Alll riiight!!!
January 7, 2008 11:08 AM   Subscribe

Every Bachelor Pad must have a ?????? Moving into my own apartment after a few years of living with a roommate. What things do I need to make sure to have the coolest, most comfortable, awesome bachelor pad ever?
posted by boyinmiami to Home & Garden (50 answers total) 46 users marked this as a favorite
A mini-fridge of course! Perfec for a beerski when you cant be assed to get off the sofa! My boyfriend has got one in the shape of a tardis because hes sad like that...a previous boyfriend had a really nice stella artois one.
posted by Neonshock at 11:11 AM on January 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

Maid service ( or do they call it a housecleaning service?). Seriously You don't want your string of beauties to think you are a slob.
posted by Gungho at 11:12 AM on January 7, 2008

Stereo system
Fully stocked fridge
Medicine cabinet filled with condoms
posted by HotPatatta at 11:12 AM on January 7, 2008

Everything in the 40 Year Old Virgin's apartment EXCEPT the massive action figure collection.
posted by OlderThanTOS at 11:14 AM on January 7, 2008

Get some art on those walls. Not Scarface posters and Sports Illustrated pinups either.
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:15 AM on January 7, 2008 [3 favorites]

Maid service is often surprisingly cheap and effective. Laundry service is more expensive, but also surprisingly useful.

Think hard about clutter and trash disposal. It's really easy for a bachelor pad to look crappy because there are beer bottles and pizza boxes strewn everywhere.

Think hard about electronic cables. Also something that can turn into a boondoggle for the wired young man.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:16 AM on January 7, 2008

A dedicated bar is nice. Or at least a nice set of glasses and a place to store your liquor.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:16 AM on January 7, 2008

entertainment system, for sure.
mini-fridge with beer tap
comfy furniture and pleasant lighting
and of course a water bed (j/k)
posted by sero_venientibus_ossa at 11:17 AM on January 7, 2008

If you are looking to impress the ladies (which is what "bachelor pad" implies to me, YMMV), you need to have:
*Real bedding on a real bed. Do not sleep in a sleeping bag, do not sleep directly on your mattress with one yucky ole comforter, do not sleep on an air mattress on the floor.
*Toilet paper in the bathroom. Paper towels in the kitchen. Kleenex on the nightstand and in other sections of the house. Do not mix these up.
*Trash cans, that are emptied more than once a year.
*More than one drinking glass, wine glass, dish, bowl, fork, spoon. The appropriate pan type for any sort of cooking you intend to do.

And other things along these lines. Prove to the people you bring over that you are a grown person who can take of himself.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:17 AM on January 7, 2008 [16 favorites]

Real liquor in a well appointed bar (this means appropriate stemware, rocks glasses, etc.). Comfortable furniture. An adult bed (no mattress on the floor or futon). Some simple art or sculpture that you like. A well stocked, diversified humidor. A sense of interior design when it comes to paint, texture and furniture (it may be time to ditch the couch from Goodwill). Well thought wifi devices (streaming audio/video) in key places with accompanying speakers. If you bike, a work station for your bike. Consider a house cleaning service for a once a month scrub. It will be some of the best $ you will spend.

Have fun and good luck!
posted by zerobyproxy at 11:20 AM on January 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

A roomba or one of its competitors. Turn it on when leaving for work, and let it run. My floors would otherwise never get vacuumed
posted by Calloused_Foot at 11:20 AM on January 7, 2008

Seconding a proper bar. Get yourself bottles of vodka, gin, whiskey and/or bourbon, tequila, triple sec and a coffee liquor; also small bottles (they go bad quickly!) of the two vermouths. You don't have to go nuts on quality (well, maybe on the Bourbon, but that's me), but don't buy Bowmans or Aristocrat either. Add a shaker, and a few nice glasses (martini, rocks, highball), and you'll be able to make just about any drink for any guests you have over.

Depending on your personality type and vices, a nice humidor can be pretty awesome as well.

...yes, I am trying to quit tobacco.
posted by thecaddy at 11:25 AM on January 7, 2008

A Lava Lamp. Everybody needs a lava lamp.

