Of course, area rugs are perfect to ground a space, and here, I chose a cowhide ($199 from Ikea).
I didn't paint the walls (and it's not my favorite color) but at least it's a neutral.
I guess the moral of this story is to love where you live, no matter the size. No one wants to come home to a boring, cold home, so get out there and find the things that make you happy, and make your house (or tiny LA apartment) a home. :)