Alright, my brother from another mother- this post is for you.  I’m lucky enough to have discovered domestic, co-habitational bliss some time ago and am settled down with my hubs (one who is interior design savvy, no less), but I know a handful of sweet treats out there on the market, and they could be looking for you.  The only trouble is that they can’t get past your bachelor pad.  Let’s address your….shortcomings, shall we?  A few tips have been bulleted, for your pleasure.

  • A decent catch will prefer smart guys. 

Get some books.  For the love of cheap beer, don’t admit that you hate to read…just buy some books, even if they are mostly pictures.  Comics don’t count, and neither does Maxim, so if that’s all you have, grab a few handsomely covered conversation starters for your coffee table.  If you are too “in the zone” to turn off ESPN and go to a bookstore, I recommend Taschen and their online site for general browsing.  They have lots of genres available and their covers are very graphically eye-catching, so I’m sure you’ll be able to find SOMETHING that speaks to you.  If you really want to slay her, try this one:

Seriously.  A Jerry McGuire moment is likely to ensue.  She’ll probably perk up if she feels you have a soul sensitive to the creative spirit, so try a topic like architecture or photography.  One word of warning: READ THEM before she comes over, you knucklehead.

  • The ladies like soft things, too.

It’s true.  A hard-edged space might look awesome in Dwell magazine, but it usually doesn’t make a girl go all weak in the knees unless she’s a Bauhaus enthusiast.  Quick quiz:

Pillows, rugs, and blankets are a nice way to say:

A.  “Welcome.”

B.  “Stay awhile- you’ll be comfortable here.”

C.  “No, I do not intend to wear your skin as a coat.” 

If you answered “all of the above,” you are a gentleman AND a scholar.  A decorative pillow or throw blanket does not make you a full-scale ninny, but if you insist, try a manly option.

Well aren’t you a rugged cowboy?  This one is made out of wildebeest hide and might make her want to cozy up next to your campfire.

This cable knit throw is also testosteroney yet snuggle-inducing.  It’s super soft and there’s no froufrou fringe at the bottom that might give away your predilection to dress up in your sister’s shoes when you were younger.

  • Spend your spare clams on good-quality bedding.

You need sheets with a high thread count.  How high?  Think about a really, really, really amazing, pretty much unattainably killer batting average.  You want at least that. 



You are so proud of me right now.  Anyway, there are hundreds of brands on the market, but honestly, for most purposes, I like the stuff from the Hotel Collection at Macy’s.  It’s simple, reasonably priced for the luxury that it is, and easy to get a hold of.

These are 100% Egyptian cotton 800-thread count sheets.  Let’s take a brief moment to absorb some of the nerdy deets: Egyptian-grown cotton is the strongest cotton fiber, so it lasts.  However, with every laundering, it becomes more and more soft to the touch, so age actually improves the textile, resulting in your lady friend loving your Egyptian cotton sheets more and more as they become cuddle-tastic over time.  Now THAT’S worth a little extra bank.                       

  • Good lighting is EVERYTHING.

I cannot stress this enough.  Mood lighting is key, and done correctly, it always results in a correlative, undeniable truth: the prettier she feels, the better you look.  As a general rule, downlighting alone is BAD.  Why?  The light only shines in a downward direction, which highlights the unpleasant realities of human nature, like under-eye bags and wrinkles.  You need multi-directional glow, which means you want to incorporate lamps into your scheme.

This one from West Elm is a great and affordable option.  That giant shade helps throw soft light all over the room, which is your goal.  And when you go to buy light bulbs, remember this:  a CFL (compact fluorescent) is hailed to be good for the environment and great for your power bill, but isn’t as flattering as an incandescent.  The latter gives off warm, amber-toned light which, in my opinion, connects us as humans to our inner cavemen and our primitive need and love for fire.  Ooooh, that sounds sexy.  Anyway, my point is this: if you want to use CFLs, go for it, but leave a few incandescents in your feature pieces of mood lighting.                                   

  • Don’t forget to use a little color.

She may think you are a sensitive ponytail man if your entire bedroom is bathed in pink, but other than that, women aren’t afraid of color.  YOU are.  So get over it.  Try a path less traveled and deviate from your endless progression of black pleather sofas.  Shades like cognac and camel are always a nice choice for a man’s space because they are very masculine but give off some warmth and approachability.  Check out this pic:

Are you picking up what I’m throwing down?  The color is fantastic, and except for that boudoir shot of Thom (you met him that one night on the dare that turned into you visiting a gay bar), everything in the space is exuding dudeliness.

Here’s the bottom line: if you are looking to snag a sweet-looking dove, put a little effort into your birdhouse.  She’ll coo, you’ll thank me, and I’ll rest easy knowing one of my sisters out there escaped the hate crime that was your former roost.