(Also, minimalism is your friend. As is Ikea.)
posted by Phire at 11:25 AM on January 7, 2008

A lot of things are easy enough to come up with. An entertainment center, a good booze storage area, such as a bar, comfy sofas, etc. But what will truly make your bachelor pad into the bachelor pad to end all bachelor pads are the details. So, let's assume you already have some plans to procure some of the obvious things, like I've mentioned. What would be some nice touches?

A universal remote... that works... easily. Usually when you go over to somebody's house and use their entertainment center, you have to just let them start the movie, TV, video games, or whatever, because there are 10 different remotes for the ten different devices, and all the channels and settings have to be right, etc. So it'd be great if your pad had one remote, for everything, that is easily figured out.

Good end tables, coffee tables, or other surfaces on which to place one's beverage or snack. It's nice to not have to reach over somebody, or risk your drink being kicked over. Make sure every seat has decent access to a good place to put down a drink.

Glasses that don't suck. Having cheap, non-matching cups for everybody is tacky.

Seconding keeping the damn place clean. It should look lived in, but not a sty.
posted by gauchodaspampas at 11:30 AM on January 7, 2008

Everything ThePinkSuperhero said, Plus a coffeemaker, even if you don't drink coffee. Your guests will be grateful. Also, have more than mustard, leftover pizza, and beer in the refrigerator. Try to keep staples on hand (bread, eggs, milk, salt, sugar, flour, etc.).
posted by otherwordlyglow at 11:34 AM on January 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

What things do I need to make sure to have the coolest, most comfortable, awesome bachelor pad ever?

- Knowledge of how to keep a place clean, and a plan by which to do it.
- A fully functional kitchen, stocked with more than condiments and beer. By "Fully functional" I mean a kitchen in which you can prepare things that aren't pasta, ramen, or frozen.
- Good quality bathroom towels that were purchased within the last two years.
- A design aesthetic. I don't mean go completely nuts and design a place from scratch, but that you should avoid hanging things on the wall that look like they were torn from a magazine or that have references to movies on them.
- Access to an IKEA.
- Good lighting. Never underestimate the power of sufficient light. If your place has overhead lights, never use them.
- A sense of pride in where you live.
posted by pdb at 11:36 AM on January 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

Here's my prize furnishings:
A bank of IKEA "Billy" Bookshelves. . .
Fancy Zojirushi one-button rice cooker (from amazon)
Full set of Zyliss kitchen utensils (purchased one by one from amazon)

This is a fun question; there's a lot I'd like to get again from my past life in Japan that simply isn't available here.
posted by panamax at 11:36 AM on January 7, 2008 [2 favorites]

Lots of good suggestions. I'll add an extra bed, or at least a fold-out couch or futon.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:41 AM on January 7, 2008

Response by poster: awesome suggestions... lot of things i missed :) keep them coming boys
posted by boyinmiami at 11:44 AM on January 7, 2008

A kegerator, naturally.

Nice leather couches.
posted by chrisamiller at 11:50 AM on January 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

A Wii! Ladies love the Wii. (Ladies are not always as interested in Xbox.)

Nthing decent dishes/glasses; enough to host a casual dinner party for four to six people should work. Plus appropriate glasses for whatever drinks you drink. A stocked bar is a great idea too. Doesn't have to be fully stocked, but a few bottles of decent-quality liquor will come in handy. Generally, the better-appointed your kitchen is, the better you'll look. (I'm a slob and I hate cooking, but I still admire twentysomethings with well-stocked kitchens.)

Even though it's tempting, don't get one of those circular beds. They suck. They're not long enough to sleep two people comfortably, and they always look unmade.
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:00 PM on January 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

One item TPS forgot: A trash can in the bathroom. To prevent your ladyfriend(s) from having to wander through your house with a tampon applicator clenched in their fist looking for an appropriate disposal site.
posted by desuetude at 12:03 PM on January 7, 2008 [4 favorites]

A pleasant scent. A grown-up's abode does not smell like household cleaners* or a Lemony Fresh Glade Plug-In or last night's pizza or the bathroom or patchouli. Get a nice quality candle or incense in a spice or vanilla - those say "manly" to me, more than florals. YMMV.

