Bachelor Pad Ideas on a Budget

Forget the messy, tacky bachelor pads of the past. Try these expert tips and ideas to get a warm, welcoming bachelor pad on a budget.

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Master Bedroom with a View Not your typical bachelor pad bedroom, is it?

Bachelor pad: A term previously used to describe messy, unstructured spaces packed with sports memorabilia, remote controls, college furniture and tacky art. Well, times have changed and so have the ways designers approach spaces inhabited by dudes, whether 100% single or slightly off the market. From color schemes, furniture styles, art selection and value engineering, there are plenty of ways to create spaces fit for bachelors that are at once handsome and elegant, custom and off-the-shelf, warm and welcoming.


The first step in creating a designer-caliber bachelor pad on a budget is to avoid clichés whenever possible. Clichéd design ideas quickly become dated, accelerating how soon a room may require redecoration. Sure, leather sofas are durable  and nothing screams masculinity like touches of worn-in, aged textures  but there are many other guy-friendly choices that are much more unexpected and unique. With leather often costing as much as $250 per hide, and an average sofa requiring roughly five hides for upholstery, velvet, boucle, and linen are great alternatives that keep costs down. Something to consider when sourcing upholstery fabrics is to set aside at least $35 per yard for something high quality and durable. Skimp on upholstery fabric and it's likely pieces will cost more in the long run due to rips, tears and re-upholstery costs. 


When it comes to color, blue is the most popular choice for men; however, strictly using it in accents or choosing a muted hue often gets more mileage than a space completely covered in cobalt. Two classic color choices for spaces inhabited by men are grey and brown. These colors work well with just about anything and, depending on what they're paired with, can take on extremely chic personas. If painting walls in a bachelor pad, great hue choices for incorporating color in a high design manner are Intellectual Gray and Well-Bred Brown, both from Sherwin-Williams. For male-friendly contrast to these tones, consider saturated reds or royal purples. Not just any red or purple will do; the wrong shade can completely throw off the balance of a room. Stay away from reds with pink undertones and avoid light purples, which may be considered lilac. Fire-engine reds and deep violets work best.


Another common cliché associated with bachelor pads is to leave windows bare. Men often associate window treatments as being feminine when, in fact, window treatments are gender neutral and play an important part in insulating spaces, reducing noise pollution, and preventing fading of furniture and/or carpets. To give window treatments masculine identity, opt for solids with metallic sheen or rough textures and choose prints with geometric patterns, pinstripes, tartans or plaids. Tailored pleats, such as inverted box pleats or top pinch pleats, add interest while staying gender neutral. When choosing fabric for window treatments, make sure the fabrics in consideration are labeled "drapery weight." Upholstery weight fabrics are considerably heavier than drapery weight, which can cause the draperies to fan out, losing the intended tailored effect.

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