Our New Apartment: Design By Color

Create a built-in look with Ikea bookcases.
Create a budget-friendly built-in look with IKEA bookcases.

Design By Color

My mind is a wee bit toasted this happy June Monday. No Darling, I haven't been indulging in any fragrant mind-altering substances. I've been unpacking. I've been organizing (like a sixties housewife popping mother's little helpers). I've been making hundreds thousands one million micro-decisions. Important, earthshaking decisions. Like, where should we stow tea boxes? Chocolate? Quinoa flakes? And what drawer would be most convenient for the ice cream scoops? (Yes, I have three.) Where should the recycled aluminum foil and rolls of toilet paper go- you know, in a feng shui sense?

Because above all else, I am seeking calm. I am cultivating peace. I am inviting inspiration. Preparing for my muse. Opening to a new chapter in this winding road journey of ours, hurtling as we are, ever faster to our mortality (yes, another June birthday looms).

We have landed in Studio City on a quiet leafy street, where pajama clad neighbors walk their dogs early, sipping soy lattes and yawning to birdsong.

These are my people.

I haven't been cooking much (though I did bake some chocolate mint cupcakes for a certain son's birthday this weekend), which means I don't have a new recipe to share- yet. So I thought I'd share a few iPhone shots of our new living space. A quick peep into our new apartment. And just so you know?

I shelve my books by color.

I sorted books by color, and stacked our art for a changeable display.
I sorted books by color, and stacked our art for a changeable display.

We love built-in bookcases, but rental units (in our price range) rarely sport a library, or adequate shelving for book lovers. So we created a built-in look with budget-friendly IKEA book shelves (I say we, Dear Reader, but the truth is, it's my intrepid husband who knows his way around a Billy and mimics those happy IKEA instruction guy faces- not the sad, head scratching WTF guy faces).

Even though we've trimmed our book collection by more than half sixty percent over the last few years, we still managed to fill seven bookcase units. The best part? Arranging books by color. I shelved by reds, oranges, yellows and purples. I discovered I have a single shelf worth of sea glass greens. And two shelves of blues. I gave a nod to the zone system and sorted from black through gray to white. I grouped creams and linens and taupes.

Finding titles now sports a sense of discovery- and it's no harder than searching by genre or author (I've tried both shelving approaches over the years). We are both visual people, so we tend to remember a book's color and design. (I grocery shop this way as well- I look for the red label with gold letters, or the dark blue box with white. If Steve asks me what kind of salsa I want I'll answer, The jar with the yellow and green label and a blue party font.)

For the entry wall I framed my iphoneography with inexpensive white frames.
For the entry wall I framed my iphoneography.

I love making iphoneography so when I discovered we had a blank wall in the apartment's entry, I knew I would hang my favorite prints from my iPhone work. I chose to frame the grouping in all white for continuity, and chose inexpensive mats and matching frames. The photographs are small and intimate (some are 4-inch squares, some are 6-inch squares) and with a similar muted color palette, they hang well together as a group.

We're looking for a blue or blue-green painted side table, bench or cabinet to place beneath the photos. Something rustic and shabby.

We love our covered corner balcony- we added an outdoor rug, and plants for privacy.
Our covered corner balcony needed some plants for privacy.

One of the things about our new apartment that I love- outdoor space! At last. A small corner balcony facing northwest gets a lovely afternoon breeze, and pink light. I put down an outdoor rug and rustled up some plants to give us a little privacy. A second balcony in a sunny hot spot will be perfect for growing herbs.

Hope you enjoyed this little detour away from recipes. It was fun to share my work this week- even if it is not a recipe. I hope it inspires you in some small way!

More food soon. I promise.

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