After you swipe right and find your perfect roommate you might think, "that was easy. Almost too easy. Could it be this simple to . . ." Next thing you know, you're on a Tinder date. You pay for dinner. She gets the drinks. You head home. She laughs and leans on you. It’s raining and you can’t wait to shed your soaked clothes. You put the key to the lock and twist until it clicks. Then you hit the lights. She stops laughing. She turns and leaves. You’re alone and a little buzzed and more than a little befuddled. But then you see what she saw.
The cactus hasn't been watered in three months. It’s dry and shriveled and forgotten — a sad, brown chunk of collapsing prickly plant mass. But who was going to even notice that? How could something so small, so insignificant, ruin so much promising build up?
Attention to detail is imperative in designing an attractive home that your guests will want to inhabit. The items you display but think least about can carry the most weight in someone else’s judgement. Forget about the big screen television, the new Ikea couch, or your sound system — it’s the minutia that makes the home, and keeps the guests around.
Here are 4 ways you can keep your place attractive:
Bare walls are dull. Don’t pack them to the point of clutter, but do choose some specific pieces that represent who you are and what you like. Depending on your budget, there are several easy sources to start your collection:
Etsy — there are thousands of budding artists on this site waiting to be discovered and appreciated. You can find almost anything in any style for nearly nothing.
All Posters — Classic or modern prints, any size you want.
New American Paintings — The latest in American gallery artwork. Subscribe, flip through, find something that feels right, and research the artist you like.
It doesn't matter what walk of life you’re from — every room looks better with books, and every person looks better in front of full shelves. Reading — whether it’s contemporary fiction, or economic theory, or microbiology — is investing in your own intellect. Show everyone that you do that with regularity, and more people will want to be around you generally.
Amazon — Their used books are the holy grail. You can get texts for a penny.
Independent Book Stores — Check your neighborhood for privately run book stores. NYC and LA have some of the best in the world. Hint: the more beaten up the used novels, the more studied they’ll seem.
Show that you can care for something living! Even a fern in a corner can reinforce the message that you are a nurturing, responsible adult capable of commanding nature and bending it to your will.
I recently took a trip to Sarajevo, Bosnia and every apartment I visited there had an avocado tree for some reason. In Los Angeles, everyone seems to want succulents. Who knew cities had plant trends? Check your local nurseries for what’s in style.
This one I learned the hard way. In every bathroom of your house, have a trash can with a lid. You don’t really need to know why. Just get one for your female guests, who won’t want to talk about why they need it either.
A few years back I had a particularly mischevious Portuegese Water Dog puppy who got into my un-lidded bathroom wastebasket while I was out to dinner with my then-girlfriend. The resulting scene resembled a still from a Wes Craven film. Enough said.