transform your space into
your personal haven

what's for dinner?

take the poll





a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation


editor's note 

o lounge 
o nourish 
o host


submit your ideas

ugh. my apartment still looks like a college dorm! don't be a wallflower! jump on over to the discussion boards and get decorating help.

copyright ©1999-2000

décor dilemmas: Cluttered place/ Spartan space | 1 2 3
continued from page 2

Spiffing up the Spartan
1. Think big with your wall-art: Walls don’t have to be jam-packed with pictures and posters and paintings to feel like they’ve been properly decorated. A single large frame, properly placed, can make the surrounding area seem like interesting white space rather than something desperately in need of being covered. Mount small pictures with a large matte border to maximize the impact of whatever artwork you happen to have. What’s that – you haven’t got any artwork? Nonsense; you’re just not thinking hard enough! Check out our Post-Posters article for ideas and inspiration.
2. Colorize!: You’re obviously a person of minimalist tendencies – but there’s a big difference between gorgeously spare and just plain empty, and the easiest way to turn the latter into the former is through smart use of color. Paint the walls in a sassy color, or bolder (and faster) still, paint just a single wall to make it a focal point. Other easy ways of injecting a dose of interesting color into your abode: add some throw pillows or toss on some slipcovers; paint the furniture; mount some shelves in colors that contrast with the wall.
3. Get creative with lighting: So painting sounds like too much work? Play with light instead. Replace your boring old white lightbulbs with pretty colored bulbs (I like red + yellow bulbs, which are universally flattering to all skin tones, or blacklights). Aim a colored light at the wall for instant washes of color.
4. Invest in an area rug: So what little furniture you have just floats in that big empty floorspace, does it? Lucky you … space is indeed a luxury, but to help create a cozier ambience – even if all you’ve got is a TV and a sofa – define the sitting area with a rug.
5. Get houseplants: There’s nothing like a little greenery to bring some life into a cold, empty place. Houseplants are cheery, and, if you choose the right ones, provide a lot of satisfaction – it’s supremely rewarding to watch your itty-bit stub of a plant bloom into something lush and showy -- with a minimum of fuss. Got a bright, sunny room? Go with cacti or bromeliads, which look nifty, love the sunshine, and require very, very infrequent watering. So you live in cave-like conditions, with nary a ray of sunshine penetrating its depths? Devil’s ivy is the choice for you … tolerant of low-light conditions and virtually un-killable, these plants grow like mad if you give them even the slightest amount of care. Other good choices include ficus plants, spider plants, and aloe plants.

check out these related articles: 
post-posters: better ideas for dressing bare walls 
on weeding: school stuff 
minor makeover miracles  

---------------------------> lounge . nourish . host . laze . home.