How To Create A Living Space You'll LOVE

In tight quarters, a living room isn't just a living room. Hangout space? Check. Mud room? Check. Dining room? Check. Guest bedroom for that one friend who still hasn't found her own place and has decided to stay for three full weeks? Check. And, because it's the primary shared space between you and your roommates, it's easy for no one to feel as though they need to take ownership of keeping the living room in shape, much less fixing it up.

No more neglect! It's time to band together and make the living room the best place in your home. To begin, use Target’s Made for U College Styler to figure out the best possible blend of your and your roommates' styles. Next, consult this handy little cheat sheet to zero in on which areas need the most TLC. And, finally, tell that quasi-roomie/couch surfer that it's time to vacate the premises — the folks on the lease deserve to enjoy it first.
Rejuvenate Your Futon
The poor futon is an extraordinarily underrated, misunderstood piece. Yes, it's a couch and a bed in one. But, when styled correctly, it can serve up a retro vibe that's straight midcentury modern. The key to making it fit for an adult is finding one with a small but sturdy frame in a stylish, neutral color, then propping it with poppy, patterned pillows. Keeping a futon half-up, half-down gives it a luxurious, daybed feel that begs to be napped on.

Conceal The Clutter
Take a survey of your space, and you're likely to find two types of clutter: the stuff you simply don't use all that often (think guest sheets and heavy throws), and the extension cords, speakers, and random chargers you'd strongly prefer to avoid looking at day in and day out. Divide it up, and stash each category of clutter in its own hollow ottoman. For a true finishing touch, scoot the ottomans together, prop with a few of your favorite oversized books and trinkets, and you've got a coffee-table-esque surface that doesn't demand a single coaster.
Strategically Add Seating
When you're working within extremely limited square footage, there's the impulse to decorate as sparingly as possible. But, an extra freestanding chair can actually help open up a room; it's counterintuitive, but having at least a few pieces of furniture not pushed against walls makes a space feel larger. Then, go ahead and break another rule by pairing your seating with a printed rug that only sort of matches. After all, even the coziest living room isn't livable without a healthy dose of quirk.

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