I’m in this weird, transitional, quarter-life crisis kinda phase in which I’m very seriously debating spending an absurd amount of money on damask upholstered bar stools for my kitchen island. The conundrum: They’re mostly white and I still eat chili ramen for more meals than I’d care to admit.

It’s like, how does one “adult” when one isn’t quite sure they’re truly committed to “adulting?” I can’t answer that for you. What I can tell you: My apartment is well-decorated, which means my company is (I think) deceived into believing that I don’t actually use penis-shaped bottle openers (which I bought in bulk in Indonesia ONLY because they’re supposedly good luck) for the pathetically cheap beers that consume my fridge space.

It takes a man to go the extra mile for a home goods store, pick up a pillar candleholder or a sconce to nail into the wall and sit a Jo Malone on it.

Because here’s the thing: It’s not so much about the crap you keep in your place as it is about the way you present said crap—or at least distract from said crap with other fancier crap.

For that reason alone, it’s easy to tell a man’s home from a boy’s crash-pad. And I’m not talking about your disorganized bookshelf where your timeworn college methods books with yellow USED stickers collect dust. Keep ’em if you must; just throw some plants there, too. Read on and you’ll be well on your way to successfully faking this thing we call adulthood.

Drapes: Contrary to popular belief, curtains and drapes are not synonymous. Drapes are heavier window treatments that likely run floor-length and are designed to both block sunlight and seal in heat, which will also salvage your paycheck come time to pay utilities. So they boast more privacy and are fiscally responsible. How mature is that?

Wall Art: As difficult as it may be to take down your babes on motorcycles posters stuck to your wall with sticky tack, now is as good a time as any to hang art—legitimate framed or canvas art. And the glorious thing about art is that, despite the all the jargon, most humans don’t actually know a darn thing about it. You don’t have to invest too much to impress; so long as you like looking at it, level it on your wall and treat it like it’s worth the praise that’ll soon roll in.

Decorative Spheres: For the life of me, I can’t understand why these are a thing. They serve absolutely zero purpose outside of being some beautiful balls that come in all colors and sizes… I know where your mind is, and this is why you need to buy them, because you need to grow up. Put some in a bowl or basket and set it on a table or shelf somewhere. I don’t know why. Just do it.

Headboard: You’ve probably got a bed pushed up against a corner wall or, if you’re one step ahead, it’s centered in the room. That’s all well and good, but a man who takes his bed as seriously as he takes the woman he brings to it has a headboard. Maybe you don’t take your relationship, or lack thereof, seriously—but we’re talking adulting here, right?

Throw Pillows: Likewise, accents are everything. Keying in on accents—whether it’s a throw blanket or single wall color—says that you’ve got an eye for detail and you take pride in the little things. So go get yourself a few throw pillows. Yes, you’ll just kick ’em to the floor every night but, yes, they’ll look mighty fine wherever they end up.

Candles: Anyone can go to the Duane Reade around the corner and pick up a cheap Glade candle to mask the smell of dirty laundry piling up in their room. It takes a man, however, to go the extra mile for a home goods store, pick up a pillar candleholder or a sconce to nail into the wall and sit a Jo Malone on top of it.

Plants: With plants come responsibility and responsibility is a central tenet of adulthood. So long as you can keep them alive, having plants says you’re able to watch after both yourself and another living being. This means you can maybe take care of a pet, which means you can maybe take care of a kid. I think it all equates that way?

Hand Towels: Why you wouldn’t already have hand towels is beyond me, but these are key in making both your kitchen (not your dishcloths) and your bathroom look like a real person lives there. This doesn’t mean throwing mismatching rags on the counter tops; this means strategically folding not one but two matching hand towels over the oven handle and beside the bathroom sink. Then just try not to ever use them…