Vango’s First Birthday: Art and Cupcakes

Go Vango, it’s our birthday, we’re gonna party like it’s our birthday…

It may be our 1st birthday, but we want to share it with you! That’s why we have two pretty sweet treats planned just for the special occasion.

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The first tasty treat is quite literal, as in sweet on your tongue, delicious in your belly goodness. We’re talking cupcakes. Yes, cupcakes. We will send you and a friend free cupcake deliciousness when you make a Vango purchase during our birthday celebration days, July 27th-29th! We’re not kidding, people…we never kid about cupcakes. May we suggest having a cupcake viewing party when your new art arrives? Keep it in mind.

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The second sweet deal is sweet for your wallet and your walls. Sunday July 27th - Tuesday 29th you can earn $1 in Vango credit for every text message referral that results in a download. It’s a simple rule of $1 for 1 download. So, here’s to rounding up your friends and spreading the original art love.

Usually, you receive $20 when a referred friend buys art, but during birthday days, all you need is a download to earn. Learn how to refer a friend in the Vango app and then send your text referrals as soon as Sunday rolls around.

In the meantime…

Follow Vango’s board #hbdVANGO: Indulge your Sweet Tooth on Pinterest.

Mouth watering yet?

We’re looking forward to many more years of connecting artists and buyers through the shared appreciation of kick-ass original art. Plus, keep an eye out for a BIG surprise later this week (maybe even bigger than our birthday).

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For more company news, original art, and cute animal pictures follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram

Give $20 Get $20

You love original art. Your friend Mike also loves original art, but his taste is… let’s just call it “retro-cat-chic.” Now with our Give $20 Get $20 program you and Mike can help each other decorate- the best part is you get to choose your own art and don’t have to pretend to like what Mike would choose. 

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Step 1: Download Vango from the App Store, if you haven’t already. All the cool kids are doing it.

Step 2: Locate the Give $20 Get $20 tab at the bottom of the menu page. This will bring you to a page which allows you to share this great opportunity via text message, email, twitter, or Facebook.image

Step 3: Invite Mike! And as many other friends as you want. When Mike makes a purchase, he will receive a $20 discount. He can spend this saved money on cat food and tacky sweaters. You will also receive $20 in store credit. image

Step 4: Find the piece of original art that is just right for you! Get $20 off pieces starting at $100. If five of your friends make a purchase you could get a free piece of art!image

Step 5: Enjoy and be original!

Eyes and Art that Tell a Story

It’s often said, “What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” There’s a difference, you know, between looking and seeing. 

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Here behind the scenes, all of the original works of art that you see both in the Vango app and on Pinterest have danced across our line of vision at one time or another. More often than not, this stirs up in-office “dibs” wars, but on profound occasion, the art begins to form stories and relationships. One piece triggers thoughts of another and brings two seemingly dissimilar works into the same conversation. That’s the beauty of art — certain things just appear to certain eyes.

Take in both “the seers” and “the seen” and stories that have unfurled before us. Their eyes look upon the views around them, but what they truly see is open to your interpretation. The quotations below the coupling are excerpts from one or both of the artist descriptions, which can be viewed by clicking on a piece. Explore the paintings individually, or as a pair. 



    image   image "A girl looking beyond a veil explores…its nuances of concealing and revealing.”



   image    image "Watching them, they daintily yelled BLUE at my brush."



   image    image"I created the art…to show them what they might not already see."



   image    image"The deep rich colors of the sun setting can take my breath away in a moment."



    image   image"The bond between a mother and her child is powerful and should be cherished for a lifetime."



    image   image"Floating just beneath the surface, she forgets the stresses of her long day."



    image   image"…it was made of all of the left over colors after God created the world."



    image   image"In no time she was far upriver."



More often than not, when you fall for a piece of art (and trust us, it happens), it’s because it means something to you, conjures up a memory, or maybe sparks the beginning of a story yet to be completed. Ever met an art-lover who has hung a piece on their wall only to create some sort of elaborate backstory for it? A piece that no one else has seems to always becomes a part of the family and one of the most intriguing aspects of any home.

What does the art say to you? Explore in the app or Pinterest and Be Original with one-of-a-kind art. 

Newbie Starts Her Collection

You may be wondering, who is buying art from Vango these days? Well, meet Payton- she’s young, she’s hip, and she bought her first piece of art with us. Earlier this week we tracked down and sat down with this San Francisco native and asked her what it was like decorating her room with original art, not to mention doing it all through an app. 

Tell us about yourself.

