How I Did A Bachelor Pad Makeover Under 10K
Updated: Feb 21, 2020
So after years of doing up and makeover-ing (making over?) my own houses, finally I was tasked (read: I ordered him at gunpoint!) with doing up my neighbour and friend's house downstairs.
Now this was a house I've seen almost everyday while on my way upstairs to my place and have spent many an evening chilling with him and his flatmates. But in no uncertain terms, I've always itched to give it a makeover. Maybe replace that hideous pink-purple iron sofa, clear up the clutter, get rid of the shiny curtains, the works.
But you know bachelors. Home aesthetics are as lost on them as subtlety to Rakhi Sawant. But enter Tinder into the mix, and what do we have here? A person willing to finally give the makeover thing a shot. 'Cuz if a better looking house improves your "conversion rate" with girls you'll bring over, why not?
So within days of having got the mandate, I got cracking.
However, there were 2 constraints:
1) I was given a budget of Rs. 10,000. Give or take a couple of hundred.
2) Painting the walls was off limits. The walls were a bright peach. Yikes!
With that in mind, I knew my job was cut out for me. But a plan in mind have I did. I had a rough mental sketch of how I was going to go about it. After all, I'd spent months giving the house a mental makeover.
Step 1: Replace the sofa
Mr. P had an iron sofa with asymmetrical top and shiny pinkish upholstery. Now this sofa wouldn't fly for an all male bachelor pad. Heck it wouldn't even fly for a 12 year old Barbie-lover.
With the peach on walls, my options however were limited. I knew to keep it subtle, I had to choose a dull, muted and neutral color like a white, grey or black at best. And grey it was. I found a great deal for a second hand sofa, placed the order and within 4 days, the sofa set was replaced. That was half the battle won.
Step 2: Move the furniture around
A lot of times simple re-arrangement can add so much to the decor of the place. It's almost as good as buying new stuff. After the sofa came, I moved around a few things in the hall. The sofa was placed exactly in front of the TV, forming a nice little conclave around the TV area so the boys could become even bigger couch potatoes during a match. The diwan bed was moved to the far end of the hall, lined along the wall and the window. The one central table that had been hitherto used as a laundry basket/ironing table/dining table/study table, was rid of its plastic packaging and covers were taken off to reveal the glistening (if fake) wood underneath and the table was set as a divider between the sofa and the diwan area. The TV stool was re-designated as the central table and vice versa as the latter could hold all the speakers, the dish tv setup box, Alexa device and the multi-plug units as opposed to being scattered all over the place. The fridge was moved to the designated area of the fridge and replaced with the cat litter that was for some reason lined next to the TV area earlier. (I mean just in case the TV was't entertainment enough, you could shift your gaze to a little kitty pooping live!)
Step 3: The curtains had to step up
The earlier cushions could give the shiny upholstery of the sofa a run for their money in all their brown and beige shininess. With a grey sofa and peach walls, the natural color-scheme that developed was a grey, white and peach. So I picked up these beautiful curtains - all 6 pieces of them - to cover all of the 3 windows in the living room with them. It was like the room was 90% transformed with the new sofa and the white curtains instantaneously.
Step 4: Cushions, covers, mats
With the sofa and the curtains having been replaced, now was the time to add the colours and design elements with soft furnishing like cushions, cushion covers and rugs and mats. Now, a little note about cushions. You don't necessarily need cushions. They don't serve a lot of purpose. However, there's nothing that adds more instant colour and a burst of design that seals a theme like cushion covers do. So, after moving the Diwan (The single cot) to the side of the hall, I replaced its old, floral sheet with a solid grey one, and decked it up with 5 new 16*16" cushion covers with modern geometrical pattern cushion covers that went with the rest of the colors and mainly the curtains.
Step 5: Introduce greenery Into the space
No modern home with self-respect should be without a hint of greenery. Luckily, Mr P had already invested in a lot of plants in the balcony area so I could easily pilfer a few indoor ones and get them inside. I placed one in the corner in a niche between the sofas, and another next to the TV. These just instantly breathed life and vitality into a space that was sullied by cat poop smell, cigarette smoke and general mustiness.
Step 6: Replace the old fuddy-duddy wall paintings with new modern custom frames
Walls are one of the most important aspects of home decor. Good wall art can make or break a home. Mr P had some old style horse-dancing girl paintings and even a shabby Messi poster haphazardly taped to the wall. Having done up my own place a year ago, I had an experience in designing my own gallery wall designs. So thanks to some handy graphic design experience, I designed a bunch of minimal art posters, that were printed and framed (albeit, without a glass to keep costs lower and keep the frames light-weigh enough to hang them on adhesive backed nails) and lined on the wall to accentuate the sofa area, and tie all the other elements into a tight theme.
Step 7: Introduce bins, laundry bags and random storage baskets
You can pretty up a bachelor pad all you want, but at the end of the day it's maintaining it and keeping it clutter free that would make a world of difference. Within a day of the makeover, the house was once again getting snowed under a fresh load of laundry making it hard to see the changes. At this point, I introduced a couple of fruit-crates, a jute laundry basket and a couple of cartons to the general area to toss the clothes and sundries in, and keeping the hall clutter-free.
And the final result result was this! (Don't mind the random trash around, this picture was taken after a few days of the makeover.) Pratyaksh's cluttered, tacky, and all-too-colorful living room has turned into a thematic, green, and modernistic space that looks like some effort has gone into it, it's made entertaining that much better (and less embarrassing) and the residents of the house love lounging around in their all new digs.