There's a difference between a boy's apartment and a man's apartment. (Sidenote: can we stop using the term man cave please? Can that be done now?)
Fortunately, rent price isn't the deciding factor in that distinction. There are a few low-effort ways to upgrade your space for a broad approach, but if you want to make sure everything is totally on point, you want to think about how your pad's details appeal to your five senses -- and those of your guests.
You may have heard that something should be alive in every room of your place, and that’s a great starting point. But let’s up the ante. Make it alive and colorful.
Bright green spider plants are great because they flourish with a little light, even with inconsistent waterings. Red, blue or purple beta fish have personality, are inexpensive, and fairly difficult to kill. Small sheaves of golden wheat, while not technically alive, give your place a rustic, windblown atmosphere. Now all you need is an old weathered guitar. You don’t play? We won’t tell.
The key here is to maintain a steady rotation. Avoid buying coffee can-sized candles, or your apartment will still smell like caramel pumpkin spiced whatever next May. Coordinate scents with the seasons, and don’t be afraid to explore stronger scents like tobacco. Also, check out soy candles. They burn slower and cleaner than wax ones.
Again, small touches make a huge difference. A wooden bowl of smoked almonds on your coffee table or a few mason jars of your favorite movie candy on the kitchen counter and all of a sudden you’re a man who plans ahead and always has something on hand for his guests.
Was it cool in college that your six-foot speakers could crack drywall? Yeah, probably. But it’s time to trade in those behemoths in for something a little subtler, with truly good sound. Small speakers, placed high and low throughout the apartment will serve you, and your neighbors, better. Also, a note on music when entertaining the gentler sex: More Dave Brubeck, less Blink-182.
A variety of textures in your place not only makes things more interesting from a tactile point of view, but also a visual one. All smooth particleboard all the time looks and feels pretty boring, so buying all the furniture you need from IKEA and calling it a day isn’t the best idea. Try a hemp or cowhide rug, a soft wool throw, leather coasters, and varying furniture fabrics with a spectrum of colors and designs.
Now, about that singing bass wall mount you insist is hilarious...