Since Josh Gordon moved into his home, he's removed a wall between his kitchen and dining room, installed cherry laminate hardwood flooring, painted his kitchen cabinets and added crown molding.
All in all, the 28-year-old Manchester Township resident has spent $4,000 over the past two years making his home his own.
He said he made the changes so that the house would look more spacious and less cluttered.
"I was able to do a lot of things that I wanted to do," Gordon said. "I can take pride in my house."
His interior designer? Tammy Gordon, his mom. She is the lead commercial designer at York Wallcoverings.
"She's amazing with colors," he said.
Mom helped match and coordinate patterns, shades and décor. But, Gordon said they don't see eye to eye on every element of design. "Her taste is a little more extravagant," he said. "My taste is simple."
Simple, sleek designs are what Vicki Cialini, owner of NY Design Studio in Dover, said most bachelors want.
"When I design for a guy, it's always form follows function," she said.
Bachelor pads should be practical, comfortable and organized, she said.
Practical doesn't mean bland, though. Jason Bross' apartment is a testament to that. He has furnished his space with a pool table that doubles as a kitchen table, curtains custom made out of material used to make parachutes, and a real Texas cowhide rug.
Bross, 37, lives in a two-level apartment in The Lofts on North George Street. He's
He added a custom bar, complete with an electric blue- cracked-glass top and yellow bar stools. He also selected granite countertops for his kitchen and island, and stainless-steel appliances.
"I wanted it to be a space that I enjoy being in," Bross said.
One of Bross' favorite features is the
The apartment is modern, upscale and has special features, like a washer and dryer in the walk-in closet, that make it functional for Bross.
Stephen Abamonte, a bachelor living in Manchester Township, said it was also important for his townhouse to reflect his sophisticated style.
"I just turned 60 years old," Abamonte said. "I'm beyond the two concrete blocks and boards to hold up my stereo."
While he said he had some vision of what he wanted, he needed help.
Cialini has been working with Abamonte since December, and he said most of the space is complete, aside from some bathroom fixtures.
"The home was painted white and a light shade of beige - not very appealing. I wanted something a lot bolder, something that would really stand out."
Cialini and Abamonte decided on a sage green. They also added hardwood floors and granite countertops.
As for the practicality of the space, Abamonte turned his half bath into a pantry and his second bedroom into a den.
"I came up with some ideas and Vicki took my ideas and refined them," Abamonte said.
Cialini said men need to "stick with the basics" when it comes to design. They need a basic, comfortable couch; style might come in the form of using leather pieces or sleek zebra wood.
"They don't want trinkets on the bookshelf," Cialini said. "They don't want a collage of pictures. They don't want dust ruffles."
Tips to help decorate, organize a bachelor pad
Vicki Cialini, owner of NY Design Studio in Dover, has more than 10 years of experience in residential design and said she has worked with countless bachelor clients.
She said it's important for a bachelor to execute his interior vision with organization. That starts with deciding the focal points of each room and, next, allowing for traffic patterns.
The colors and overall look should be complimentary from room to room. Cialini said the best bachelor pads have a distinct style, but are also practical.
Here is Cialini's advice
1. Upholstered pieces
Pick out the sofa and chair first. Everything in the main living room will be designed around that.
Most guys "want the biggest TV they can get in there," Cialini said. So, guys need to make sure it will fit.
Cialini recommends seeking the help of an interior decorator to find the perfect pieces, but for men on a tight budget, "Ikea would be the ideal place to go."
"Measure out the room," Cialini said. "Allow for traffic patterns. If you want reclining sofas, you'll have to allow for the space when that piece is fully reclined. You can't be six inches away from the TV."
2. Case goods (main tables, side tables, consult tables)
Aside from tables that clearly serve a purpose (kitchen table and coffee table), men shouldn't overlook side tables.
To add a touch of style and convenience, maybe try for a chest of drawers by the front door. This area could be a landing pad for keys or mail.
This is where lighting, area rugs and very simple, functional accessories come into play. Lighting can be where guys get stylish.
To make a space more modern, check out under-cabinet lighting, chandelier or pendant-styles, Cialini said.
"Keep it simple and keep décor to a minimum," Cialini said. "The easier it is to clean and maintain, the better it will be."
4. Window treatments.
Window treatments need to be simple.
Most men will do fine with just a simple blind. This part of the space does not need to be overdone with big, flowery curtains or colors.
5. Wall color.
Choose a color that ties everything together.
This color could be pulled from a detail in a rug or accessory; or, it could simply be a neutral color that compliments the look that's already been established.
Biggest bachelor mistake
Vicki Cialini, owner of NY Design Studio in Dover, said the biggest
mistake bachelors make when designing their space is the size of the TV.
"I'm all for a big screen TV - that's fine," she said. "But they try to squeeze it into a small room. They also go for a big huge sectional sofa that doesn't fit."
To avoid this, measure the room. Also, keep in mind traffic patterns. If you have reclining sofas, you have to make sure there is space to recline.
Not sure what to do with trade tools, sports trophies, instruments or hunting gear? It might be worth making a dedicated room, interior decorator Vicki Cialini said.
"Don't clutter an organized space with too many pieces that won't belong."
If hobby pieces must be incorporated throughout the house or apartment, make sure it's part of the design - meaning, the pieces need to have ample space and merit in the room.
"You can't have a sleek, modern design and have a deer head hanging in the middle of it all," Cialini said. "It needs to be organized."