Stop Living Dorm-Style. Does your living room scream overgrown teenager? This small bachelor pad is brimming with tips for "adulting" an apartment. The elegant bike shelf keeps wheels up and out of the way while turning the bicycle into a decorative wall hanging. Another smart idea that doesn't squander floor space is the floating desk that spans the left side of the room. Its built-in drawers provide a good deal of storage. But what transforms this 500 square foot studio into a cozy grown-up home are the various details and décor styles that add one-of-a-kind character from the colorful prints to the refined furniture. Once you graduate college and enter the “real world” you sort of have to become a “real person.” So what does that fucking mean? That fucking means you have to start remembering your weekends, learn how to eat meals that you didn't order online or don't only require you to add boilng water, and actually make your apartment a home and not a place where ashes coat your coffee table and “art” isn't slung on your walls with double stick tape.
Problem #5: Not Enough Light. It's particularly important in the living room, where we often spend quite a bit of time. However it's a tricky space to strike the right lighting balance, thanks to the many different functions the living room serves. Small homes are often lacking natural light because of two reasons: Builders know that windows are expensive, and they also know that they take up valuable wall space, and well, there's only so much of that in a small space already. Solutions: Don't take up too much valuable floor or table space with lamps. Choose recessed, wall-mounted, hanging or shelf-mounted lighting. Floor up-lighting is also a great way to enhance a small space. When decorating a small living room that doesn't have a lot of natural light, choosing light shades of flooring, furnishings, walls and decor can do a lot to brighten your space.
Identify your style… and your stuff,"First, you need to decide what kind of look you are going for," says Erica Lugbill of Lugbill Designs in Chicago. Do you envision a light and airy living room? Or do you prefer something calm and serene? Perhaps your style is simple and earthy, or bold and dramatic."Secondly, look at all of the items you own that need to be incorporated into the space," adds Lugbill. Consider your furniture, storage pieces and accessories, for example. Get inspired, Begin by selecting an inspiration piece. An inspiration piece typically has a palette of three to five colors. Try to envision those colors in your living room. "Choose something you love, such as your favorite outfit or a painting by your favorite artist," says Sehra Han, an interior designer at Scarlett Designs in Los Angeles. "Many people make the mistake of starting with a paint color," adds interior designer Robin Baron of Robin Baron Design in New York City. Instead, "find the one thing you know you want to put in the room… like a fabric," Baron says. "Even a favorite pillow is a good place to begin. Play off that item for your color palette.
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