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Apartments need bold decorations

The experts at Home & Garden Television offer these helpful tips of things not to do when decorating an apartment.

Don’t be chicken. OK, you don’t own the place — that doesn’t mean you have to live in a bland box. Don’t be afraid to ask the landlord what you can and can’t do with the space. Most are fine with painting, hanging wall decorations and replacing existing window treatments and light fixtures, as long as you return the apartment to its original state when you move.

Don’t be afraid of color. A little paint, throughout the whole apartment or just on one wall, can make a world of difference. It can really warm up the cold box.

Don’t shove everything against the walls. The number one mistake apartment dwellers (and many homeowners) make is not spending enough time on furniture arrangement.

Don’t look up until you fix that overhead light fixture. Lighting is an inexpensive way to decorate and instantly improve the atmosphere of a rented space. First things first: Change out that hideous overhead light fixture that casts a stark, unattractive light on everything.

Don’t resign yourself to living in a bowling alley. Many apartments are large rectangles that include dining and living room spaces in one long line, creating that bowling alley look. The way to cure this malady is to divide each space through functionality into boxes, which are actually easier for the human mind to integrate.

Don’t think you have to define your grown-up style right now. So what if that leather couch turned out not to be the best choice for your apartment living room — it might be fine for a future family room or make a great donation to a friend (or charity) in need. Apartment life is the time to try on different styles. Be brave, take chances, have fun.

For thousands of other ideas visit www.hgtv.com. Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service.

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