Tanya Nazariya, owner of Brilliant Staging Design in Everett, shows off her work at a Mill Creek home she is staging with a bachelor-style redesign theme. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Tanya Nazariya, owner of Brilliant Staging Design in Everett, shows off her work at a Mill Creek home she is staging with a bachelor-style redesign theme. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Bachelor pads: From dorm-room dorky to a clean modern look

An Everett interior designer offers tips for single guys who want to upgrade their living spaces.

When you think “bachelor pad,” you probably think giant TV, sports memorabilia all over the place and stains on the ratty old plaid couch.

Places like that make an impression — and not the kind most bachelors want.

The good news is that single guys’ living spaces usually don’t need complete makeovers to get results. They just need purpose.

But it seems that a lot of bachelors aren’t asking for the help they so desperately need. We reached out to 10 interior designers in Snohomish County. None could steer us to clients that fit the single-guy mold.

One of those designers, Tanya Nazariya, owner of Brilliant Staging & Home Design in Everett, said single men’s biggest problem is lack of direction.

“(They) have no idea what to do with the space,” she said. “They have the La-Z-Boy chair and a couple other things in the room. And that’s it.”

Nazariya, who started her business in 2015, said a single man’s home should feel warm, cozy and inviting.

Men can do this by finding harmony between furniture, decor and color schemes. They can add different wood tones, bring the outdoors in or take inspiration from trendy design.

“The cool things with a modern style is it’s usually pretty minimalist,” Nazariya said. “It’s going to be super-easy to accessorize. Guys are pretty minimal as it is, so modern is the easiest thing for them to do.”

There are some must-haves to build around: a couch, a coffee table, a bed (no, not just a mattress on the floor), a nightstand and a dresser. They shouldn’t be hand-me-downs — unless the hander-downer has great taste — and they need to fit the space. Since worn-out couches are gross, it might be time to shell out some cash for a new one. Home & Garden Television recommends velvet, linen or boucle fabric couches to keep costs down, instead of leather.

These foundations make it easier to accessorize. Bed linens are a good next step.

“At a minimum, you want to have a comforter set that matches the pillows, and the colors go with the rest of the room,” Nazariya said. “Not enough men think about having a decent-looking bed and making sure you have a comfort set, and not some old ragged sheet you’ve had for 15 years.”

Don’t be afraid to mix and match furniture, if they’re all of one style. Midcentury, one of the most popular styles today, harkens back to the 1950s and ‘60s with a clean, linear and sophisticated look. For example, choose furnishings with straight lines instead of curves. For ideas on modern interior design, turn to Froy, a furniture and decor store that specializes in modern design.

Scandinavian is another popular minimalist style with gentle contours, playful accent colors and fluid lines. Nazariya said IKEA, the ubiquitous Swedish home furnishings company, has the best affordable selection out there.

Other styles she recommends include beach house, industrial, farmhouse, Bohemian shabby chic and urban cosmopolitan.

“Ultra modern has a glossy appearance, sort of a high-tech feel,” Nazariya said. “Really, any of them are going to work great.”

Greenish tones — even turquoise — are popular choices among men this year. A forest green comforter can be easily matched with plants around the room.

“In the Northwest, it works really well because our environment is very green,” Nazariya said. “It almost matches what’s outside the window. When you have green inside and trees outside, it brings the outdoors in.”

To add a masculine touch, Nazariya recommends adding wood. Feel free to experiment with this, she said.

“A lot of people are scared to mix different tones of wood,” she said. “They say, ‘If I have a dark brown table, everything has to be that way.’ It doesn’t have to be. You can mix different tones, as well as mixing it with metal, like a wooden desk with metal legs. It brings in different textures to the space.”

If her clients are unsure of what color to pick, Nazariya usually chooses white for things like comforters, shower curtains and window curtains. But if you’re bold, go for darker tones such as black or navy blue, which exude manliness.

“For somebody who wants a ‘super cool guy’ vibe, they can go beyond basic white bedding,” she said.

Nazariya has a few pet peeves when it comes to interior design. She said about 75% of her clients have blank walls, while the other 25% typically have random or mismatched pieces of art.

She likes to hang abstract artwork near entrances, on big walls behind couches and in man caves.

“I lean toward abstract because then you don’t have to try as hard to match things,” she said. “If you have cool artwork, it’s going to draw somebody to it. It’s a conversation piece and something to entertain the eye.”

Nazariya avoids cliches whenever possible. Most “traditional” furnishings, for example, drive her crazy.

“The reason that happens so much is because most of our furniture stores suck,” she said. They’re filled with what Nazariya called “outdated” styles.

“And so people buy what they see, and put it in their home, and most of the time it doesn’t work,” she said.

Nazariya isn’t a fan of three-piece collections either. She said they’re tacky, trite and are generally overstuffed and too big for most rooms.

“Most homes don’t really fit those three pieces properly,” she said. “Then you have these oversized loveseats and couches that don’t fit in a space and are all crammed against the wall.”

Nazariya also emphasized the importance of the entrance. It should neither be cluttered nor empty. A bench and a mirror by the door, or a table with a drawer to store keys can do a lot for the space.

“If there’s not enough room for furniture, at least hang a piece of artwork.”

Evan Thompson: 425-339-3427, ethompson@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @ByEvanThompson.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Life

Urban treats prove Switzerland is more than its pristine alpine meadows

For interesting art, colorful old towns and serene waterfront settings, be sure to stop in Zürich, Luzern and Lausanne.

ITA Airways lost my luggage. Why won’t it cover my expenses?

Jacqueline Bartolini spends $992 after ITA Airways loses her luggage. It wants to reimburse her for just $733.

Pleasant and progressive, Oslo puts its people first

Every time I come to Norway, I’m fascinated by their experiment in big government, and how little people are bothered by high taxes.

College kids home for the summer? Expect it to be a balancing act for all

They’ve tasted independence and some of the privileges of adulthood. So, how can parents make this an easier transition?

Denise McKenzie, who has been a bartenders at Kuhnle’s Tavern for many years, works behind the bar on Monday, June 17, 2024 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
After 106 years, Kuhnle’s Tavern in Marysville is closing

Come say farewell Sunday from noon to midnight at the historic bar with five beers on tap and a 50-cent pay phone.

Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Hop on over to Whidbey Island for a garden tour on Saturday, then rock out with local bands in Everett on Saturday night.

Subaru Forester Touring SUV (Photo provided by Subaru)
2025 Subaru Forester Touring

Don’t look now, the 2025 model year vehicles are beginning to hit… Continue reading

Great Plant Pick: Sapphire indigo clematis

What: A profusion of royal purple flowers burst forth in early summer… Continue reading

Decorative floral violet background from a blooming Nepeta cataria catnip, catswort, catmint with bright bee.
Please pollinators with perennials like hyssop, catmint and cape fuschia

Newer cultivars of perennials simply bloom longer, quenching our cravings for color and extending the benefit to bees.

Mountlake Terrace maintenance crew Ty Burns begins demolishing “the bunkers” on Monday, June 10, 2024 in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Eyesore no more: After decades, Mountlake Terrace bunkers bite the dust

The bunkers held a storehouse of history, much of it moldy, outdated and unwanted.

Hitting a homer is hard for most. On this machine, we all have a chance

This restored 1930s Jennings slot machine — with candy prizes for knocking it out of the park — sold for $3,840 at auction.

Airbnb host banned after spilling food in another host’s home

Airbnb bans River Roberts after he accidentally spills food on his host’s sofa. Will he ever be able to book another rental?

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.