Beautifying Your Sanctuary

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Decorating tips for being on your own for the first time

There will never be another time like the one you experience when you’re just starting out on your own. I’m not talking about sharing a dorm room, I mean when you actually search and find a place that you will live in – for the first time by yourself (or with a roommate). Sure, you were able to represent pretty flamboyantly in your old bedroom, with the likes of the Jonas Brothers and Justin Bieber, but you’ve outgrown pin-ups and posters (your taste in music has changed, too). You are ready to embrace being an adult with life skills. And you want your new home, no matter how small, to be a reflection of that desire. We’re going to share several tips with you that will guarantee the easy elegance and earned sophistication of maturity – all with the understanding that you are on a budget appropriate to someone just starting out…

Plant Plants!

They’re beautiful! They’re classy! They listen! It’s crazy how adding a plant or two gives any room a homey feel. Most of them are low maintenance and just require a bit of watering and sunlight. Botanists encourage you to talk to your plants, so you’ll always have a lent ear. But remember, if they talk back, there’s a problem.Plants-will-breathe-fresh-life-into-your-apartment

Trays and Linens!

A coffee table tray or linen will keep potential messes contained. Instead of the surface of your table being the recipient of spills and stains, a removable tray or cloth can take the abuse – and when you’re done it’s easy to clean! But more importantly a tray can be decorative. Load a couple of books within, or use an attractive wooden box to house your remote controls. A stack of marble coasters looks nice, as does a hand painted incense holder. Create a contained ensemble. Pick up the tray and place it anywhere for varying effect. However, linens are a bit more versatile and give you more options when it comes to color. The best part is when you’re done with them, you just clean them and throw them in the linen closet!

Books!

Arrange your bookcase with taste – they’re not just for nerds anymore! I mean, sure they’re a great place to put your books, but mix ‘em up, stack them, both upright and sideways (always with the spine out obviously). Throw in a few accessories, a framed picture or two, maybe some examples from your pottery class, top it off with a plant with long leaves that drape over the front. Have a small award or trophy – or a few? Display ‘em!A-bookcase-looks-great-when-it-hosts-more-than-books

Mess with the lights!

I don’t mean by turning them on and off rapidly, I mean bring in a couple of nice table lamps. Have one on the end table besides your bed for nighttime reading. Have fun shopping through a multitude of styles and ages by looking for lamps at thrift stores and then personalizing them with new paint ideas!

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Glassware!

Even if your hard partying days are quite over you can retain a little wildness while presenting yourself with a little more refinement. That’s what a bar cart is for. Arrange your booze in an adult manner, add a vintage ice bucket or a cocktail shaker, or forgo all that for a couple of bottles of wine and accompanying wine glasses. Roll it out when you have company and tuck it into a corner when you need more room. They’ll come in handy the next time you throw a dinner party!

Throw pillows!

And I don’t mean that in the verb sense. I mean that you can purchase cute throw pillows that can really pull the room together. Be smart, maybe you need their design to serve as segue between the currently mismatched tan recliner and burgundy sofa. Or maybe they need to hide unfortunate stains or embarrassing patterns… either way, you’ll need them at some point for when you have friends that need to crash for the night.

Art!

Framed art can be an exquisite way to portray your maturity and eloquence. This can be another result of thrift store treasure hunts, just keep a look out – something will eventually speak and appeal to you. It’s easy to put up movie posters, and that’s great if you’re really passionate about that, but with beauty in the beholders eye, what you select can truly serve to be a revealing poetic side of your personality.

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And the rest…

Are we forgetting anything…? D’oh! Soap dispensers, of course! You can’t just have a soap dish with a bar of soap on it. Mankind has since evolved past such savage habits. Now we select really chic soap dispensers and place them around every sink. Sometimes we even include additional ones for moisturizer. Dispenser designs are plentiful, find the perfect ones to complement the theme of the home that you, my friend, have established all on your own.

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