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Ditch the futon, keep plants alive, and other ways to maintain an "adult" apartment

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The transition from an apartment full of Ikea furniture to something with a more grown-up decor scheme is often a slow one—most of us add in a high quality new piece of furniture here and there, gradually building up to a dwelling that doesn't scream "glorified dorm room." So how do you know when you've really made it?

Some signs that you're truly living in an "adult apartment" (and can rightfully expect your friends' jealousy), according to Refinery29, include getting an honest-to-god couch, rather than a futon; keeping your sea of appliance and computer cords tidy; actual use of rugs and slip-mats; real curtains covering the windows (as opposed to, say, a spare sheet); and actually framing the art that goes on your walls, rather than just tossing it up with some double-sided tape. Keeping plants around—and keeping said plants alive and in good condition—goes a long way, too. Above all, ditch the battered old Ikea dresser (they never last through more than one move, anyway).

Even if you're in a rental—and not interested in kissing your security deposit goodbye—there are plenty of easy and inexpensive ways to make upgrades, including adding new lighting fixtures, putting up temporary wallpaper, or even trying out temporary floors. Your landlord will never know the difference once you move out, but anyone you invite over will know you've got some enviable—and adult—design tricks up your sleeve.

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