I live in a 400 square-foot studio apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side.
On a good day, I can hear the guy who lives above me belting show tunes. On a bad day, I spot a mouse running around and call everyone in my phone book screaming until someone's annoyed enough to come over and kill the horrid thing for me. So you can imagine how important it is to me that my solo little nook is the most comfortable and beautiful it can be.
This is my very first time living alone. What I've learned so far are two things: 1) In many ways, shacking up solo is harder than living with other people because you're doing the cleaning, the cooking and the general upkeep all by yourself, and b) Living alone is the most rewarding and liberating experience in the world.
You can do your apartment decorating as you please. You can sit in your bed in your underwear and eat a pint of ice cream without judgment. And, most importantly, no one can judge you for your f*ckgirl ways. You can fly your ho flag as much (or as little, 'cuz that's cool, too) as you want.
I've grown to love my little girl-cave. Even if you have a small place, you can make it prime for the herding and keeping of men. If it's cozy AF, it's a place you'll look forward to coming home to, and it's also a place you'll look forward to bringing people (read: men).
Your place should be a total PARTY pad. A LOVE nest. A SEX dungeon. It should welcome strangers, comfort the lonely and excite the senses all at the same time. I want you to bring out the sex goddess in you that you never even knew you had. You're living up life as a bachelorette, and your pad should reflect that. So I'm going to show you how to make your home a place a man can't resist. A SEDUCTRESS'S CAVE.
Disclaimer: I am not an interior decorator. I don't keep lavish-ass china, or boast pricey pashminas or have the best eye for what looks good where. But I do know a thing or two about men. Here's what you need in your pad to flawlessly master the art of seduction.
Pillows and flowers galore
As cliched as it sounds, these things make all the difference. You can never have enough throw pillows. Pillows covering the couch encourages moving to the bed, which encourages sex and cuddling. Not only are they comfy and cozy, but they really give you the opportunity to express your personality. If you're sweet, opt for fuzzy ones. If you're more of a badass, opt for monogrammed pillows with saucy one-liners.
Men also want to walk into a room that smells amazing, so here's where the flowers come in. Every week, I go out to buy a fresh bouquet of flowers. Roses are my personal favorite because they're beautiful, classic and nurturing.
It's cool. That sh*t reminds dudes of their moms. Which they like for some reason.
2. A color palette that screams "I am an independent woman"
OK, so you invite a guy over for the night. You just came from a bar and you're both excited to tear each other's clothes off. Even if he's plastered beyond reason, your one-night stand wants to wake up in the room of a woman. You're independent and know how to stand on your own two feet, and the colors you choose are going to set the tone for both your bang sesh and the morning after.
So I'm only going to say this once: SCRAP THE PINK. You are not a little girl anymore. You are a bold woman who owns her sexuality, and you need a bold-colored apartment to match. Deep purple is what I chose for my cave, because purple is bold and brave, but still girly. It's one of those colors that intrigues the mind because it's mysterious. Red is bold but hostile (it's all like, Love me!), but you're trying to send the message F*ck me! so I'd stay away from red.
Own your independence. Men love that sh*t, too.
3. Christmas lights and candles
Candles, candles, candles. Candles are sexy AF, not to mention they leave your place smelling like heaven. I won't even masturbate without lighting some because they're so good at creating a ~mood.~ Go heavy on the candles, dispersing them around your place tactfully. Or find a special place for them, the way I did, in my faux fireplace where they're framed and on display. Just don't light your place on fire, because then I'll be liable, and I don't have any money.
You get extra credit if you have a place with an exposed brick wall. Brick really gives your place that homey, cavey feel.
4. Wine and weed
My single, horny lady friends, there is no power greater than the power of the two W's: wine and weed. Stoned sex is the best sex, and for one reason or another, a woman who smokes weed is incredibly attractive to a dude. It makes you the chill girl, the girl who can hang.
If you're not a weed girl, no worries. Just be sure not to skimp out on the wine: A man will be impressed if you spend a few extra dollars on that nice Malbec at the store instead of the $5 promotional special.
ALWAYS be stocked. One bottle of wine is never enough. Oh, and if you can roll your own joints, the guy will mount you right then and there. True story.
5. Sexy art to reel them in...
I have a tapestry of a pair of big, luscious lips right above my bed. It's the first thing the guy sees when he walks in the door, so it sets the tone for sexy time. It lets him know I'm down without me having to drop any real hints.
Provocative art is very devil-may-care, semi-dominatrix-y, Angelina-Jolie-in-her-prime-esque. A confident woman should always have at least one obnoxiously large piece of sexy art, or small ones scattered around her place in unsuspecting places, like the bathroom.
That way, you're on his mind even when he's takin' a leak.
6. ...And sweet art to make them stay.
When he wakes up in the morning, he'll realize you're not just a pretty girl who knows how to have fun; you also have a soft, sensitive side.
My walls are covered with inspirational quotes, like "Never let anyone dull your sparkle" which, as corny as it is, turns the space into a light-hearted and fun-loving environment that people want to stick around in.
The combination of the sweet and sexy art is necessary because it'll leave him guessing. What kind of girl is she?, he'll think, as he leaves your apartment hungover as hell, yet insatiably curious. He doesn't know, and that bit of intrigue will keep him coming back.
...Or you can just kick him out forever once you've gotten your own. Y'know, whatever works.