Stylish and masculine don't have to mean uninviting with our guide to setting up the Middle East interior for the single man.
Ten tips to create the ultimate bachelor pad
There's no shortage of affluent, single young men in the Gulf for whom the ultimate bachelor lifestyle - complete with smart clothes, stylish houses, fast cars and the coolest gadgets - is entirely within reach.
But having the money is one thing. Knowing how to spend it is another. Here are 10 tips to help you create the ultimate Middle East bachelor pad.
First impressions are crucial. Invest in a statement piece for your living room, because you need to establish the wow factor here and set the tone for things to come.
Think about how you'll use the sofa. What's your downtime fix? Fiddling with the PlayStation, watching DVD box sets, surfing the net or napping while you read?
Ligne Roset's quirky Confluences sofa works well for any hobby. Its playful puzzle configuration gives you a range of possibilities. Take it apart to form individual seats for gaming, or bring it together for a cosy lounge setting while relaxing or entertaining.
An L-shaped couch works well to create a lounge setting for relaxing or entertaining. Al Huzaifa furniture in Dubai and Sharjah has a range of reasonably priced contemporary pieces (www.alhuzaifa.com).
Your bedroom is where you unwind and rejuvenate after a long day in the city. We spend a third of our lives sleeping, so a good bed is a necessity, not a luxury.
The sculptural Sleep-in bed by Günther Thöny has that X factor that every bachelor pad needs. It looks amazing, but what use is a thing of great beauty if it hasn't got any buttons? This bed has a colour-changing light and a slow-rotating swivel base that will certainly impress. You can fall asleep watching the news and wake up enjoying the view out of your bedroom window.
3 Putting Green
All work and no play makes the bachelor a dull boy. You need to factor in playtime. How about a golf putting green on your terrace? It's a great way to reduce your handicap.
If golf isn't your thing have a look at GRO Design's sleek version of the classic football table, called 11: The Beautiful Game. With its matt black shell, white playing surface, lighting effects and gleaming chrome footballers, this piece can substitute artwork in your home.
The units are handcrafted and made to order - well worth the 12-week wait. Available at www.11thegame.com.
This is where you show your cultural side. Opt for works by regional painters, that way you can develop your appreciation of art while demonstrating your affinity for the Middle East. Last year, the global auction house Christie's launched its first sale of affordable Middle East paintings in Dubai, with original works by up-and-coming artists starting from US$1,500 (Dh5,510).
If art is not your thing, consider memorabilia. Classic movie posters are hugely popular, with plenty of easy to find dealers and auction houses on the internet. Vintage sport shirts, trophies and photographs will add real character to your room, as will old album covers from the 1960s and 1970s.
And remember, while most of the stuff you buy for your pad will fetch peanuts when you eventually sell it on Dubizzle, art and collectables might just make you rich.
5 Slick screen
A good flat-screen television will impress both football buddies and chick flick fans.
Technology is constantly changing, but you cannot go wrong with a Bang & Olufsen product. The BeoVision 10 has a sleek, square shape thanks to the powerful speaker underneath the wide screen. Cluster the television on the wall with artwork and your guests won't be able to tell the difference until you switch it on to watch the game.
For an even quirkier look, the wall bracket enables the television to pivot up to 45 degrees away from the wall, allowing you to find the perfect viewing angle.
6 Setting the mood
It's all about creating the right ambience in your man cave. Party mode and romantic dinners are two very different conditions.
Overhead lighting can be harsh, while candles might come across as trying too hard, so your solution is dimmer controlled lighting. Better still, go for a full home automation system to control the electric lighting, window blinds, music, temperature and much, much more from a central control pad. Try www.archimedia-me.com.
Finally, invest in a designer floor lamp. Retro 1920s-style movie lights look great. Check out the options at Marina Furniture.
7 Shaken or stirred
Every man needs a cabinet to store his drinks. The stunning Tessen Bar cabinet (Crate & Barrel, Dh7,775) has an Asian-inspired fan pattern hand-carved on the mahogany cupboard doors and it comes with interior storage for bottles and bar ware. It's also fitted with a concealed trap door so it can double up as a media cabinet. Another idea is Filini's Peak Cocktail Table (Dh1,965), an icicle-shaped table that lights up and even has a well in the centre where you can chill your bottle.
Tone down the macho feel with some soft finishes. A plush shagpile rug in your living room creates a warm atmosphere and doubles as extra seating for lazy lounging days. Large rugs are also great sound absorbers, so it'll keep the neighbours at bay when you turn up your state of the art sound system.
Add a nice fur throw and cushions to your couch; they'll be much appreciated by any stylista that visits. Pottery Barn has a great range of faux fur rugs for just a few hundred dirhams.
Repeat after me: wallpaper is not just for girls.
Bare concrete walls and unfinished wooden floors look great, but, sadly, we don't have the luxury of living in converted warehouses or lofts in the Middle East. Have a look at Mr Perswall's concrete effect wallpaper. The shuttered concrete graphic looks like the real thing, and it can be custom made to any dimension. Available at www.thekollektion.com
10 Keep it clean
If you're a swanky city worker putting in long hours at the office, you probably don't have time for cleaning and doing the laundry. But it's pointless having a classy pad if it's messy, so enlist professional help. You don't need a live-in housekeeper, but a professional cleaning service two or three times a week is a must.