A Guy’s Guide to Designing a Minimalist Space

by Savannah Hemmings  |  in Lifestyle

While you might be a little hesitant to admit it, deep down you care about the way your place looks.

You don’t want to host a party and have your guests ribbing you about how messy and “bachelor-esque” your place is.

Instead, you want guests to be wowed by your exquisite yet simple taste.

If you think it might be time to give your living quarters an overhaul, take a deep breath and realize the following: It doesn’t have to be an expensive undertaking.

Just like most things in life, you can spend as little money or as much money on your redecoration project as you want.

Those who are more frugal might want to consider checking out thrift stores, flea markets and Craigslist to find amazing deals on rustic-looking, worn-down, manly antique furniture and decorations.

These upcycled items transfer your personality into your space, plus they’re usually cheaper than brand new furniture or accessory pieces.

Thanks to minimalism — sparsely decorating your home, but making sure those decorations are functional and “tie the room together” — you can transform your space without breaking the bank.

Whatever your financial standing may be, it’s important to keep one thing in mind: At the end of the day, you need to buy what you like – nothing more, nothing less. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you go about redecorating your home and creating the ultimate bachelor pad.

The Bedroom

A Guy’s Guide to Designing a Minimalist Space

It might not seem like it, but you actually do spend a decent amount of time each day in your bedroom.

Waking up after a good night’s sleep in a clean, well-defined space is a great way to start every morning. If you haven’t previously considered the functionality of what’s in your bedroom or its design, now is a good time.

Expect to spend anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars in here, depending on your finds.

An essential budget could run around $400 or so if you’re making minor adjustments, while a splurge budget will run much higher—think $3,000.

Your bed

Hopefully you’ve graduated from a solo twin by now. Keep in mind that you might not have to buy a new bed altogether, but you might want to buy new sheets, blankets, pillows and comforters to soften it up a little.

Pricing on bedding can vary: some sheet sets can run in the hundreds of dollars, like this $209 dollar set from Casa.com. There are also more affordable options that run between $30 and $40 bucks.

Pro Tip: don’t buy the cheapest set you can find. Those usually fall apart fast. And by buying new sheets, that means buying multiple sets of new sheets and actually using them. Consider the following: According to recent research, single guys change their bed sheets four times a year! You’re better than that, guy.

Your hamper

Simply put, it’s time to throw away the plastic hamper you used in high school and upgrade to a more adult one.

Overstock carries a nice selection of hampers that run between $30 and $70 dollars, so chances are you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for there.

The lights

Ask yourself what you’re trying to accomplish with the lighting, and work toward meeting that goal.

Ikea is a great place to check out for modern-looking lamps, plus everything there has a fun name, like this ORGEL lamp for $24.99.

The furniture

Dressers, nightstands, tables, oh my. If you’ve grown tired of the way your bedroom looks, consider adding a few industrial-looking pieces and getting rid of ones that just add clutter to your space – slimming things down is part of the minimalist mindset.

Furniture prices can vary depending on where you buy, so consider searching online for what you need on a site like Dot & Bo.

Furniture is often going to be one of the more expensive changes you’ll make, although it often can make the biggest impression if you’re going for a whole new look, so you’ll have to decide if this is an essential or a splurge!

The Living Room

A Guy’s Guide to Designing a Minimalist Space

If you entertain at all, you probably spend most of your time in the living room (or the kitchen). If your buds are consistently avoiding your place, it might be a hint that it’s time to change up your cramped, uncomfortable living room.

So here’s what you do:

Time for a new couch

Maybe your old couch is a bit ratty or it’s too small. Now that you’re an adult and all, you might want a larger couch so you can enjoy lying down completely on it.

This will typically be a big ticket item, and chances are, you’ll want something new unless you know and trust the source of anything secondhand. Ikea again has some great finds, both minimalistic and industrial, running from $299 and up.

Don’t forget the rugs

Even if you have the prettiest hardwood floors on the block, putting down a few rugs here and there can really make a huge difference toward the overall ambiance of your home. Plus, they help absorb sound.

