Living Room Decorating: Stylish & Functional

See how smart storage solutions and chic decor transform this apartment living room into one part office and one part gathering space.


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Living room
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One-Room Wonder

    Smart and stylish storage takes this small space from foyer to living room to home office, all in one. The living area features simplified seating with an extra-long sofa rather than a combo of sofa and chairs. Other decor details, such as the sturdy coffee table and Oriental rug, give the room a collected, layered look on a budget.

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Do-It-All Room

    No space for a real foyer? Take a cue from this apartment and create your own. This improvised space just inside the apartment's front door becomes a convenient storage spot for boots, shoes, keys, and mail. A peg rack made from an old railroad tie serves as both a hanging space and a unique artwork display.

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Simple Storage

    With most of the room taken up by the living room and home office areas, dining space is at a premium. Dishes, serving pieces, and table linens stay tucked away in an heirloom dresser. When everything has a designated spot, staying organized in a small space is a breeze.

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In Plain Sight

    A fully functioning office has been blended into this tight living space, too. The large bookcase and shelves make organizing office supplies a snap. Adding vintage accessories and touches of antique brass, repeated elements from the adjacent living room, unifies the spaces.

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Using Your Wall Space

    To maximize a small space, put the walls to work. A trio of shelves on one wall and open cubbies on the other provide plenty of storage and keep the space neat and organized. And grouping like objects together makes the space look even more orderly.

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The Right Formula

    While offices are at their core designed to be work spaces, the right mix of finishes adds a layer of style. The sleek white shelving, woven baskets, wooden crates, and brushed metal in this space keep it looking light.

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Out in the Open

    See-through containers keep bulky items, such as the homeowner's (a designer) fabric samples, organized and accessible. The brushed metal finish of the wire locker baskets provides a contrast to the crisp whitewash of the bookshelf.

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Closed Off

    Not everything looks as pretty as fabric samples. Instead of putting bills, brochures, and other paperwork on display, store them in sturdy file boxes. The mix of open and closed storage makes this office space look clean and professional.

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Inspiration Station

    Magnetic memo boards like this one are great additions to any office space. For designers, they're good for posting inspirational photos and notes. But they're also ideal for keeping schedules, to-do lists, and favorite photos out in the open and organized. Just be sure to edit the board frequently and remove outdated materials to avoid clutter.

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In the Pocket

    A wall-mount file holder taps into vertical wall space to corral office papers and notebooks. This three-pocket option stores sketch books but would also work for mail, magazines, or files.

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Smart Storage

    Storing office paper supplies can be tricky. Here, handsome leather boxes hold business cards, thank-you notes, envelopes, and notebooks. And as a bonus, the boxes blend in easily with books on the shelf.

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