Thursday, January 3, 2008

I'm opening the apartment doors.

So, I'm starting this new life in Los Angeles after eight years in NYC and a long childhood in WV. I'm married now, and I finally live in an apartment larger than 300 square feet. It would be really, truly thrilling to have this decent amount of space if only I had any money with which to furnish it. We are, of course, renters. This means that all of my designer dreams are still in the pipe, for now. So I have to put on my 'decorating' hat...truth be told, I'm uncomfortable in that role. I don't like frilly, unnecessary things, yet without the benefit of a beautifully laid-out floor plan, custom built-ins, and comprehensive lighting, I sometimes feel like I NEED to gild this carnation of an apartment. And sometimes that can make me do silly things. Like this:

Now, don't get me wrong. It's not TERRIBLE. I mean, it's a bookcase. And it's filled with books chosen for their content (and not their covers, like every beautiful but unread book you see in a photo-styled magazine shoot). Even though all of my book spines don't color-coordinate with everything else around them, I refuse to hide them behind doors. This is one of my biggest pet peeves about 'decor' today. Hiding the friggin books. Or, even worse, putting them out in an edited sense only to look smart. Okay, back to the point:

Look at the silly throw blanket I put on top of the shelf. It has fringe!!! It's okay on a couch, but not on a table. It doesn't work, and the color is too Pottery Barn. But I took a picture of it just for you. To show you that it's okay to make mistakes.

Part of the reason I tried it is because I recently purchased the shelf from Craigslist. It's a Bellini bookshelf. Apparently, Bellini makes high-end baby and toddler furniture. But the shelf itself is normal-sized. The mother who bought it for her daughter realized that its solid-wood construction would be dangerous should her child pull it onto herself. So, it became mine for $40. Hey, it's not the most gorge thing in the world, but it's solid wood, and white, and not from Ikea.

Anyway, it remained bare, save for the books, until today. Today, I bought that black bamboo-frame mirror from Goodwill for $14.99. I really needed a mirror there since the bathroom is so tiny and I always need a place to fix my hair and face while Hubs is in the shower. And then, my bro and sis-in-law gave us that framed picture from our wedding. I'm not the kind of person who likes to put pics of herself (let alone her own wedding!) around the house...but this one is sufficiently abstract and actually a really cool shot. And the turqoise bowl was a wedding gift, artisan-made by Maine potters. I plan on keeping my jewelry in it, just like designer Laura Bohn does in her own apartment. I hate jewelry boxes. They require too much organization. Check in tomorrow when I promise to have changed the fabric. Here's one last shot for posterity:

Don't worry. We'll address that skunk of a bathroom soon. Ugliness is life outside of Martha, people.


The Nerdy Fashionista said...

I totally like your composition! Reminds me of the 2nd-semester showhouse foyer project. I really love that mirror, and the bowl is gorgeous. What about putting something on the floor underneath, though, like a big, broad oval basket or something? With nothing under there but bare wall it makes it look slightly top-heavy.

Also, I totally agree with you about the books. I cringe every time I read some idiot decorator going "I hate looking at books, they're so untidy." People! Be creative! Find a way to make them look nice! It's such a pleasure to occasionally see a space where someone's incorporated some full bookshelves without color-coding them or some other such nonsense. I think your books look GREAT exactly the way they are.

Kids Got Hitched said...

Nerdy, that basket idea is perfect! I need some extra storage (for hot rollers and a blowdryer) anyway. Now, my toughest challenge will be finding a basket with appropriate dimensions. Or something close.