*Although, household cleaner smell is better than Funky Sheet Smell, or Last Week's Dried On Stove Gunk Smell.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 12:06 PM on January 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

An older bachelor in the family gave me this advice when I was first moving out (I paraphrase):

"You will spend the majority of your time at home on either your bed or your couch, regardless of whether its by yourself, or with others. Skimp on other things, but not on these."

- Get a nice bed, a high quality mattress, a good mattress pad, 2 sets of high quality bedding, good pillows / comforter.

- Get a leather or very nice cloth couch. Either way it should be large and very inviting to be in.

As far as everything else, think "less is more." You'll be pleasantly surprised how little you need to live comfortably.
posted by allkindsoftime at 12:07 PM on January 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

My bachelor pad? (I still cling forlornly to my bachelorhood despite having a non live-in long term GF)

Pioneer HDTV n DVD collection
Large wine rack full of good wine + glasses (Riedel)
Large fridge full of good food and imported beers.
Pro-ject turntables and good soundsystem (Linn)
Fine record collection.
Hefty big book shelf + many many books.
Super king size bed with large HDTV at foot.
The best duvet, mattress, pillows, cotton sheets you can afford.
Big, fluffy, clean towels.
Ensuite 2m shower tray + power shower
Large bath
Khiels n CO Bigelow "products"
Super big sofa n chairs (Habitat)
Conran lighting
Plants n flowers.
Quality chefs knives (Henckels), cookware, plates n glasses.
Copious Apple products n wi-fi.
Good art.
Liquor cabinet, good vodka, rum, malt whisky, gin, glasses.
Ice n vodka n good ice cream in freezer.
Good coffee.
Humidor n Cohiba Siglos
Diptyque candles
An Ozark banjo.
Secret high quality porn stash.

Oh yes.
posted by brautigan at 12:10 PM on January 7, 2008 [10 favorites]

Honestly, I don't care about furniture quality- my place is done all in "Mid-Century Post-College Thanks For The Couch, Mom!" decor.
A nasty bed is a total dealbreaker for me, though. Not just in a "no, let's go to my place" way, either. I see a guy sleeps on a bare futon mattress on a dirty floor with a grimy top sheet and a pilled and gross comforter and (*gag*) yellowed pillows without cases, and I second-guess if I want him even allowed near my own bed, lest he bring whatever funk is growing there with him.
posted by Kellydamnit at 12:12 PM on January 7, 2008 [2 favorites]

No roommates, under-control pets, no weird collections, a meaningful library, even if small, no porn on display, no old gf photos on display, family photos but not too many, evidence of a life-beyond-screens, bandaids and Benedryl in the medicine cabinets, body soap that does not come from the supermarket, charmingly mis-matched but nice bedding, strategic messiness that makes you look just a little bit in need of a good woman.
posted by thinkpiece at 12:18 PM on January 7, 2008 [4 favorites]

My very first thought? Shag carpeting ;)

Seriously, though, a well-placed machine washable sheepskin throw rug makes a nice accent, especially with modern furniture - why else do they sell them at IKEA? They make the floor comfy, especially to bare feet. It could also be draped across the back of a sofa.

I second the tissues and toilet paper.

Posters are improved by framing. It requires just that much more effort than slapping a sheet of heavy paper on the wall with blu-tac.

Make sure your wall-art is level.

Get the highest thread count of sheets you can afford. Lower counts tend to pill, esp. on pillowcases.

Keep extra toothbrushes on hand, but only leave one extra in a drawer in the bathroom. "I buy my toothbrushes in multiples so I don't have to buy them so often. Here, have one." - Plausible, and doing the "Walk of Shame" is not so bad when you've got clean teeth.

An alarm clock that allows more than one alarm to be set at once. Or, an extra travel alarm clock. For those school nights.

Candlesticks and plain taper candles to use with them.

