Decorating & Furniture/interior decorating
My boyfriend recenty got into grad school and because he is more familiar with the area and because I work a million hours a week, I let him rent the apartment where we'll be living for at least the next year. It is awful! They are very old, but not in a fun-they-have-character way, just old. Some of the major problems is that we can't paint and the built-in area couch. The main room is fairly large and consists of the kitchen, dining and living area. It is a two bedroom/2 bath apartment. I don't have exact bedroom sizes, but I would say venture to say 10x12-11x14. The main room might be around 16x24, maybe larger. There are a couple pretty wide wall expanses and one large window per room. I like simple stuff, I generally go for whites, off-whites, kahki for a base with a few colorful pieces, like pillows or paintings. As I said we are on a grad student budget so any cheap ideas are REALLY welcome. This is our first real post under-grad apartment and I would love to have a more mature, put-together place. Both of us are really laid back people, our favorite things are wine, cooking and reading. I'd really like our apartment to reflect our personalitlies. My biggest problem is the built-in couch and how to work with it. If you have the time the website for the apartment is www.apm-online.biz, and the complex is called Cedarwood Apartments. They have interior shots available so you can see the craziness that is this couch. Thank you so much for your time, this is an awesome website and all the volunteers are great. I'd appreciate any advice. Britt
I looked at the site, saw the built-in and have to agree with you; it's pretty dreary. While the "size" of the area seems adequate, the couch takes up most of the available seating area. My best suggestion is to "design" the use of this area around what you enjoy most, relaxing and reading. Use a very diminutive dining table/chairs in the dining part of the space and use every inch that's left for "living".
Since you can't paint and you like whites, use bright accessories, throws, pillows and add some white throw pillows to that couch. You may want to use some larger floor-sized pillows for the expanse across from the couch. It appears to be a built-in "box". At least by doing that, you'll have more balanced design.
You may want to add a room sized rug to the living area to better define it and add some much needed color. Frame some large (stay away from small) colorful prints for the walls. This can be done inexpensively by purchasing posters/prints from crafts stores and framing them all the same. You may find some standard sized black frames that would coordinate well and add some grounding "black" to all that white.
Good luck to you!