7 Things To Avoid In Apartment Therapy Living Room | apartment therapy living room

“What do you adulation about your apartment?” Maxwell Ryan asks Eugenia Barbuc and Corinna Loo as he surveys their Miracle Mile active room.

Small Living Room Design Ideas | Apartment Therapy
Small Living Room Design Ideas | Apartment Therapy | apartment therapy living room

The brace has been called to accept a active allowance makeover address of the Accommodation Therapy founder during his cross-country book bout for “Apartment Therapy: Complete Blessed Home” (Potter Style, $35).

While they feel there isn’t abundant to adulation currently, they do apperceive what they would like: Added color. Added fun.

“What do you appetite us to de-clutter?” he asks. Ever the therapist, Ryan avoids agreement like “discard” or “get rid of.”

But there isn’t a lot of clutter. The brace may accept lived in the Miracle Mile accommodation for three years, but they don’t accept abundant added than a midcentury credenza and a Allowance & Board couch they begin on Craigslist. “It formed out well,” says Loo as she chats about accustomed the couch bottomward 6th Street. “When we got tired, we would aloof stop and sit on it.”

The two call themselves as antic and blessed yet say they afflict over the simplest of home adornment decisions. “We appetite to feel like adults,” says Loo, 27. Adds Barbuc, 28: “We appetite to backup legitimately.”

Their one-bedroom accommodation is baby but has admirable architectural details, including aerial ceilings, acme moldings and aerial adorning reliefs on the walls. Active allowance accents accommodate cinder blocks, a board coffee table fabricated from an art activity and piñatas. Is it accessible that a few almost simple changes will accomplish a difference? On a hot October day, Ryan and his aide Christiane Lemieux, controlling artistic administrator of Wayfair, the online banker that donated different home goods, decay no time in assessing the active allowance and accepting to work.

“Where do you sit back bodies appear over?” Ryan asks.

“We sit in folding chairs,” responds Barbuc.

The couch agreement feels right, but there is not abundant seating.

Ryan moves on to acoustics. “Do you apprehend that echo?” he asks. The complete in the allowance makes the amplitude feel cavernous. “We charge to get bolt and rugs in here,” he says.

Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times

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Ryan and Lemieux accede that the ablaze red armchair from Ikea overwhelms the room. “It is the aboriginal affair bodies will see back they airing in the door,” he says. It’s confused to the bedroom. Similarly, a board bank the brace ordered is accounted too ample for the room, so it joins the red armchair in the bedroom.

Working calm over the abutting bristles hours, Ryan and Lemieux transform the active allowance into a lighter and brighter amplitude with added seating. The end aftereffect is adult and fun yet acutely claimed as the designers absorb the couple’s furnishings, art and collectibles into the room’s design.

In the amount of an afternoon, the designers prove how aesthetic it can be to reimagine a room.

Ryan estimates that revamps to the active allowance would accept amount about $2,000 to $3,000, but abounding of his architecture attempt can be adopted for free. Actuality are some decorating tips we best up from watching a makeover in action:

Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times

Shop from added rooms

The red Ikea armchair was removed and placed in the bedchamber in barter for a abate midcentury chair. This opened up the allowance and brought in added light. Concrete blocks were removed from the active allowance and placed abutting to the bed to actualize a ancillary table for a lamp. Ryan again went attractive for accessories in added rooms, abacus art and a bright piñata to the active allowance mantel for blush and texture.


The allowance was aphotic and melancholy. A alpine walnut tripod attic lamp was added, forth with a midcentury-inspired tripod assumption table lamp from West Elm. The designers additionally placed seven candles in a tray in advanced of the broiler to add amore and illumination.

Layer carpets

Layering rugs is a cost-effective band-aid to larger, added big-ticket rugs. Ryan draped the couple’s Navajo-print rug over a new Moroccan bristling absolute rug to add adverse and beheld interest.

Small Living Room Design Ideas | Apartment Therapy
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Mix materials

The designers added a new metal and covering armchair forth with a bendable bristling rug and a covering Moroccan ottoman. A bottle and copse coffee table in white complements a aphotic walnut midcentury credenza. Pillows in blush and taupe hues add benevolence and warmth.

Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times

Keep what you love

Ryan and Lemieux army the couple’s blush papier-mâché affection on the broiler and captivated on to their arbitrary accessories to reflect their personalities: a bright skateboard, piñatas, ceramics and an astronaut helmet. “It’s all about bond their being with the new things,” says Lemieux. “That’s why it works.”


The designers added blush with pillows, throws and artwork.


Framed artwork from the nonprofit Exceptional Children’s Foundation was installed on three walls. For the salon-style bank aloft the credenza, Ryan aboriginal placed artworks on the attic to anticipate how it would attending on the wall. He again centered the ample allotment over the credenza and layered artworks on either side.


Plants accomplish a abode feel cared for. Ryan anesthetized on an bogus bulb the brace chose in favor of a tall, low-maintenance Dracaena bulb from Rolling Greens. Additionally, Lemieux added tiny succulents to the coffee table for attenuate touches of green.

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Create moments

Ryan and Lemieux created an aperture moment area the brace can abode keys or mail back they airing in the aperture application a alpine West Elm tray table.

“They capital to accomplish a change,” says Ryan. “We’re aloof facilitating it for them.”


Twitter: @lisaboone19

3 tips on blind art at home

What’s the best way to adhere art? We’ve got a few tips, excerpted from Maxwell Ryan’s “Apartment Therapy: Complete Blessed Home.”

1. Don’t adhere annihilation too high. Most galleries adhere art 57 to 60 inches on centermost (that’s the altitude from the attic to the centermost of the allotment of art). With groupings, anticipate of the aggregate as one big aspect and administer the aforementioned principle.

2. Adjust for seating. In dining apartment or offices, area bodies are primarily seated, it makes faculty to lower art hardly to about 48 inches.

3. Allow for headroom. Back ascent aloft furniture, accumulate 3 to 6 inches of bank amplitude aloft a daybed or headboard, 4 to 8 inches aloft a table. This is abutting abundant to accumulate the two elements visually affiliated but far abundant that you won’t blast your arch back sitting and standing.

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Small Living Room Design Ideas | Apartment Therapy
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