Month: March 2012

Fixing up your sofa bed for maximum style and comfort

If you live in a studio apartment, a sofa bed is a great way to maximize your living space without sacrificing the comfort of a real bed. But you don’t simply want to place a futon in the apartment and call it a day; you want to think about where and how you set up your sofa bed for maximum comfort and aesthetic value. For starters, you’ll want to select the plushest mattress available, since the standard mattress is typically rather thin and not very comfortable. Add to this a quality pair of sheets and good pillows; just because you’re not sleeping on a ‘real’ bed doesn’t mean you don’t deserve all the luxury of one! You’ll want to think about the placement of your sofa bed so that you can relax and sleep with ease. Think about how you would place a standard bed in the room: would you prefer a corner? Away from the window? Keep these thoughts in mind when setting up your sofa bed. Otherwise, you may spend your first night restlessly rearranging furniture to get away from a drafty window, or moving the ‘head’ of the bed into a better position to watch TV while you doze off. When the sofa bed is folded up, you’ll want to think about adding some decorative pillows and a cozy throw to complete the transformation from bed...

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Three things to remember when choosing a sleeper sofa

If you live in a small apartment, your floor space is at a premium, and it’s important that every piece of furniture you buy be as functional as possible. In a small apartment with no sleeping space for guests, a sofa bed lets you quickly turn the living area into a guest bedroom for the night; in a studio apartment, a sleeper sofa is even more practical and necessary, since it allows you to seamlessly transition from a living space to a sleeping space in a flash at the end of the day. Whatever purpose you have for buying a sofa bed, it’s important to realize that not all sofa beds are created equal. You’ll need to first think about how often you’ll use the bed (for guests or nightly), since the mattresses included in sleeper sofas are typically not very comfortable. If you’ll be using the sleeper sofa in a studio apartment as your primary bed, invest the extra money for a better mattress, you’ll thank yourself later! You’ll also need to think about how much space you have to devote to the sleeper sofa. Because sleeper sofas fold out in different fashions, depending on the design, you may need more space behind or in front of the sofa unit. Sleeper sofas may also come in twin, full, or queen sizes, so think about how much floor space...

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How to display your favorite things when space is limited

Everyone loves to decorate their living space with their favorite photos, art, and other decorative items, but when space is at a premium, say, in a studio apartment, you need to get creative. After all, you don’t have tabletop space to space for photos and assorted bric-a-brac. The first step is to decide which pieces you absolutely have to display, and which can be tucked away. Maybe you have some favorite photos from a vacation that you’d really like to see every day, while others from the trip can be tucked away in a photo album on the bookshelf. The remaining photos can be placed in a large collage frame, which takes up less space than a smattering of smaller frames and also looks more streamlined. You could use different collage frames for different ‘themes’, such as vacation, family photos, etc. Tabletop items should of necessity be kept to a minimum. Move plants to a multi-tiered plant stand by a window, or place in hanging containers. Place candles in a wall sconce. Consider new and creative ways of displaying favorites; for example, instead of displaying deco spheres in a flat bowl, place them in a tall clear glass vase, which takes up much less room on a tabletop. Artificial flowers could be snipped to size and pressed in a shadowbox, rather than placed in a tabletop vase. Decorating and...

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Decorating tips for small spaces

Decorating a small space, such as a studio apartment, can be intimidating. When you have so little room to work with, every item you add counts! Start by choosing a harmonious color scheme to work with, so the room will have a unified feeling, and avoid adding multiple patterns, since so much visual commotion can make a room feel crowded. Choosing a focal point around which to arrange your furniture, a fireplace, or an entertainment center, gives the eye direction, which also enlarges the room. If your space is really small, buying a few select larger pieces of furniture can be better than filling it with lots of tiny pieces. That’s because a room with less furniture in it gives the illusion of having extra floor space, while a room crammed wall to wall with small pieces naturally looks smaller and more crowded. Just be sure the pieces you choose will fit comfortably in your space. Avoid shoving items like chairs snugly into corners, since this reinforces the feeling that there’s barely enough space to contain the furniture; instead, pull them out a bit to join the rest of the furniture, or eliminate them altogether. Clutter makes a room feel instantly smaller, so resist the urge to fill every corner, tabletop, and inch of the walls with display items. Choose just a few favorites for a display that’s more...

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Buy the right furniture to maximize storage in a small apartment

When you live in a small apartment, every inch counts, especially when it comes to storage space. Many people learn how to pare down their possessions and zealously tackle overflowing closets with storage system kits, but they’re often clueless about one of the most obvious storage dilemmas of a small apartment: furniture that isn’t pulling its weight. While small, leggy pieces of furniture have a certain aesthetic appeal and may in fact be better suited to some living areas, an apartment full of leggy furniture wastes tons of potential storage space. This is especially true if you have a studio apartment, and need at-hand options for hiding bedding, living room clutter, and other odds and ends that don’t fit neatly into the coat closet. Leggy end tables should be replaced by models with drawers and shelves. Storage ottomans, chests, or other types of storage coffee tables lets you store large, bulky items out of sight. Book boxes can stack innocently on a coffee table to hide unsightly clutter like TV remotes. Decorative boxes can slip underneath a sofa bed or a table and hold any number of items. If you’re having trouble finding room for more than a small end table by the sofa bed, consider folding tables. Today’s models come in a range of designs far fancier than the basic card table trotted out at holiday dinners, so...

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