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


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big decorating dreams. tiny little budget. don't be a wallflower! jump on over to the discussion boards and get decorating help.
other recent LOUNGE articles:
o Office Space
o Album-cover CD Box
A Room of My Own
Fight the Chaos
Gallery-style Picture Hanging Tracks
o After School
Sew What?
o Curtain Time
Lazy Decorator's Bag of Tricks
Home sweet homes
Minor Makeover Miracles: Kitchen
CD decor
o Say it with Spraypaint

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simply speaking
by Joe Snyder
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Architecturally-specified closets, built-in bookshelves, a $5000 matching loveseat and accent chair – these are the items we find when we open up the latest issue of many a home decorating magazine. For most of us, however, the reality is something slightly less extravagant. Whenever we move, whenever we decide to redecorate, whenever we bring in new pieces to replace the old, we inevitably feel this sense of unease – this sense that we won’t be able to do it quite right. So often "experts" make us believe that decorating is difficult and expensive, best left to those with expendable income and interior designers. Designer furniture alone, however, cannot make a room aesthetically pleasing. It’s the placement of the furniture, the clever use of space, and the ability of the decorator to tie everything together that makes the room livable, comfortable, and stylish. As underrated and underrepresented as they may be in the aforementioned glossy magazines, all of us have seen very inexpensively decorated rooms that are more pleasing to look at and spend time in than their more expensive counterparts. The myth is the expense associated with stylish décor; the reality is that it’s not always about what you have, but how you use it. Good decorating is all about making the most of your collections and your space. And more importantly, keeping it simple at all times.

step one: decide on the essentials
A major misconception many of us hold, whether single or married, is that we need to pack our homes with furniture in order for them to look like real homes. All too often, the acquisition of furniture serves no other purpose than to fill space. If you find yourself with a new apartment, loft, suite, or house, resist the urge to make an immediate run to your nearest IKEA or Home Depot. First, look at your space, make a sketch of the floor plan, then decide on the function each room will serve and the necessary furnishings to achieve said functions. Now revel in scarcity until you can afford what you really want. Living with less isn’t a new concept for most of us. Whether regarding vehicles, clothing, or interior décor, it’s almost always better to save for quality items rather than spend less on something that sort of suits your needs, but doesn’t satisfy you completely.

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