“I am a student at USF, studying Entrepreneurship and Innovation with a Design Minor. I have always been an art lover and describe myself as “an art student trapped in a business student’s life”.”

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Payton browsing the Vango app.

How did you find this piece?

“I was browsing the Vango Pinterest boards and “Float” by YoungJin Choi stood out from everything else. There is something ordinary and simple about it that makes it special. I feel like it’s the kind of piece that has long term meaning, because you never stop interpreting it.”

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"Float" by YoungJin Choi ($250)

Why do you like this piece?

“I like how it feels calm, but also on edge. Like floating. It is comfortable, but not settled. It is also somehow reminiscent of my city. It’s not bright, it’s foggy and luminescent, like San Francisco.”

Where do you plan to hang it?

“Above my bed! I am so excited to have this piece of art in my apartment, it’s made by a young artist who is kind of like me.”

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We couldn’t help but do a little celebratory dancing after this purchase. A younger city-dweller cracking into the world of original art?…that’s the dream. 

That’s how Payton Vangos! Show us how you Vango: have a buddy take a picture of you using our app (or do it selfie style) and post it to Instagram with the hashtag #iVango.

The Perfect Recipe for your Fourth of July Weekend

Cheers to Independence! The 4th of July is this Friday, giving you a reason to skip out early on Thursday and bask in the highly coveted three-day weekend ahead. We all know there are a few things the fourth isn’t complete without, but we’ve added a little extra something to our to-enjoy list to prolong your Americana celebrations way past Friday. 

Now grab a cold glass of lemonade, throw on your shades, get ready to indulge in this weekend’s recipe (mix as desired).

1 American Flag

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Flag Porch, Cranford New Jersey by Bruno Baran

Fly one, wear one, or hang one. This is mandatory.

1 Baseball Game

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Country Ball Park 3 by Bill Stewart

It is America’s favorite pass time, after all. Catch a local summer league or make a day of it and go root on your favorite major league team. And if you don’t consider yourself a baseball fan, bring friends, and feel free to combine multiple parts of this recipe to achieve the best result. 

2 Activities

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Kite Flying Skinny B by Darlene Kasper

Bike ride, kayak, surf, hike…they’ll all do. Pick a killer combo of two things that’ll keep your day and body moving. We envision pool volleyball with friends and kite flying by the ocean…but that’s just us. 

8 oz. Burger

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A Colorful Classic by Megan Doman

…plus all the good stuff on top. Get the barbecue fired up, people. No July 4th weekend is complete without at least two helpings of hotdogs and hamburgers. Yum.

Beer

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Beer and Cake by Kellie Langewisch

We won’t dictate quantity on this one, that’s up to you. But, drink responsibly…or at least go for an American brew.

2-3 Hours of Waterplay

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Long Beach by Mary Ann Hagen

The beach, the lake, your pool. Get in the water (maybe not right after the food and beer)! Cool off, splash around, and be kid for a while. 

3-5 Scoops of Ice Cream

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Soft Serve by Amanda Beckham

Indulge a little, would ya? Ok so maybe not all at once, but there’s nothing like ice cream on a summer night, toppings included in the name of America. (pro tip: save at least one trip to the best ice cream spot in town for Sunday) 

1-2 Firework Shows

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Submerge by Susan Rodebush

Let’s face it, fireworks are everywhere this time of year. Take advantage and take in a show or two. Not a planner? Just get to high ground and look skyward around 9:30pm…you’re likely to catch some sparks.

To find out more about any of the works above, just click on the image. And to see even more art to inspire your weekend adventures, join our 45k on Pinterest and download the iOS apps for free

Happy 4th of July! 

An Equal and Opposite Reaction to Art Basel

Let’s be clear, this isn’t a review of the past weekend’s Art Basel. If I were to review it, though, here’s what I would say. Multi-millionaires and billionaires bought art from a fraction of artists represented by a sampling of “top” galleries. The ticket prices bordered on offensive, half of the works on view were already pre-sold (“jpeg bombing” the New York Times called it), and the debated “art bubble” that may or may not exist depending on who you talk to, inhaled an absurd volume of art purchases either way.  The 45th fair in Basel, Switzerland certainly showed an onward and upward trend from the uber-rich, as if they had officially cut the sandbags and floated away from earth in their luxury hot hair balloon.

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(photo via Art Basel)

So what about those of us with our feet on the ground? Or, as I have been guilty of, the hopefuls that ingest the “art world” reports, results from Basel, blockbuster hammer prices, and then retire that information to a personalized catalogue between “never going to happen” and “screw the art world?” OR, what about those of us who just want some art, damnit. As Basel and Co. further propel the “art world” into another universe, what now?

