By Flora Cramp


A miracle of providence occurred! Just as I was contemplating redecorating my living room, I saw an article published by Men’s Health magazine, entitled Decode her Home. In this article, a team of psychologists and behavioural experts encourage men to snoop around their girlfriend’s house, presumably while she’s busy making jam or mopping the kitchen floor, in search of ‘clues’ to her real character. At first, I was struck by how difficult this snooping would be, when a simple solution to finding out what a woman is thinking is to ‘ask her.’ However, since these tips were invented by established and respected professionals – doctors and professors with proper jobs – I read on.

To ensure your home is acceptable to men who go ferreting through your bins when you’re not looking, and to avoid the strain that having a weird lamp can have on your relationship, here are the highlights of Decode her Home:


Image by twopinkpossums on Flickr

Image by twopinkpossums on Flickr

1)      Cushions

Cushions are ‘hugely telling about a woman,’ insists Big Brother behaviour expert Judi James. If her room is scattered with LEATHER or DESIGNER cushions, she is a ‘cool and calculating individual’ and you should ‘start worrying: you are not in control.’

Needless to say, this information caused me extreme anxiety. You see, I have a pair of cushions embellished with a faux tapestry motif of Henry VIII and Charles I as cats, that are carefully positioned to hide red wine stains on the settee. I don’t think they’re designer cushions (what is a designer cushion?) and they’re not made of leather (I have NEVER seen a scatter cushion made of leather, neither have I seen a sex-swing or actual gimp-mask, and they fall into a similar category in my book). This is a mild comfort, as I hate the thought of surrounding myself with controlling, oestrogen-riddled soft furnishings.


Frame2)      Photos

If a woman always appears at the front and centre of party photographs, she is ‘a high-maintenance attention-seeker,’ according to Psychologist Dr Gary Aumiller. However, if she surrounds herself with pictures of animals, then she is ‘channelling a maternal instinct.’

I am a woman and I know a considerable number of other women, and none of them fill their living rooms with framed photos of Cocker Spaniels, or with pictures of themselves shit-faced at Yates’ Wine Lodge. Also, keeping track of exactly where you appear in boozy photo line-ups would be extremely tiresome, and the phrase ‘I just don’t do front / centre’ denotes    J-Loesque levels of wankdom. Solve this problem by becoming a vampire and never appearing in photographs, ever.


1 Shoe3)      Pairs

Sexologist Yvonne K. Fulbright shared the next tip, presumably whilst invoicing Men’s Health magazine and laughing manically: ‘if you see pairs…run for the door if you don’t want a relationship.’ This apparently includes having two nightstands and two lamps. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought that bedrooms often feature a PAIR of bedside lamps, because BOTH people on EITHER SIDE of the bed want to be able to see what they’re reading.

But, regardless, this advice spells trouble for my pair of historical cat cushions, which are now doubly dangerous (see above).


Image by Jim Hickcox

Image by Jim Hickcox

4)      Walls

Ladies, avoid blue like THE PLAGUE, as it represents ‘calmness and order,’ awful elements to bring in to your home. Men’s Health readers searching your flat will be hoping to see walls painted with ‘a mix of nurturing green, aggressive red and feminine pink;’ sure signs that the homeowner is a veritable sex-terrier in the bedroom.


Image by Jack Malvern

Image by Jack Malvern

5)      Mess

Dr Constance Forrest (real name) insists that ‘a cluttered room suggests an open book,’ a phrase I would have leapt upon as a slovenly teenager, and may still use when I can’t be arsed to get the Dyson out.


To summarise:

If you want to be a hit with men, simply throw away all cushions (men dislike comfort), paint your walls green, red and pink and cover them with photographs of owls. Only have one of everything, including lamps, wine glasses and shoes to show that you are not needy – if he comes over for dinner, simply take it in turns to use the crockery or, even better, don’t eat anything yourself to ensure you don’t get a fat arse. Finally, leave your house an absolute shit-tip, to show him how honest you are. He’ll be begging to come back.