If your current living space looks more like a slightly cluttered Ikea store vignette than the sleek, Scandinavian sex pad you envision it to be, it’s time for a change.
“You can make a home just a foundation for your life, or you can go further than that and make it expressive of yourself and your taste,” says Maxwell Ryan, founder of Apartment Therapy.
Relax—no need for a massive overhaul. Start with these minor details that have a big impact on making your home—and you by extension—attractive to anyone you bring into it.
The right lighting can make not only home look more inviting, but it can be flattering to you as well. Ryan says aim for three points of light in every room.
“That doesn’t include a ceiling fixture,” he says. For instance, in the bedroom, have a light on either side of the bed and one on the dresser.
A warm incandescent 60-watt light is not too dim to read a book in and not too bright (for that operating room vibe). If you’re opting for LED bulbs, look for ones that diffuse warm yellowish light, not cold, bright white versions. The latter are mostly good for interrogations.
Tech-loving guys should check out Philips Hue bulbs that can be adjusted through your smart device ($50, amazon.com). Change colors, shades of white, dim and set on/off with a timer. Or take it to the next level and synch your lights with your music or video games.
It’s easy to go overboard with color when you want you place to stand out. The trick is finding the right balance.Ryan suggests aiming for a room that’s 80 percent neutral and 20 percent color.
“When women put on lipstick, they don’t put it all over their faces. The same goes for a room. A bright color shouldn’t overwhelm,” he says.
A neutral sofa with three colorful pillows can be enough. Or a pop of hue with an area rug on a brown wood floor next to white walls might be all you need to light up your room. Think accents: a rug, pillows, curtains, lamps, or swappable throw blankets.
It’s important to the home to make it inviting, warm and quiet. That’s where textiles (aka rugs, throw pillows, wall hangings, and curtains) come in.
“They add dimension to your home, but they also absorb sounds. It’s soft under foot, will dampen sound and it’s a great place to add a dash of color. They are a good investment. They also make your place feel homey,” says Ryan.
“If you really want to finish a room, put a plant in it—something living,” says Ryan. Ita dds warmth to your space and can make it feel lived in and personal.
If you have black thumb rather than a green one based on your track record of herbal homicide, try a low upkeep variety. Air plants and succulents are hard to kill because they need minimal watering. ($15, amazon.com) They will give you the look you want without the work.