There’s a point when the simple fact of bachelorhood fails to justify living in Animal House-inspired squalor. Between your first-ever pad and your first suit-and-tie job, the lava lamps, trash-picked furniture and Belushi posters have to go. But before you commit to a Martha Stewart Living subscription or hire a personal decorator, know that there is a better way: Steven Alan for West Elm. The collection, new this year, features bedding, vases, furniture and rugs designed for the Brooklyn-born housewares retailer by designer Steven Alan, who’s famed for his subversive take on American style classics. Handmade by artisans in India, Nicaragua and Haiti, these sturdy housewares dress up any room with an easygoing, clean aesthetic that says you’re trying, but not too hard. In fact, it’s quite the opposite; this is the downright easiest way for guys to up their décor to come out this year.
Take the lineup of high-quality wool shag rugs ($169 to $1,299). Handwoven in India from durable New Zealand wool, their bold stripes or simple triangle borders can add graphic punch to a room. White papier-mâché side tables ($299), handcrafted in Haiti, make for wonderfully understated (and surprisingly sturdy) conversation pieces. Striped bedding sets ($29 to $169) have the same casually fashionable weekender look as your favorite striped Steven Alan button-down and feel just as comfortable. In an era of dime-a-dozen design collaborations (see the likes of Target and H&M), this is a breath of fresh air, one that crosses disciplines (a clothier designing home goods) in an interesting way and produces something more enduring than last season’s tossed-off fashions. Dress your place up with this collection to make it feel more like home — and to project a much more attractive “got-my-shit-together” vibe.