoid that just ‘moved in look’ that bachelor pads are often associated with, consider investing in bespoke furniture that will not only last but look more luxurious too.
Movie nights are an enjoyable part of the week for many, so creating a dedicated space for the TV and other gadgets is key to keeping everything organised and clutter-free. A Shelved modular TV unit provides an abundance of storage options, for ultimate viewing consider positioning your TV front and centre and surrounding it with an arrangement of open square shelving. Why not opt for low cupboards to store unsightly items such as game consoles and remote controls.
If music is your thing, consider opting for specialist vinyl storage and create a dedicated music corner within your home. Open modular storage allows for a curated look – where vinyl’s, a record player or turntable and speakers can be displayed together, showcasing the ultimate audio system. To avoid mess, make sure cables are hidden using a cable-managed rear panel and to soften up the display, introduce candles, cushions and comfy seating to create a cosy night in.
Pay attention to the Lighting
Lighting is a crucial element in any space, it is particularly important in setting the right tone in your bachelor pad. Yet it is often the last consideration on people's minds when they think about interior design. As you contemplate the ideal furnishings for your pad, remember the importance of proper illumination.
Avoid the harsh glare of cold fluorescent lighting, which makes spaces feel institutional and clinical. Instead, opt for warm incandescent or adjustable LED lights, which can be adjusted with dimmers. The ability to dim the lights is crucial for adapting the lighting levels to match the specific needs of a space or mood.
To create an intimate atmosphere, consider layering different lighting options, including task and ambient lighting. Pair a striking sculptural chandelier with pendant lighting, reading lamps, and dimmable overhead lights. This approach adds depth and versatility to your lighting scheme, allowing you to adapt the lighting for various activities.