Every guy's life is a series of milestones. You take your first steps, you get your degree, you leave your parents' nest, you transition from gig to career. We're proud of you, really, but there comes a time when that pride should extend to your space – a time to hunker down, embrace a sense of permanence and make it feel more like a home (even if you, like most of us, are just renting).
Pull Down the Posters
At a certain point, Scotch tape should not be a thing that is on your wall (sort of like those glow-in-the-dark stars that used to be stuck to your bedroom ceiling). Expressing your interests is wonderful and even healthy, but wrinkly posters, magazine pages or pictures pinned to the wall aren't it.
Do This Instead: Posters, photos and art prints belong in a frame. While decor dynamos can mix and match frames, a plain matching set is a safe bet too. Don't suppress your love of pop culture; just choose prints like vintage-style concert posters or minimalist pieces from shops like CONCEPCIÓN STUDIOS or Print-Process.
Address Your Cutlery Situation
You're on the third date, and it's time to invite your future bae to dinner at your place. Your kitchen shouldn't look like a cutlery pinata exploded a random assortment of mismatched utensils and plastic dishes into your drawers and cabinets.
Do This Instead: Make sure your basic plates, bowls, cups and utensils match. There is no budget shaming here – bundles of matching silverware can be had for a buck at dollar stores, and virtually every Goodwill is rife with bundles of (nonplastic) retro dishes that will make your kitchen pop.
Remember Those Long-Forgotten Towels
If that single beige towel hanging off the back of your bathroom door since 2011 could talk, what sad stories would it tell? If one of those stories involves asking a house guest to share your questionably musky towel, it's officially new towel time at your house.
Do This Instead: A set of matching towels color coordinated to your bathroom will set you back about as much as a nice dinner for two. We get it – doing laundry feels like purgatory, but waffle weaves, hydrocotton and microfiber dry more quickly, buying you time between washes.
Pack Up the DVD Stacks
Going all digital is great, but it's not for everyone. Media buffs might find it hard to let go, but stacks of plastic cases arranged like a leaning tower of "Star Wars" movies don't belong on your living room floor.
Do This Instead: Sturdy shelves – no black particleboard here, gents – never go out of style, but cabinets with doors are even better for keeping that hodgepodge of disc cases from immediately drawing the eye.
Do Bedding Better (Goodbye, Futon)
If your comforter sounds like a plastic bag, and you have night sweats in the springtime, that old polyester-blend bedding is likely to blame. It doesn't breathe, and it's suffocating your bedroom's style too. Even though it's seen you through two dozen Netflix binges and nursed countless friends back to health after their worst all-nighters, your futon has earned a Viking funeral – or, you know, just donate it.
Do This Instead: Look for linens made of materials like cotton, cotton percale, natural sateen, bamboo or raw-edge linen for an earthy look and throw any pillows not marked as "dry clean only" in the washing machine every few months. Replace the futon with a Chesterfield low-profile, mid-century couch or a tailored tuxedo sofa so your guests can sleep in style without battling lumps all night.
- The New York Times: A Beginner's Guide to Decorating Your Home
- Better Homes & Gardens: Common Decorating Mistakes Solved!
- HGTV: 35 Biggest Decorating Mistakes and Solutions
- CNBC: Here's Why Millions of Millennials Are Not Homeowners
- Etsy: CONCEPCIÓN STUDIOS
- Print-Process: Home
- Good Housekeeping: 11 Best Quick-Dry Towels, According to Textile Experts
- New York Magazine - The Strategist: What Are the Best Bed Sheets?
- Consumer Reports: How to Wash a Pillow to Keep It Smelling Fresh
- Forbes: Classic Furniture Pieces That Will Never Go Out of Style
- Blinds.com: Can You Recycle Blinds?