An equal and opposite reaction.

The top heavy industry is desperate for a counterbalance, an equally powerful force cultivated through an expansive, stable network of emerging artists, aspiring buyers, and art available to a majority rather than an ever-shrinking minority. 

Read More

Know About It: World Cup + Art with Global Vibes

Not sure what’s up with this worldwide soccer/football/futbol frenzy? Well, pay attention. We’ll outfit you with some World Cup knowledge (perfect for throwing into the casual conversations you are currently avoiding) paired with equally impressive works of original art on Vango.image

Once every four years the world’s most popular sport (you can check the numbers) brings humankind together, turning the streets of its designated city into a diverse crowd of fans, foes, fanatics, and friends. This year, in case you’re living under a rock, the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil have turned into a mixed up melange of colored jerseys, accents, and mother-tongues, making it seem like if you want to meet people from across the globe…just head to Brazil

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photo via The Telegraph

If you’re just catching on to the craze, here are some numbers that speak for themselves. 

years in between World Cup Tournaments

trophies claimed by now-host country Brazil

different winners since the 1930 inaugural year

32 countries represented by their national team

203 teams previously competed to qualify

49 thousand fans per game pack each stadium

715 million spectators watched the 2010 final match

The international energy is palpable, and while we can’t all be basking in Rio for the party, we’ve harnessed the worldwide vibes and translated them into our language of choice: art. 

Here’s where you can pick up some premium knowledge to drop down the road. We’re serving up the top six likely winners of the Cup. So brush up on your soccer, take in incredible new works of art, and get thinking global.

1. Brazil.

"The Feisty One" by Billie Colson (18" x 24") $250

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Team Brazil has a few things on their side: arguably the most explosive scorer in the world in Neymar, a crazy-passionate hometown crowd, and a healthy dose of futbol heritage that makes the sport a religion and its players demigods. Wearing green and yellow uniforms (not unlike the parrots above), Brasil is at 3-1 odds to lift the trophy. 

2. Germany.

"Veins of Life" by Eric Siebenthal (24" x 24") $500

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The Germans are a powerhouse of European style soccer and enter the competition at around 5-1 odds of hoisting the golden prize. Their first 4-0 win over a strong Portugal squad makes them a formidable opponent for the rest of the way.

3. Argentina

"Blues" by K. Rishay Moehr (30" x 30") $250

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Argentina has one huge advantage — Lionel Messi. He’ll go down as one of the best players of all time, especially if he can finally clinch a World Cup for the blue and white clad Argentinians. With 9-2 odds a solid track record, they’ve got a pretty good shot. 

5. Spain.

"Views of Toledo IV" by Jennifer Charboneau (25" x 9.5") $250

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It isn’t easy winning a World Cup…and it’s definitely not easy doing it back-to-back. At 7-1 odds Spain is always a favorite to make a run deep into the tournament. They came out victorious in the 2010 WC in South Africa, positioning them as the reigning champs and ones to knock off this time around. Meticulous passing and high-percentage ball possession keeps the fans of Toledo and all across Spain cheering for one more cup.

5. Belgium. 

"No. 2.21" by Mark Mazurczyk (11.5" x 14.5" x 2.5") $250

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The Belgians both make a mean waffle and play a strong brand of soccer. A host of European league stars boost their odds to 14-1 and the team is on their way to restoring a national hope to reclaim their dominant status from the 80’s and 90’s. 

6. France. 

"Revolution" by Matt Allen (20" x 16’) $250

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Despite a disappointing showing in 2010, the French are back with a clear vision and drive. They’ve got something to prove in Brazil and aren’t going to let old skeletons get the best of them. 22-1 odds say they’ll win, and if their opening 3-0 route of Honduras translates, things are looking up. 

Don’t see your team? Never fear. The odds may be in favor of these six, but that’s not likely to stop anyone. Check out more art with global vibes and repin to show your support.

Follow Vango’s board For Sale: Global Vibes on Pinterest.

Ardent fan, bandwagon supporter, or curious newbie, you’re now equipped for workplace and bar banter for World Cup 2014. Plus, pull up Vango to find the works above or discover your new favorite piece (even during the game). 

Rock Gift Giving this Wedding Season

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You heard ‘em, it’s wedding season! 

We’ve broken into June, which means you’ve probably acquired a small mountain of thick-papered wedding invitations from friends and family. If you haven’t, check your mailbox and cross your fingers, because who doesn’t love a reason to celebrate? 

