How to Turn a Bachelor Pad into a Family Home

Bethany Seton
Written by Bethany Seton

Everything starts with a change in perspective, and the burden of compromise disappears with collaboration.

There isn’t a person on this planet who doesn’t dream of a place of his own. When we finally get our hands on it, we quickly turn the interior into a `sanctuary´ appealing only to ourselves.

Your husband probably surrounded himself with his sports equipment. Colors of furniture and walls perfectly match his teenage idols. Everything seemed just perfect for him and his occasional beer buddies in this bachelor pad.

But what happens when marriage comes, bringing along dreams of future together and children? Family is not something you can just incorporate as a built-in. The process of turning a bachelor pad into a family home requires finesse and compromise.

As intimidating as it sounds, there are some simple steps to make this transition as smooth as possible. Your house should be appropriate for children but, at the same time, your husband shouldn’t feel like this isn’t his home anymore. 

New Way of Thinking & Collaboration

The first step is to embrace a new way of thinking. Dark colors may be modern, but a welcoming family atmosphere demands lighter ones such as butter yellows or neutral camel browns.

If there are high maintenance furniture, you’ll realize soon enough that the prospect of kids requires the one more suitable for wear and tear such as durable microfiber and tweeds.

Public spaces inside the home need to be appealing to the whole family, so you’ll probably have to retreat most of the recreational and sports decor to a single designated room. 

Of course, this depends on the nature of your family members, so the foundation for design options lies in collaboration. People adapt to new environments quickly if they were a part of decision-making.

This is especially important when shopping for new things such as furniture. Always seek the advice of your better half and don’t underestimate the opinion of kids, either. 

Focal Points

There are rooms that will require more than rearrangement. The bedroom is not just about `setting the mood´, but now it needs to become a place of comfort and relaxation.

Luckily, it can be elevated to this level with a few simple decorative changes such as small patterns on accent rugs and throw pillows, combined with the wall color that blends with the furniture. So the biggest investment will probably be a new bed. 

Since meals around the table are the foundation of `family time´, having them on the couch in front of the TV is not an option anymore. In most bachelor pads there’s no separate dining room, so you’ll probably have to create one.

While this can be done without remodeling, when it comes to the bathroom, it is practically unavoidable. Besides the fact it needs to have enough space for every family member, it also needs to serve as a personal oasis for each one.

There are various bathroom trends, but you need to be sure that the chosen design will stand the test of time, meaning that the clever use of space and simplicity should be your primary concern.   

Overcome Yours & Mine´ with Ours´

There will inevitably be an issue of `what’s yours and what’s mine´. You are entering into this new home and want to bring part of your life with you, and your significant other will struggle to keep as much of his own.

There will be a need for a kind of purge, but you can hang onto most of the stuff important to both of you with the help of smart storage ideas.

Probably the best way to overcome this issue is to introduce some pieces of `ours´ by going shopping together. 

Of course, that doesn’t need to be a big purchase. You can start by throwing something on the walls since they’re probably bare after you’ve taken off those teenage posters.

If you’re going for artwork, watercolor and abstract pieces that aren’t clear and crisp are the best options since they’ll blend in easily with almost any interior style. Cushions and throws will encourage cuddling and breathe instant life in couches and beds, and you can never go wrong with fresh, clean sheets.

Of all the trinkets you buy together, the most important are the ones that will spark sensual feelings and romance. It’s amazing what some fresh flowers and scented candles can do to our behavior and way of thinking. 

Establish The Ambience

The large part of the ambiance is already established through previous steps, but poor lighting can unmake it all. The biggest problem with bachelor pads is that they have only overhead lighting because most of the guys think that the sole purpose of lights is visibility.

But if you have only an overhead light, its dull glare creates the atmosphere of the school cafeteria, which is quite the opposite of family-friendly. That’s why you need to employ layered lighting -simply include a couple of floor lamps and table lamps and you’ll instantly get the ambiance in which all of your faces are softly and pleasantly lit. 

Everything starts with a change in perspective, and the burden of compromise disappears with collaboration. There are central rooms that will require bigger change, but the rest of the interior can be refreshed with accessories you’ve bought together. In the end, the main goal is to make everyone feel at home.

Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powers of Self-Acceptance, Appreciation, and Personal Achievement.

We ask that every contributor and expert answer the Identity questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the current article they have written. In that way, and as a team, we hope to encourage and motivate each other, thus inspiring you to Get All A’s.

What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? Additionally, what are you still working on accepting? Now, we’re not talking about resignation, rather stepping into, embraced, and owned.

I accepted diversity in the world and the beauty of telling your honest opinion on things.

Appreciation is everything. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? On the other hand OR in contrast, are there elements of who you are that you’re still working on appreciating?

I appreciate my ability to connect with people, to share their stories.

Share with us one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us not only what makes YOU most proud but also share the goals and dreams that you still have.

My biggest achievements are my 4 friendships for life ( Jen, Nico, Teo, Andrea – love you)!

Photo by Allen Taylor on Unsplash

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About the author

Bethany Seton

Bethany Seton

Bethany Seton is a recent economics graduate, working for the last two years as a community counselor. Before settling in an office again, she decided to follow her passions for writing and traveling. Currently, she travels with her laptop and writes for various blogs, hoping one day she will gather all the experience she gets in one book.

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