The grand apartment tour is a pivotal moment in any relationship. Whether you like it or not, your guest will learn more about you from looking at your humble abode than from anything you said at the dinner prior. Us lads sometimes get a little confounded with what works, what doesn't, and what may appeal to our date, but rest easy and follow the below tips to avoid finding yourself in a chickle pickle:
If you put as much effort into keeping your shit clean as you do styling your hair in the morning, you'd probably be a bit better at conversions after dates. The state of your apartment or house says more about you than almost any other quality, so this should be your absolute number one priority. Luckily, there's a pretty simple rule for staying on the right side of the hygiene law: don't be a filthy peasant. You don't live at home anymore and your mum isn't cleaning up behind you, so make an effort. The unfortunate truth is that people often notice but they'll almost never mention it, leaving you questioning whether you spent enough time doing your hair after your date books out of there for no apparent reason.
The bathroom is a key area, it should be maintained to a spotless hospital grade. Big no-nos are mouldy showers, grimy mirrors, and if your toilet bowl looks like a Kit Kat then you should probably just take a vow of celibacy. The kitchen also deserves some extra love as it's every abode's sacred feeding trough, so get rid of dirty dishes, empty the overflowing bin and make sure there are no funky scents wafting about.
Admittedly, decor isn't most men's forte, but to nail it doesn't require the creativity of an artist or a bank account sum that looks like your phone number. For starters, don't be afraid to feed the landfill with items around the house you've overtly outgrown, such as those college posters, Kmart fairy lights and tacky multicoloured sheets. Aspire to live in a refined, cool space fit for the modern elitist. As well as impressing, being in an environment like this tends to loop back and positively influence your mindset towards success. Hit on the following key factors for a well kitted-out pad:
Colours: Pick a colour scheme that's distinguished and easy on the eye and stick to it. Think navys, creams and browns or whites, browns, silvers and blacks, for a couple of examples. Reds and yellows are tacky unless you live in a second-rate vegan cafe in Canberra.
Lighting: Believe it or not, mood lighting is actually a thing. Favour warmer, dimmer lights and aim for a greater number of smaller units over a few larger ones. The caveats to this rule are the kitchen and bathrooms, where it's generally okay to employ the dreaded fluorescent. The humble lamp is the king of mood lighting so don't be quantity-shy when purchasing. Treat candles with caution as they tend to come across as too romantically-intense and even a little creepy in the early dating days. Put down your The Notebook VHS and save them for when it matters a few months down the track.
Alchohol: Nothing screams "I'm a childish pleb" like a half-empty bottle of the cheapest vodka money can buy on display. There are two points to this one: firstly, the premium paid for any spirit is always rewarded in quality, taste and reputation. Skimping out on $10 at BWS is never worth the foul taste and the worse hangover so be smart and buy well. Secondly, alcohol placed in the wrong areas around the house looks shabby and gives off alchoholic vibes. If you're really proud of your collection, dedicate a space preferably in the kitchen or on a mantle instead of next to your bed or on your desk. Level up by mastering these five signature drinks every man should know how to make.
Props: Fill your lair with items that increase its material and social value. You know the drill; TV, sound system, laptop/PC, and decent appliances. Show a bias towards minimalistic tech to push a modish homely feel and evince yourself as a forward-thinking man. All of your props should complement the apartment's overall aesthetic - just like you wouldn't wear a red beanie with a tuxedo. In general, ditch the status symbols, your date won't be as impressed as you think and they do nothing to make someone feel relaxed.
The Fridge: Having a well-stocked fridge is like having cheat codes for GTA: it makes the game much easier. Think decent amounts of fresh produce and meats, as well as ample snacks for a quick bite. The prerequisite here is knowing how to use them, so learn one or two simple recipes that you can nail. A barren fridge does little to encourage someone to stay the night and there is no shortage of reasons why every man should learn to cook in his 20's.
Outdoor Areas: We're lucky enough to live in a country with an amicable climate which favours the outdoors. If you've got a view, take advantage of it by investing in a sleek outdoor furniture set - not much beats enjoying a summer sunset with a drink on a comfy couch.
Give It Personality
This is your opportunity to make your home an extension of yourself, so add little touches to show who you are in a way that might be difficult to say. For example, a few family photos will show that you value relationships with special people, and wall art centering on landscapes may indicate you're a man of adventure. Similarly, if you choose a somewhat monochromatic colour palette, this may show that you're someone who prefers calm and order, as opposed to louder colours and more eclectic pieces of decor.
- Have a spare towel in the bathroom.
- Get some plants.
- Get even more books. Read them so you actually have something to talk about.
- Invest in scents that aren't Lynx Africa.
- Fireplaces are more entertaining than TV's.
- Always have a bottle of wine handy. Make sure it's a red.
- Have go-to Spotify playlists at the ready. Everything from balcony sunset tunes to those sensual R'n'B vibes.
- Buy a cocktail set. It's a great way to get creative and literally break the ice post-dinner.