Courtesy of ARA Content
When it comes to impressing your mate, forget about diamonds and designer gifts. You’re more likely to snag a date based on your decorating taste than with bling.
A majority of men and women—88 and 85 percent, respectively—would prefer to receive a room makeover over a pricey pair of diamond earrings or watch, according to the KILZ Roller Report. The annual survey, which polled 1,000 people across the United States and Canada, revealed surprising insights into how men and women perceive home decor in its fifth edition, If Your Walls Could Talk.
Lisa LaPorta, host and designer of HGTV’s Designed to Sell and Bang for Your Buck, has interpreted the survey results and created some corresponding tips to add personality and appeal to your home’s decor.
“A person’s home offers insight into who they are and how they live their life, so it’s not surprising that suitors consider the decor of potential mates in the early stages of dating,” says LaPorta. “Thankfully, it’s easy to seem design-savvy by making quick updates with inexpensive options that won’t break the bank.”
Men and women want to wine and dine at home
Given the current economy, 56 percent of people would rather dine in with friends than eat out at a restaurant. According to LaPorta, a restaurant’s decor is one of its key draws, and most restaurant designers rely on the same basic ingredients: lighting and color.
“For less than $100—often the cost of dinner for two—you can create the same ambiance in your own dining room by replacing overhead fluorescent lights with lamps and candles that create a flattering glow and cast dramatic shadows,” says LaPorta. “Choosing neutral, inviting wall colors like warm gray or buttery tan and finishing the look with appetite-stimulating bright red, orange or pink accents will ensure your guests come back for seconds.”
Your apartment speaks volumes
Sixty-three percent of women consider home decor a key indicator of a man’s personality and maturity level. LaPorta advises guys to lose the dozens of rock ’n’ roll posters and sports memorabilia they’ve been collecting since childhood.
“Select one or two of your favorite pieces, and have them professionally matted to make them feel more like one-of-a-kind art than part of a giant collection,” says LaPorta. “You may also want to consider rearranging your furniture so oversized TVs aren’t the focal point of the room.”
Ladies, bright wall colors are a buzz kill
Sixty-six percent of men prefer neutral walls to bolds, so LaPorta suggests that bold wall colors can be intimidating and distracting to a new male suitor.
“Try giving your space a weekend facelift by changing a bright-colored wall to a more appealing tan or beige,” says LaPorta. “Start with a high-quality, fast-drying primer like KILZ Premium, which allows for fewer topcoats to hide any traces of your past extravagant paint decisions. Add your own style through colorful accent pieces like paintings, area rugs, floral arrangements and candlesticks.”
Being environmentally responsible is sexy
Nearly half of men (41 percent) and one-third of women (33 percent) would rather date a person who uses so-called “eco-friendly” products, like low- or zero volatile organic compound (VOC) paints, versus one who does not. LaPorta emphasizes that the perception that environmentally-responsible decorating is expensive is a myth.
“Start small by using a zero VOC primer like KILZ Clean Start and water-based paints, which are generally lower in VOC content than conventional solvent-based paints (labels will reveal actual VOC content) or switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs,” says LaPorta. “These small changes will refresh your home, and could have a positive impact on your energy bills and the environment.”
From the September 30 – October 6, 2009 issue