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How to Build Your Living Space from Scratch

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Moving into your first home is a major milestone – one that can be an overwhelming process for many. Unless you plan to take the minimalist approach to the extreme – we're talking about an air mattress, cardboard box and a folding chair or two –it's time to come up with a plan on you'll furnish your new dwelling. As the hub of most household activity, the living room is a smart starting point as it's where you can eat, sleep and relax after a hard day's work. Here's a list of six recommended purchases that will turn your new space from desolate to delightful. Ready, set, furnish!

Area Rugs

To build your dream living room from the ground up – quite literally – an inviting area rug is a great place to start. In addition to adding warmth and personality to your living space, a new area rug will protect your carpet or hardwood and amp up the comfort factor. Just remember to purchase a corresponding rug pad (rug gripper) to avoid any slipping mishaps – it will also add extra insulation and cushioning for your tender tootsies.

Couch & Large Furniture

Now that the groundwork is done, it's time for the starring attraction – your new couch. Yes, it's important that your couch looks great in your new space, but comfort and durability are equally important. Inexpensive furniture can deteriorate fast, leaving you with pesky popped springs, ripped material, sagging, etc. –let's just say, you're probably have to replace sooner than later. Instead of adding another unwanted piece of furniture to the already overcrowded landfill, do your research and don't be afraid to test out a few models on the sales floor. If in doubt, don't ask a sales associate questions – they know the industry like the back of their hand.

Arm chairs 

If space permits, an arm chair is one of the easiest and most functional ways to add some flair to your living room. Whether it's leopard print or cobalt blue you desire, or basic black leather –this is where you can really have some fun with colour and texture.

Throw Pillows 

Throw pillows are an inexpensive and fun way to let your personality shine through. Choose from bold vibrant colours, classic neutrals or decadent, luxurious silk or velvet. And while sparkle is popular around the holidays, one or two throw pillows with a little shimmer will add a little glamour to your living room year round.

Coffee Tables: Round, Square, Glass, Leather, Wood...

There are plenty of choices when it comes to coffee tables, but how do you choose which one is right for you? First, make sure you choose one that matches your lifestyle. If you have young children at home, you'll probably want to steer clear of glass – unless of course you're fine with constantly wiping away mucky finger prints. If you're short on space, a coffee table can also function as storage with built-in shelving and drawers. In recent year, ottomans have become increasingly popular as they can be dually used as extra seating when needed – they also eliminate the concern of sharp coffee table corner- related injuries. And who says a coffee table needs to be, well, a coffee table. If you think outside the box, you may already have something in your possession that can double as a traditional table – perhaps that storage chest collecting cobwebs in the basement?

Lamps: Do You See the Light?

A room in your home is not complete without proper lighting. After all, how will you show off all your new living room swag in the dark? Once you have chosen your furniture, make sure you find the right lamps to complement your decor. Lamps come in all shapes and sizes, some with dimmers, others vary in bulb wattage. Always keep in mind the size of the room and the style of furniture to go along with it. Large, overstuffed furniture will seem silly next to a slender lamp and vice versa.

With these eight simple tips, you'll soon have a living room that's both aesthetically pleasing and comfortable. Now go ahead and have some fun furnishing your home-sweet-home.

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