A glass vase for flowers. If you buy her flowers, but she's not leaving for a few hours, or you're going out to dinner, it's good to have a real vase in which to keep them fresh for her.
posted by Cordelya at 12:19 PM on January 7, 2008

Small but these make a huge difference:
Original paintings or framed photographs.
No movie or band posters and no half naked anything.
A place to hang coats.
A place to put shoes.
Comfy seating for as many people as possible.
Record player.
posted by |n$eCur3 at 12:27 PM on January 7, 2008

A trash can in the bathroom.

This is mandatory. It was shamefully late in my life when someone explained to me, in words of one syllable, why my bathroom needed this.

Medicine cabinet filled with condoms

Keep the big industrial-sized box of condoms under the bathroom sink or in a closet, but put a few within arm's reach of the bed. In the heat of the moment, the bathroom can seem way too far away. Three or so condoms next to the bed says "I am prepared"; a box of 144 next to the bed says "I am a man-slut" or "I am way too hopeful."

Clean towels. Always, always, have a selection of clean towels and washcloths available for guests. She should not have to share yours (if she doesn't want to), and there should be at least a second, if not a third, towel available in case she likes to bundle up her hair in a towel to help it dry. And your shower should be relatively non-disgusting, with shampoo and soap that aren't expired.

It's not a "thing" that you buy (unless you don't own a vacuum cleaner or a broom already), but keep your floors clean enough that walking in bare feet isn't disgusting. The first house I lived in when I was 19, we didn't clean the floors for the whole first year, until my roommate got a serious girlfriend who yelled at him and told him he would never see her again unless the floors got clean. We were amazed -- we totally hadn't noticed that the floors didn't stay clean on their own. Who knew?
posted by Forktine at 12:35 PM on January 7, 2008 [2 favorites]

I want you to get a revolving bed. I'm pretty sure it'd be a bad idea, but that just screams 'Bachelor Pad' to me.
posted by twirlypen at 12:51 PM on January 7, 2008

You know, to me, the ultimate luxury when I had my first apt. alone was a washer and dryer. At least try to get a washer/dryer combo, and in the room you get those hooked up, put a little hang-over-the-door ironing board (you can get them at Target cheap) and an iron.

What this means, to women, is that 1. you know how to do your own laundry and 2. you have someplace to put dirty clothes besides the floor.

Getting a place with w/d connections is high-faluting living, you know? It's comfortable and practical and you can, if you so desire, put together a nice outfit for a date within a couple of hours.

It will also encourage you to wash and dry your bedding once a week (trust me, it's important to do this) and always have clean, fresh towels for visitors.

I bought a set 14 years ago and the dryer is still rockin'. It's a worthwhile investment. It'll save you money in the long run on both regular washing and dry-cleaning; most men's shirts can be washed and dried on the low setting and then lightly ironed.

Also, if you can, get a really nice couch that folds out into a bed. Ignore all the leather-couch people; they're easier to keep clean, but animals like to chew them, they're not comfy to sleep on, and when visitors stay, their choice will be floor or couch. A couch with a bed in it ensures that you can have friends visit comfortably, or if you end up in a fight with your GF and you are living together, one of you has an actual bed to sleep on vs. the couch or a friend's place.

Also, two sets of sheets, minimum; one light for summer and one heavier, like flannel, for winter. It's nice to have a choice when the weather changes.


Candles that smell like something natural (grapefruit, cinnamon, vanilla, pomegranate) in your bedroom and living room. Light them an hour before visitors come over because otherwise your apt. will smell like speed stick, your trash, and possibly your pet. That's not sexy, but neither is a candle that smells like cologne. I'm always impressed when I go to a single guy's place and there isn't a whole wall devoted to electronics and it smells like something other than feet.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 1:11 PM on January 7, 2008 [3 favorites]

Oh, can I add one more thing? Please regularly clean your toilet and shower/tub. I can't tell you how disgusted women are when they walk into a good-looking, nice guy's place, go to the bathroom, and there are footprints in the shower and lime stains in the toilet. Get a pretty shower curtain if there is a tub (note: it doesn't have to be frilly, but at least opaque). Hand towels for guests to dry their hands on after washing. Q-tips are also great in the bathroom; girls use them for EVERYTHING. A night-light that can be plugged in if friends stay over or a girl staggers to the toilet in the middle of the night is also helpful.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 1:16 PM on January 7, 2008 [2 favorites]

