Well, in case you haven't figured it out by now, women [at least my friends] are highly sensitive to their surroundings. We need to feel safe and warm and comfortable in general. If you are to have a chance 'in hell' of us staying over night, you must make the minimum effort ! Here is a partial list of ways to make your pad more inviting, from an interior design point-of-view :
1] Buy a 'decent' sofa. By decent I mean something not too big - a 3 seater is ok, a sectional is optimal if you have the room. That way you can each sit on a 'section' for cozy conversation and beverage partaking :
If your living room is small, a love seat is ok if you can add a lounge chair too [there's nothing more embarrassing than sitting too close to someone you barely know!] :
2] Consider window coverings. Does your living or dining room look out onto a public street or parking lot? If so, window coverings are a nice way to keep the nosy neighbors at bay.
Getting blinds or curtains doesn't mean you are a wuss or Martha Stewart wanna be. Notice the clean gender-neutral color, style and quality of these roman blinds. Simple and functional. Love it !!
3] Get a good floor and/or table lamp[s]. Nothing creates the right mood better than soft indirect light.
Look at how simple, elegant AND masculine this lamp is :
or you can kill 2 birds with 1 stone, i.e. a good lamp and a piece of art [see number 5] like this gorgeous piece designed by Ottawa architect Rick Shean :
4] If you have hardwood floors, shop for an area rug. If not [i.e. you have carpeting] get a coffee table. Or both. Rugs and tables are great ways to add warmth and soften sounds in a room, thus creating more comfort. They visibly tie a room together which further creates visual comfort and coziness.
Don't be afraid of shag - there are some great affordable and highly luxurious choices out there including the Kymo brand from Alteriors :
5] Treat yourself to something special. Buying a piece of art or beautiful object d'art says a little something about you and your softer side. Here is a great painting by cky's Carrie Colton painted in 2003 and purchased by Yvonne way before they were partners or even friends !
And finally a really cool fruit bowl by Alessi