Decorating Dilemma: Lori’s Newlywed Apartment

Decorating a 1920's apartment

Decorating Dilemmas is a weekly column in which our stylists answer your design questions, so you can tackle your home decorating project with complete confidence.

Dear How to Decorate,

I love decorating! We are newlyweds who have been in our 1920s triplex apartment for almost two years, but there are charming, odd niches in our place that make it difficult to decorate. I’m in love with color and texture, but I’m not sure how to put a tasteful ‘wow’ design together. My main challenges are in the living room and bathroom. I would really appreciate some expertise in these two areas of my home.


A decor novice in L.A., Lori

Lori's living room before

Lori's living room before

Lori's living room before

Lori's living room before

Dear Lori,

Your space is definitely small but the architecture is wonderful!  Let’s use some taller pieces to add storage and create a focal point.

We like the dining table centered on the window, but let’s add a Tall Sonoma Tower in Cherry (two if there is space) opposite the door to display your glassware, plates, books and art. Add some baskets for small item storage. Swag a Talia Chandelier in Bronze over the table for great lighting and a spot of drama.

For furniture placement in the living area, we would add a beautiful streamlined Manchester Sofa in Belize Coral for a great color pop in the space. Place it parallel to the table and facing into the seating area. Pull your big Art Deco cabinet to the wall opposite the sofa and center it, then flank it with your two chairs. Finally, add a great piece of art above, like our Coral Splash. Remember to add in lighting to give your room a cozy atmosphere in the evening. The Sloan Wood Ball Floor Lamp in Black tucked away behind the corner chair is a fantastic solution.

On the opposite wall from the fireplace we suggest the Martin Console. Its slim profile will allow for easy traffic flow throughout your space. For a touch of sparkle and to add height, hang a Bellesol Mirror above the console.

On the fireplace mantel, add some larger accessories like our Antiqued Mercury Glass Candle Holders, and then choose one large piece for the niche. Move your current 3 piece collection to the Martin console. Add some colorful flowers and small photos, and you will be in love with your mantel!

Now for your bathroom, we have a couple of styling suggestions! Add a great colorful Indoor/Outdoor Rug like our Chevron Stripe in Mineral. Not only would it be beautiful but it’s low maintenance, so it’s ideal for the bathroom. Replace the tall utility tower with a Piccolo Cabinet in black, and bring in some corner shelves for added storage.

Making a few changes will certainly bring excitement in your space!

Happy Decorating!

The Design Solutions Team

Decorating a 1920's apartment

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How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply

    Barbara Andy

    October 13, 2014

    Where do I find the bouquet of flowers? And are there any or will there be any discounts on the art Coral Splash?

  2. Reply

    Susan Husa

    September 19, 2014

    The last part to my kitchen remodel is to pick a paint color. I am hoping you can help! I have incorporated the garden mirrors in white above the sink as I did in my old kitchen because I love the light they add in my kitchen with no window. I put a gray backsplash and am feeling a bit anxious about what color for the walls. I was planning on a light kitchen and through the process it is now gray! Yikes! I wish I could include a picture but don’t know how. I also wanted to purchase the white wash dining table in mango wood- I have had my eye on that for a year now. I am hoping you will help me figure out if it will even look good in the space now. I also will need a few rugs and some furniture in the family room.

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      September 22, 2014

      Hi Susan,

      We would be happy to give you some paint color advice! We actually have an entire team dedicated to helping customers solve problems in there home. It’s a free service! Simply, send in your dilemma and a few photos using this form, and our Design Solutions team will reach out to you!

      Happy Decorating,
      The How to Decorate Team