Soft living room

Photo: Tria Giovan

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Eliminate the Walls-Are-Closing-in-on-Me Feeling
Apartment Therapy founder Maxwell Ryan recommends clearing out the corners of the room—the sneaky areas where we tend to plunk a potted plant or shelving unit to "make use of the space," when really the effect is more "make a person crazy."

Once you've removed the extraneous ficus or étagère, take the Vacuum Test: Swivel your vac around the room. The more easily you can maneuver it, the easier it will be for you to get in and out, and the bigger the room will seem.