My First Apartment’s Living Room

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Happy Tuesday Everyone! I am so excited about today’s post as it’s the first post in the new lifestyle section of Color & Chic. As most of you know, I recently moved and I am taking advantage of it and showing you how I style my new apartment into a home. I don’t have tons of space since the apartment is a little less than 700 square feet, but this is plenty of room for me. Since this is my first job, I’m on a bit of a budget, so almost everything you see is very affordable. The only item I splurged on was my coffee table, which also doubles as a workspace and eating area. You can actually pull a portion of the coffee table up to work/eat on and tuck away items inside!

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FOCAL POINT

My first tip for decorating living rooms is to choose a focal point. I instantly knew I wanted my gallery wall to be the center of attention. Over the years of shopping, I carefully kept and framed shopping bags from some of my favorite designers and stores. I chose simple gallery frames from Target with matting to offset the beautiful colors of the bags. Before hanging them up, my Dad, who previously worked in architecture and construction, and I played with different patterns before deciding on this left-angled stair pattern. I am a huge advocate of getting back as much of your deposit as possible and not damaging walls, so to hang these frames, I used three Command Damage-Free Hanging Stripes per frame, which turned out was much easier than worrying about nails being in the right place. We measured out how much space we wanted between each frame and made sure to not take any shortcuts to avoid mistakes. I always check to make sure things are straight with a level every step of the way because the last thing you’d want is for your art to be crooked.

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COFFEE TABLE STYLING

I never realized how crucial a coffee table was until I moved into this apartment. In college, my dining table doubled as a work desk, so I never had room or needed a coffee table. My Mom always said to buy coffee tables with storage and I heeded her advice. I originally saw this coffee table in my friend’s apartment and instantly fell in love with the hidden storage and pull-out section for easy dining and work capabilities. But upon hearing she got it from West Elm, my heart sank, knowing it would be way out of my price point. However, she urged me to visit the West Elm outlet and I was blown away when I walked away with this beautiful piece for only $103 instead of the $549 retail price. I highly recommend calling the outlets because you never know what you can find. Have an open mind, be patient, willing to dig and you will be pleasantly surprised with what you can get for the price!

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When it comes to what items to put on your coffee table, less is definitely more. My must-haves for a coffee table are:

  1. TRAY: A tray keeps things everything listed below organized and makes it easy to move a variety of items, not to mention keeping cleaning simple.
  2. BOOKS: I’m a huge bookworm, so displaying my favorite fashion books (Vogue the Covers and Schiaparelli & Prada Impossible Conversations, which I got from the Met Museum while I interned in New York City) was natural. They will also give guests something to flip through.
  3. NATURE: Whether they’re real or silk, I’m a big advocate of flowers or plants. They add color and vibrancy to your home and bring more of an earthy feel inside. If you decide to go with fresh flowers, power to you!
  4. DECORATIVE ITEMS: Little knick-knacks making you who you are can truly shine on a coffee table. They’ll also help spark conversations for visitors. I’ve had so many people ask me about Curry, my elephant! Pretty coasters for cups and mugs also fall into this category and protect the finish of your table.
  5. CANDLES: While you will most likely have natural light come into your living room, the ambiance candles can provide at any hour of the day, not to mention their lovely fragrance make them a staple on any coffee table.

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I wanted to show more photos of how nifty this hidden storage feature is. I can easily pull the larger side of the coffee table up and out so I can sit on my couch and work while watching TV or even eat and catch up on Scandal, White Collar and Arrow.


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I am blessed in that I have incredible friends, one of whom generously gave me these throw pillows to go along with this couch. I have to credit her and her Mom with the task of picking out these beautiful pillows, but I can recommend mixing and matching patterns and different shades of the same color. If you want a bolder look, use neutrals and juxtapose it with a brighter shade. I also like to play with different fabrics and textures as well.

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This fluffy wreath actually was in West Elm’s Christmas collection a few years back, but wanting to camouflage the ugly thermostat, I placed it over the thermostat. I’m not too sure if this will be permanent, but it works great for now.

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Thank you so much for reading my first lifestyle post! I hope these tips were helpful for those of you who are looking to spruce up your space or are going to be relocating soon!

Details:
Coffee Table: west elm
Frames: Target
Candles: Bath & Body Works, K. Hall Designs
Vase: Threshold
Rug: west elm on Craigslist, similar here
Curtains: Target

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