Styling Your Living Room to Impress a Date

Dinner and conversation were great, you laughed all the way through coffee and dessert, and now: The moment of truth. Your date’s coming over to your place. But are your interior design skills up to snuff? A person’s residence speaks volumes about their character, and you want to send your clearest, non-creepy, totally normal but still "quirky in a cute sort of way" message. 

On the one hand, your place needs to appear polished, but you also don’t want to come off like Patrick Bateman in “American Psycho.” Showing off the best parts of your personality in a way that seems both humble and classy is a fine line to walk, especially when it comes to the wide variety of tastes in focal points, vibes, and what someone might consider a glam design idea. 

Unless you’re only looking for a one-night stand, consider the following tips to keep your special someone coming back for more.


Make sure your place is tidy. This should really go without saying, but nothing says “undatable” like a slovenly home. And unless you think of cleaning in advance — before the date — you might get caught off-guard. Don’t wait until someone is coming up the steps to remember the pile of unfolded laundry you left on the couch. Sure, blaming it on your roommate might work once, but consistently failing to think ahead is setting yourself up for a future of cat collecting. Do yourself a favor and make a habit of Thursday-night scrubbing and dusting to get ready for the weekend. Clear away clutter and fluff your couch cushions. Diffuse some essential oils to make it smell fresh. It will go a long way in setting the mood for even the most modest of interiors.


First stop: The Sofa. Chances are, when you and your special friend walk in, you’ll be making a pit stop in the living room before moving on to any other area of the house. Keep the mojo building with a modern sofa that’s equal parts comfort and style. The Tastemaker, by Whom is a great option, offering generous seat cushions and elegantly tapered wooden legs. Whom’s Idealist, is also a show stopper with its timeless quilted back and sumptuous pillows. Both high-style, max-comfort options will lead to some serious sizzle between you and your special guest

Living room furniture has a big job in making an impression about your home decor and room decorating skills, so make sure you pull off that cozy living room feel while still keeping it plush and elegant. That being said, while the sofa is important, the living room design as a whole makes a huge impression about you. Paint colors, the floor plan, and the living room decor and living room look in general are a direct reflection of you and your style. Even if you don't do it overnight, really take the time to put your own decor ideas and color palette preferences into your living room ideas--even smaller pieces like your light fixtures, side tables, bookcases, and the area rug can serve to really bring your decorating ideas to life without overcrowding a small living room or looking like an over-hyped DIY makeover. 


Put yourself out there. Are you a movie buff who relishes a home theater? A music lover who values superb sound? Refine your media area with a high-quality storage console like the beautifully crafted, solid wood Diplomat from Whom. Then step back and let the magic happen. Take turns putting on different music and movies, or allow your well displayed books, records and tchotchkes to spark conversation. Show a little personality and get to know each other! A gallery wall is another great way to show off your interests!

Tip: Don’t be overly blunt by placing your trophy show pieces too up-front and center. The point is to connect with your guest — not bash him or her over the head with your self-perceived “good taste.” Dostoyevsky just happens to be sitting on the coffee table? Oh, please! Be natural, and let your most valued possessions speak for themselves. When featured tastefully, they can foster sincere connection. 


Accessorize the place to feel homey. You’ve got the couch. You’ve got the music. You’ve even got a place to show-off all your favorite superhero figurines (hopefully your date shares your love of manga). What’s missing? Accessories! This includes throw pillows, blankets, candles, plants, bookends, sculptures, wall art and more. The charm is in the details, and you want your living space to feel like a home — not a glorified storage unit. Take a little time to arrange things artfully and don’t feel obligated to decorate with everything at once. You can even put some of your possessions away in drawers or closets to highlight other items. Leave room to breathe. Allow for clean surfaces and empty space. Consider laying out decorative objects in groups of three or five to create rhythm and balance. If you have a mantel, take advantage of this helpful but small space to really reflect your own decor style, whether that's rustic, bohemian/boho, Scandinavian, Moroccan, or even just clean and contemporary. 


Now, with the details squared away, all you have to do is pour up some tasty beverages, dim the lights and let the night carry you both away.

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