Play around with textures and abstract designs to elevate your simple space. If you don’t feel like heading to the store, you could always browse the comprehensive selection of rugs at Rugs Direct, West Elm or Anthropologie.

Clearance options will save you a couple bucks, moving this from a splurge to an essential piece you can afford. Strong geometric patterns are going to give you the industrial, modern look, so we suggest to focus on those designs.

Consider lighting

You’ll want to make sure that your living room is amply lit so that your guests don’t have to squint to check out everything else you’ve got going on.

Think about swapping out ceiling fixtures or consider a few industrial-looking lamps. You can also buy a boatload of candles and spread them out everywhere – the perfect source of lighting for a romantic evening.

To maintain some level of privacy, consider lighting for your windows too. Blackout curtains are a helpful addition if you live in a big city.

If you can find a good pair on sale, maybe grab some for the bedroom too! Stores like JCPenney offer a variety of blackout curtains, from $16.99 a panel and up.

The Bathroom

A Guy’s Guide to Designing a Minimalist Space

You might not think that you need to pay much attention to decorating your bathroom, but you’re wrong.

Sure, your guy friends probably won’t care what the bathroom looks like so long as it has a toilet that flushes – but one of the easiest ways to turn off a lady is by proving to her your bathroom is not much cleaner than a garbage dump.

Don’t even consider this room as a splurge, it’s an essential!

Luckily, bathroom fixes are easy. If you spring for anything more than simple accessories, such as a new light fixture or furniture, you’ll be in the ballpark of $300.

  • Add bathroom cabinets and shelves for storage
  • Consider a sleek new shower curtain, rod and bathmat
  • Hang a decoration or two on the wall
  • Buy a couple of candles

All of a sudden, you’re Casanova—for whom health and hygiene is job one. For even more ideas, you could also consider these tips, too.

The Office

A Guy’s Guide to Designing a Minimalist Space

If your tiny home office is now doubling as a storage facility, it might be time to seriously purge your belongings. Remember, clutter causes fatigue, and cutting back is a good way to incorporate minimalistic design.

The more things that you have lying around in your office, the less likely you’ll be to be productive when you sit down to get to work. So try to reduce what’s in your office to the bare essentials: a desk, a chair, a lamp and a laptop.

When given a choice, always defer to the side of simplicity. When you have less junk lying around everywhere, it’s a whole lot easier to clean, and it’s also more calming.

Plus, when your friends walk into your office and all they see is something like a planner and a laptop, they’ll think that you’re the type of guy who gets things done.

And you are, right?

The Kitchen

A Guy’s Guide to Designing a Minimalist Space

A good kitchen really turns a space into a home. So if stepping into your kitchen is like stepping into a wormhole that leads you to the 1970s, it might be time to do a little redecorating.

When it comes to budgeting for your kitchen, this is where you’ll need to make some big decisions. Like anything, small fixes will cost less the bigger ones, and some total kitchen remodels can go over $40,000.

If you’re looking to keep improvements to a minimal amount, aim for the following:


Aside from the living room, the kitchen is probably the place your guests will spend the most of their time. As such, you might want to give your entire kitchen a facelift, starting with your decorations. A few cheap conversation pieces never hurt.


Have a bunch of pots and pans hanging around that look like Julia Child used to cook on them? It might be time to get a whole new set.

Sites like Casa make buying new cookware easier than ever. Expect to spend around $150 for a basic stainless steel set, but note these sets can cost hundreds too.


Grab a set of mason jars or some modern stemless wine glasses. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can make drinking glasses out of old bottles for free.


A new color can go a long way. No-VOC or Low-VOC paints are a good option available at your local hardware store, and usually run between $25 to $40.

A final suggestion?

Before investing in expensive furniture, give the items a test run by renting them. Many furniture stores offer furniture rental packages. For a fee, these packages allow you to rent furniture in order to determine if it’s the best fit for your home.

Drawing a blank and don’t know where to start? Consider some of these great examples from Houzz to see whether you might get inspired one way or another.

With a little bit of thinking, a little bit of money and a little bit of sweating, you’ll be able to call yourself the owner of the classiest bachelor pad on the block.


All photos via Pinterest