Interior Design 101: Answers to our Readers’ Questions Part II

Arranging OrderWe hope you’re enjoying Design Month here at My First Apartment. We’ve been working with Kate (left) from Arranging Order, and have learned a ton about everything from smart looking storage to how to use area rugs. Check out Part One of our reader Q&A here, and read on for more great reader Q’s and pro-tip answers! And, of course, if you need some more intense design help, be sure to shoot Kate an email!

JudyAre there tricks for painting to make small rooms look larger?

Kate’s Response to Judy:  Yes!  There are tricks to painting to make small rooms look larger.   Keep the color light!  You can use any color, but be sure to pick a shade of that color that is on the lighter end.  The richer and darker the hues are, the cozier and tighter the room will feel.  By keeping the paint light, you allow more light to come in and open the space up as much as possible.

Jen: My husband and I are in the market for a sofa, love seat, and two swivel chairs for our living space. The sofa will face the fireplace, with the love seat on one side and the swivel chairs on the other. I want the swivel chairs to be bright, with a fun pattern. Should the sofa and love seat be in the same fabric to off set the swivel chairs? I don’t want things to be too matchy matchy, but I want everything to tie together. Any suggestions?

Kate’s Response to Jen: It sounds like you have a great layout planned for your living space. I definitely recommend getting your sofa and your loveseat in the same fabric, because it will tie the pieces together. Then you can do a fun and funky pattern for the swivel chairs!  Everything will tie together nicely.

Carrie: My husband and I just moved in to our first apartment together. He’s got some furniture. I’ve got some furniture. And we got some furniture for our wedding. I’m worried because nothing really goes together. How bad is it, for example, that each wooden piece in or living room is a different type of wood? Thanks!

Kate’s Response to Carrie: You’ve inherited your beginning furniture like most of us have, a little here, and a little there.  And that’s totally okay.  Moving forward, as you and your husband build your furniture collection together, try to pick a color theme and stay within that family.  For example, if you pick a redder wood, you can still have mahogany, cedar and cherry pieces that all tie together.   But if you have light woods, red woods, brown woods and dark woods, this creates visual chaos and lends itself to a design that doesn’t feel at all cohesive.  Moving forward, try to stick within the same wood family color.

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Author My First Apartment

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I've lived in apartments in 6 cities (including 2 foreign countries). Does that make me an expert? As of now, my ceiling isn't leaking and I don't have rodents (knock on wood) -- so I'm going to say yes . . . but ask me again tomorrow:) These days, I'm enjoying life Chicago style, but my years in Brooklyn are never far from my mind. P.S. By day I work at, but these opinions are totally, 100% my own.

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