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7 Ways To Make Your Apartment Your Happy Place

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    Photo: Courtesy of Delano

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    You know that feeling you get when you walk into a beautifully designed space? Whether it's a hotel or a particularly impressive pad, some places immediately put you at ease. But, figuring out what's behind that aura of serenity, much less translating it into your own home, is easier said than done. After all, you have to actually live there.

    That's why we called in the pros. Inspired by the Delano Las Vegas' minimalist-luxe decor, we tapped interior designer Thomas Altamirano to help identify exactly what makes the hotel so tranquil. It turns out that its seemingly transcendental elements, from an almost-imperceptible sense of flow to a room that magically feels borderless, can actually be replicated in your home — even if your place is more cramped studio apartment than swanky high-rise.

    Remember, spring is all about new beginnings. It's not too late to make 2015 the year of Zen.

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    Create A Natural Flow
    You may not notice it at first, but the architectural elements in this entryway — the grain of the floor, the slats on the doors, and even the ceiling beams — all point to the entrance to the next room. The effect is soothing and resembles the flow of a river, a central concept of Zen. Instead of retiling an entire room, try placing accessories, like vases and votives, in a symmetrical configuration along the perimeter of the path you want to create.

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    Bring Out Neutrals With Fun Textures
    Nature is often neutral in color but with a whole landscape of different textures — picture a desert with rocky cliffs, sand dunes, and the occasional mesquite tree or cactus. You can get the same effect indoors by mixing shades of beige, gray, and white. Then, offset textures like hardwood floors with shaggy wool rugs and tweed furniture with leather chairs. If you want to add a pop of color, sprinkle in plants or fresh flowers.

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    Establish A Focal Point
    Our eyes naturally follow light, and concentrating it in the center of the room creates the sensation of a space without borders. To amplify the effect further, add a directional element, like the wood grain here, or a patterned rug or wallpaper.

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    Group Similar Items To Open Up A Room
    Creating fluidity, which is crucial to the Zen sensibility, comes down to grouping like with like. The idea is to maintain a sense of breathing room between each set of elements. To achieve this, couple art, furniture, and materials with related characteristics (like the symmetrically arranged rounded white chairs and gold end tables seen here).

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    Use Lush Fabrics To Soften Your Space
    Zen and minimalism go hand in hand — both are about embracing simplicity. But, you still want your house to feel like a home. To warm up stark furnishings, upholster a modern chair or sofa with an inviting, super-soft fabric. Or, for a quicker fix, add a textured mohair pillow or drape a knitted throw over its arm.