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Relax! Using Ariel's five pointers for easy living leaves plenty of time for fun and games.

  1. Buy neutral furniture and bring color in with accessories. It's easier to replace a candlestick than a sofa that suddenly feels outdated.
  2. Take a laid-back approach to art. We used game boards and Polaroids. And who says everything needs to be hung on the wall—or even framed?
  3. Big names aren't always best. I like to mix highbrow and affordable furniture because it's hard to feel comfortable in a room that's all design, design, design.
  4. Erase the barrier between indoors and out. Furnish your deck, porch, or patio as if it were your living room. Then you can't help but enjoy the good weather.
  5. Don't bother with fussy drapes. In fact, if privacy is not an issue at your home, you have my permission to skip curtains altogether.
 
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