Five ways to instantly add panache to your space

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Living in an apartment doesn’t have to cramp up your style. Here are five inexpensive ways to add some pizazz to your dwelling.

1) Add a rug

Rugs give both small and large spaces the chance to change the feel of an entire room with the addition of just one thing. There are endless options when it comes to style, size, shape, and texture. One of my favorite rug manufacturers, Safavieh, has many fashionable of rugs on sale at Overstock.com. Chevrons and shag rugs can add a great modern touch to an otherwise dull room.

2) Add depth and character with a mirror

A unique mirror add aesthetic variety and creates the illusion of space. A well placed mirror in a room can also add additional light and brighten up the living area. Speaking of cookie-cutter, IKEA also has some floor-to-ceiling, framed ones that look very chic propped into a corner of a bedroom or living room. World market has a great selection of mirrors that are high on charm and low in price. Darker walls can be livened up with a mirror with a pleasant silver frame.

3) Pillows and throws to add some character to your sofa

A few bright pillows and throws can give a needed pop of color to an otherwise bland bedroom or living room. With their bold shapes, big, square, European-inspired throws and pillows are an easy way to create visual interest. If you already have decorative pillows, pick up new shams to reinvent your room. Target has a great assortment of stylish pillows while Z-gallerie’s throws are sure to pique your interest.

4) Create an ambience with paint

Nothing makes a bigger statement than painting a wall. A bucket of Martha Stewart paint from Home Depot runs for under fifty dollars and leaves you with endless options. Paint one wall a bold color, like Araucana Teal. If the wall is fairly bare, use a few stencils to give the wall some personality. You could even paint your ceiling a few shades lighter than the walls,to make the room feel larger.

5) Upgrade your lighting

Glass ceiling domes, while economical, look mass produced and generic. Swap them for more creative covering, or just forgo them altogether in exchange for an eclectic combo of standing floor and table lamps, which have the added benefit of casting more flattering light than their more prevalent counterparts do. Lampsplus has a great selection of floor lamps for the modern minded individual.

San Francisco’s Bay Bridge illuminated

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The 1.8 mile span of the Bay Bridge is lit up with 25,000 computer-controlled LED lights, in a project by artist Leo Villareal.  ”My inspiration comes from the motion of the bridge,” says Villareal, of his inspiration for the project. “I’m interpreting all the kinetic activity around the bridge: the traffic, the motion of water, the sky — it’s such a rich environment to draw upon.”

Even though the Bay Bridge was built six months prior to the Golden Gate Bridge, this behemoth was overshadowed by the iconic red towers rising above the San Francisco Bay. However, this project will bring back a lot more attention and appreciation that our faithful Bay Bridge deserves.

The “Bay Lights” will illuminate the bridge and the waters for the next two years. The best neighborhoods to view the lights would be the Embarcadero, Rincon Hill, South Beach, Telegraph Hill, and other waterfront areas in east San Francisco.