Honestly, the thing that has done me the most good has been a really nice toaster oven. The food tastes better than in a microwave, and it's much easier than a regular oven.
posted by klangklangston at 1:26 PM on January 7, 2008

Keep the stuff around to cook a semi-nice breakfast on short notice, and not the same thing over and over again.
posted by Space Coyote at 1:46 PM on January 7, 2008

Mame cabinet. Bean bags. Massage table.
posted by Tixylix at 2:39 PM on January 7, 2008

Pinball machine.
posted by Cochise at 2:59 PM on January 7, 2008

I was in the same situation as yourself about 3 months ago. After seeing the horrifying state I let my apartment fall into in just 2 months, may I strongly recommend maid service!

Also, a decent (32" or above) LCD is a nice touch and will make your humble surroundings seem just slightly more sophisticated.
posted by lattiboy at 3:03 PM on January 7, 2008

Response by poster: thank you so much for these suggestions :)
posted by boyinmiami at 3:07 PM on January 7, 2008

Here's a relevant article I bookmarked a while back:
posted by hungrysquirrels at 3:24 PM on January 7, 2008 [2 favorites]

An Eames Lounge chair and ottoman.
posted by rabbitsnake at 3:33 PM on January 7, 2008

Response by poster: Wow- that Eames lounge chair is pricey!!!!!
posted by boyinmiami at 4:02 PM on January 7, 2008

Unless you're handy with a soldering gun (or want to learn) don't get a pinball machine.

/video game mechanic, 1986-1991
posted by panamax at 4:10 PM on January 7, 2008

Regardless of the rest of the site's content, I think the link hungrysquirrels provided is spot-on. A teeny, tiny bit too much in places, IMHO, but that's me - if you followed it to the letter, I couldn't object.

In my experience, the following are the single biggest things that will set you apart from your peers:

1) A clean bathroom
2) A clean kitchen
3) Something, anything, arranged on your walls like it belongs there, and straight.
4) Extra towels
5) A vacuumed floor

Above all, make it look like you actually chose your apartment's contents, and didn't just grab whatever was handy in your parents' basement. Coherency of aesthetic is the prime mark of grown-up living spaces.
posted by Tomorrowful at 5:06 PM on January 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

A round bed..
posted by HuronBob at 5:11 PM on January 7, 2008

Light dimmers.
posted by AceRock at 7:56 PM on January 7, 2008

Related question.
posted by 6550 at 10:30 PM on January 7, 2008

Mood lights / dimmer on remote control. It sounds tacky as hell, because you're thinking about how it clumsily yells "Look how smooth I am! Can we have sex now? Huh? Can we?", so don't use it like that. If you're putting on some romantic-comedy DVD, it's just organised and convenient to be able to dim the lights from the couch as you hit play on the DVD. Once the function of the remote lighting is thus firmly associated as a device of sophisticated convenience and organisation (ahem), THEN you can broaden your use of it in your clumsy attempts to set mood :-)

You can buy them at radio shack, or pretty much anywhere - some form of remote-controlled switch-box that plugs into the wall socket, and then you just plug your existing lamps into the switch-box instead of the wall.
posted by -harlequin- at 3:44 AM on January 8, 2008

At least one good board game. I like Scattergories.
posted by Brian James at 4:42 PM on January 8, 2008

