Help with Decor For Wood-Paneled Living Room?

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Q: I'm going to be renting a one-bedroom apartment for the first time after living with roommates, so I now have the fun, arduous task of buying furniture. I'm excited about the apartment (pictured - it will be unfurnished), but concerned that the wood paneling will make it den-like. I can't paint over it, and anyway, I kind of like the wood and want to work with it:

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The room will function as a living and office/study area. I won't have a TV, and while I will get a couch, I'll realistically only use the "living" area when guests are over; most of the time will be spent at my desk (I'm an academic). I'd also like to have a small reading nook in one of the corners.

Suggestions on furniture color, style, placement, curtains/rugs, or anything else that I should consider? I was thinking of going with mostly white and clean lines to offset the wood, but am open to other possibilities. I like contemporary, but appreciate classy older styles too.

Sent by AZ

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.

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