These days, it seems like brides and grooms are going to the greatest of lengths to make sure their wedding is the most unique, innovative, never-seen-before party on the planet, the idea of a one-of-a-kind wedding being priority numero uno. It’s not completely unthinkable that you may be watching the lovely couple say “I do” in front of an massive illuminated oak tree or on the top of a cliffy precipice. The proverbial envelope has been pushed and wedding limits stretched beyond the traditional imagination.

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Whatever the case, elaborate or relaxed and simple, these blissful fêtes called weddings always posses an undisputed stamp of originality, a mark left by the personality and style of the soon to be newlyweds.

So, how do you rock gift giving for an event like that?

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Meet them half way and keep their day about them starting their own life. Make it personal and make it meaningful. 

Original art fits the bill with staying power as the couple moves into the future, but also as a beautiful visual reminder of where they started. Take it from The Gift Insider and Fox News, who agree that art is a perfect unique gift for newlyweds.  For many, it’s not necessarily something they are comfortable buying, but it is an investment they always seem to want or need (this I know from personal experience). So, an original creation, that captures their spirit, living space, and maybe even lifestyle and hobbies could just top of their new lives together. 

To get the wheels turning we curated some wedding-season suggestions to help you nail down the perfect present. Find our entire collection via Pinterest or go into the Vango app on your iPhone and iPad to get recommendations or find a specific artist and piece.

Follow Vango’s board For Sale: Wedding Season on Pinterest.

Not sure you know just what their “style” is? Opt for a gift card of your choosing and give the new couple a chance to spend time together discovering new art and starting their collection. Simply set the price and send a personal message with your warm wishes.

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Plus, if you’re in that stage when seemingly everyone is tying the knot, to the point where both the novelty of wedding weekends and the soles of your dancing shoes have worn off, finally having a reason to be excited about gift giving might prove surprisingly refreshing. 

Start discovering art now to match the happy couple and keep their wedding day unique.

Meet Stephanie: Vango’s Creative Catalyst

Early next month we’re growing our Vango family and welcoming (back) a familiar face to our San Francisco office. A summer savior (our awesome version of an “intern”) with us last summer, Stephanie proved that even her east-coastyness couldn’t stand in the way of a full-time gig helping us spread the paint across the country and bring original art to all those bare walls in need. You may have noticed her in our curated collection emails and as the our main blog writer, and well, pretty soon you’ll probably be noticing Vango’s newest member even more. We asked her a few questions, some relevant, some not so much. Get to know her here and ask your own questions by tweeting @VangoApp and @StephLong14

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The Basics

Name: Stephanie Long
Age: 22 
Homeland: Connecticut
Position: Creative Catalyst at Vango
College: Cornell University (Go Big Red!)
Favorite color: Blue…which now seems weird after the last answer.
Favorite food: Mexican food and ice cream…not together.
LikesSongs with high dancability, m&m’s, art that makes me look twice, anything/one that makes me laugh (not difficult), wordplay, the beach, a sincerely stellar latté, How I Met Your Mother.
Dislikes: Coming up with dislikes…and pessimists. 

What’s your favorite piece of art?

Okay this is difficult. Right now, I’ll go with Dreamcatcher no. 2 by Jen Dacota. I tend to lean toward abstract art…and this piece is just the perfect mix of simplicity, detail, light, and color for me. I almost don’t want to say that publicly because as soon as I find a piece I like on Vango, some one buys it! Great minds people, great minds.

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Dreamcatcher no. 2 by Jen Dacota (16” x 20”) $250

What was your intro to the “Art World”?

I was extremely fortunate to attend a high school with its own art museum, which was pretty incredible and rare. We had plaster casts of sculptures at the Louvre and a gallery full of great local artists. There, I began to see how art shapes civilizations, serves as a lens into every aspect of life, and functions as more than just a visual stimulant. When I went to college I decided to study art history and then explored more of the contemporary developments and cross-over between art/technology in my own time. 

What’s one thing you’ve learned in the last year? 

It’s okay to be a fool, sometimes. Ed Helms spoke to our class of ‘14 just a little while ago and said: 

“Only a fool would work hard with no clear objective.”

“When you try hard at everything you do, even if it feels utterly foolish to do so, you’re opening up future doors and possibilities that you might not be seeing in the moment.”

I loved that, and I think he eloquently put into words something that has always been floating around in my mind. Also, his speech was hilarious. Thanks, Ed.

What’s something people don’t expect when they meet you?

I played college basketball. If I say I played sports in college I usually get soccer or lacrosse…people expect to see 6’0” giants as basketball players. I’m 5’7” and despite many elbow shots to the face (yes, I have broken my nose) I eventually learned how to be scrappy and play much bigger than I am…mostly by being hyper-active and just an altogether nuisance to opponents. 

