How to Decorate Your Home Like a Grownup

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Are you tired of living like a college student? Then it’s time to give your home a grownup makeover! With a few simple (and inexpensive) tips, you can upgrade your interior décor style. Here’s how to get started.

Hang Actual Art on Your Walls

Blank walls or unframed posters are not the look, my friend. Actual art in real frames—with glass and everything—is the way to go. You can find amazing deals on quality prints or even original pictures at thrift stores, yard sales, and estate auctions.

Make sure that the size of the work suits the space; a bigger wall needs a bigger piece of art. If you only have small pieces, then create a gallery wall by hanging them in groupings.

One Mirror Per Room

Mirrors aren’t just for checking yourself out. (Besides, who needs a mirror when you have a front-facing camera on your phone?) When it comes to interior decorating, mirrors serve an important purpose. They reflect the light from nearby windows and lamps, making rooms brighter, and create the illusion that a room is more spacious.

As a rule of thumb, hang mirrors perpendicular to windows and doors, rather than directly across from them. You want to bounce light around the room, not straight out the window or door.

Remember the Rule of Three

When it comes to decorating, three is the magic number. Things in groups of three just look better to the eye. Arrange a trio of vases in varying heights on the mantel, for example, or place a stack of three oversized art books on your coffee table.

Create a Conversation Area

Most college kids—if they have a sofa at all, and not just a futon—face their living room furniture toward the TV. Grownups arrange their furniture differently. You can’t go wrong with a sofa and two chairs, either placed in a U shape or an H around a coffee table. Everyone should be able to chat with each other.

You don’t need to buy expensive matching furniture. Again, thrift stores and estate sales are your friends when it comes to living room furniture. If you don’t like the upholstery or one-piece clashes with the others, a set of matching slipcovers is a great way to tie mismatched furniture together.

Less Is More

While many young adults tend to have blank, personality-free homes, sometimes the other opposite is true. If you have a cluttered, busy home, it might be time to scale back. Picture collages can find a new home in scrapbooks rather than your walls.

Cheap trinkets and tchotchkes should either get repurposed or donated—unless they have major meaning for you, in which case they need to be displayed in a way that makes them feel like a purposeful collection.

Learn as You Go

Part of growing up and living on your own is developing your sense of style. Look at magazines and decorating websites to get an idea about what appeals to you. And be prepared for your tastes to change over time! The style you choose now isn’t what you’ll be stuck with for the rest of your life.