-A hamper. Dirty clothes/towels on the floor, yick.
-Nthing a decent bedding set up. You don't need to get frou frou (I wouldn't want you to!), but have a comfortable standard (ie non inflated) bed with clean sheets and a comforter that doesn't look like it's been dragged through decades of stained/crumpled abuse. Please have clean sheets/covers on your pillows...naked yellowed pillows are indeed super gross.
-Something in your kitchen that indicates you eat something beyond frozen pizza and take out. It doesn't have to be over the top, and it depends on the person. But you know, like a good toaster oven, sandwich press (toasted sandwiches with fresh ingredients are super easy and a charming late night snack to share with a lady guest), or all-purpose high-grade frying pan. This includes, as others said above, ingredients in your fridge too (vegetables, eggs, meat, whatever). You don't need every spice herb and vinegar/oil on a shelf or anything, but if you find a couple reliable good seasonings and learn how to use them to make things taste great, you're on your way too. And I'm biased because I'm a hardcore cold-weather Northeasterner temporarily stranded in the South, but yesyesyes to the coffeemaker. People looked at me like I had three heads when I got here and one of the first things I did was find the graveyard of never-used coffeemakers stashed in the closet, got one out, cleaned it, and set it up. To me it's more important that almost any other kitchen appliance!
-I don't think it's a universal by any means, but yeah, when I got my own place one of the things that made me feel like a grown up was a small well-stocked liquor cabinet. (I do sometimes think that's silly of me though...) Everyone already went over this. Just get decent quality basics (vodka, rum, some form of whiskey, gin, vermouth, and the liqueurs you like), a sturdy classic shaker, and the right glassware. Also keep other cold drinks on hand for guests (beer, soda and diet soda, juice, water) and always have ice ready. If you know wine drinkers or are one, have some of that handy too. Oh, and you probably should have wine anyway for cooking.
-It should go without saying, but a good table and enough decently comfortable chairs in a communal area of your place. You can use it to play games, eat, whatever. When I first moved in with roommates (2 guys), they didn't have one!
-...They also didn't have the paper products and trash can thing down. Yesyesyes. I'm not sure how the hell they were going about their day without any kleenex in the bathroom, paper towels in the kitchen, etc. That got remedied fast.
-Something tidy that indicates interest in life beyond the internet and porn, oh my yes. Whether that's bookshelves, a wii (yay :), a bicycle kept in a proper place, a great shelf of movies, whatever. Even if you have an impressive collection of something regarding your passions, when stuff's strewn about as if you don't care if it gets stepped on or lost, it's not so good.
-I don't think it's a dealbreaker not to have Real Art etc on your walls (if that's not you, you shouldn't feel obliged), but it definitely does step things up from yeah, torn out magazine pictures, show fliers, or folded posters (though honestly, for me, a well balanced mix of punky show flier stuff and grown up art is charming). Similarly, thought-out color schemes, non-plaster white walls, and grown up lighting will turn your place from "college dorm" to "adult domicile." It's not really that hard...just decently hung and FRAMED images go a long way, regardless of the content.
-Re: condoms: a nightstand! :) Some kind of thought-out strategy that works for you to organize your clothes is good too, whether it's dressers, hanging organizers and shelves in your closet, whatever. Your place will seem so much more spacious and clean, and really, it's pretty damn easy.
-I actually agree about the board games. You don't have to go overboard/super nerd; having a few tried-and-true, anyone-can-play favorites is good. And position them somewhere that's strategic--visible, but out of the way (on a high shelf perhaps). It's an invitation for dorky fun late into the night. We've got Super Scrabble and Settlers of Catan beckoning at our place.
-I think the well planned out sound/entertainment system thing is highly desirable, but I'm still working on that myself, on a limited budget. Ideally it isn't in your face (I HATE gigantic movie theater like centralized monoliths of tv and whatever else; that Queer Eye guy agrees with me there), and I think the best bet really is some wireless set up. (I'd love to be able to listen to music in the kitchen while cooking without a lot of wires and temporary moving of sound system etc.) Yeah, I'm still working on that, too.

A lot of these things boil down to communicating to guests that you think about your place in terms of having a social life. A messy, dark place that only accomodates your own body as it goes through the day alone sans celebration (no chairs or communal table, your bodily mess/hair/whatever, lack of food or drink beyond your daily whatever, no extra trash cans, dirty plates near your bed, unmade bed, messes of clothes and books and DVDs only you can figure out) implies you don't anticipate having others in your life. You know?
posted by ifjuly at 2:48 PM on January 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

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