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If you weren’t in the art world, what would you be doing?

Probably something related to sports or lifestyle brands…maybe even getting into coaching college basketball. Working with people and improving how they live is something I’m very passionate about, no matter what I’m doing.

What are you most looking forward to with Vango?

In-office snacks…that is all.

No, in all seriousness I love the company’s mission, the genuine people, and the super creative and collaborative environment. I’m looking forward to getting to know our users, artists, and community better and making sure we’re always interacting and talking with them — they know best. There’s going to be a lot of new features and more insight into the life of Vango in the next few months, and I’m hoping to be the catalyst behind that. Hence the title, “Creative Catalyst.” 

What are you going to miss about home?

How old everything is. I grew up in a really historic town, we’re talking colonial-times old, and I’ve grown to appreciate the charm. Oh, and my family…they’re fantastic too. Not going to miss the winters, see ya snow.

What’s on your bucket list? 

Traveling to six of seven continents…I’m going to pass on Antarctica. I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m up for the adventure.

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Want to know more? Ask away. Tweet @VangoApp with questions for our Creative Catalyst and mention #vangoSF #askSteph.

In the meantime, be sure to update to v4.1 to keep being original.

5 Affordable Ways to Make your Home Original

There’s nothing exciting about a blank-walled, cookie-cutter home, but here is the good news: you don’t have to settle for one. Everyone’s space should say a little something about him or her and reflect their personality and style. Whether you have eccentric taste or consider yourself a minimalist, there are simple and affordable décor fixes to match any lifestyle and make your home your own.

We know that funds, time, and space are often at a premium, so we’ve compiled some cash and callous saving tips for transforming your space in a day’s time.

First, think about your style (Are you a blazer or a hoodie type? What colors do you gravitate towards? What puts you at ease?) and then try these quick and easy fixes for home.



1. Flowers

Photo via Havenly 

Flowers of any kind breathe life into a room, not to mention fill your space with a beautiful scent. Certain florals offer a vibrant and easy centerpiece or accent, and leafy greenery can add a more subdued look with a little more lasting power. Plus, you can even get the same feel if your plants aren’t actually living. Faux-flowers have stepped up their game and no longer appear like tacky design afterthoughts. If you spend a little more on a nicer artificial flower (try silk) or a well-crafted plant, you’ll be sure to get your money’s worth with months and months of use.

2. Frames

These are a game changer. You can practically pick your price with frames and get pretty good quality with something in the middle of the road money-wise. A few frames can make a big statement, but you can’t be afraid to get creative. Try arranging different sized frames for a gallery wall, or mix and match different styled frames for a unique layering effect.

3. Lighting

Don’t get dingy – shed some light on your space! Let your natural light help you out when you can, but feel free to go for an awesome fixture to add a punch. Take a look at these 10 light fixtures under $100.

4. Mirrors

Mirrors, like lighting, open up a space and actually make it look bigger. If you’re working in tight quarters this might be your best option. Try a larger mirror by itself, or mix one in with the frames you have. Whether it’s purely decorative or helps with your last-minute check on your way out the door, mirrors can reflect light and brighten up a room. Go with a sleek edge for something minimal, a more ornate frame for extra detail, or mix in with other décor for an eclectic feel.


5. Original Art

Bells on the Bed by johnstepp. oil, (40” x 30”). 


Maybe we’re partial, but there’s a happy place between Sotheby’s and IKEA where beautiful works of original art beckon appreciation and a place to live. Art is probably the best way to make your personalized mark at home because of the wide variety of messages a piece can express through a numerous mediums and styles. With the advent of revolutionary technology and improved exposure for artists, the hunt that used to force us into buying poster-art is becoming less of a struggle and more of pleasure. There should be no limitations to owning a living with original works of art, because as we see it, as long as there are artists (so, always) there will be beautiful art for every eye, every wall. Check out and download the Vango app on iPad and iPhone to browse original art and see it virtually hanging in your space.

So set a budget that works for you and give yourself a day to surf the Internet. Take this inspiration, run with it, and turn your pad into a place that feels like you. You don’t have to spend your savings to achieve that look you’ve been going for for a year now. Your friends will notice, you will finally use the space you have (instead of avoiding certain rooms), and there you’ll have the perfect backdrop for living your life.

Bonus Tip: Treat your bathroom and kitchen like your living & dining
room, because you and your guests probably spend most of your time together in one (the kitchen) and a single person has more time alone to observe in the other (the bathroom).