Little Spaces

Everything in your life has so much of your personality in it. Isn’t that neat? As much as your own behaviour and words portray who you are and what you stand for – I think it’s so fascinating to pick up on the little things about someone based on what drink they order, their CD collection, the way they like their eggs, their home, their favourite scents, etc. This is completely separate from judgement; I don’t mean sitting there and analzying someone’s childhood because they glob ketchup on their over-easies. I mean appreciating and learning about friends, acquaintances and even strangers, by simply recognizing the little quirks and collections in their life that make them so interesting. At the end of the day, as “duh” as this sounds – everyone on earth is just so interesting.

Like Kate has detailed before, one of the best ways to show your personality to those you love, is to make the display of your home an extension of who you are. A room can have so much life in it, or it can not. To all of my fellow first-of-the-month movers; the fact that we can finally unpack bits of ourselves that may have been holed up for years, and show them to everyone in new and funky ways, is very exciting.

I recently moved into a one-bedroom apartment, and I have fallen in love. I’m in the first giddy week of a long-term relationship with this place, its balcony, the smell of new furniture, and living alone. The best part of this soon-to-be longterm courtship? It’s so far taught me to ask forgiveness from my possessions that I’ve cooped up for years, taught me to put them on display where they belong, and re-fall in love with the beauty of them. So, in what I sense will be a series of home furnishing and small space decorating posts, here is my first example of this revamped love for… my things.

I purchased an eight-shelf bookcase second hand prior to my move, and it’s the perfect item to put your most inspiring items on display in a functional, diverse and appealing way. I chose to lay it on its side in the center of my living room to act as visual candy for when I have idle people perched on my couch, when guests eyes wander down and away from my (soon-to-be purchased) television, and also for me – to have quick access to little things I used to sift through boxes to find. If you get your hand on a big six, eight or ten-piece shelving unit – here are some basic pointers to make it look fabulous:

1. Don’t hide who you are. If you have an obvious hobby, interest or niche specialty- put it on display. If people are in your home, they most likely know, love and appreciate your hobbies. Throw out a theme. I was at first reluctant because most of my things are music-related, and I was afraid it might turn out sort of boyish-looking. But, my best friend encouraged me that it just was who I was. So, I put it out there for people to see – and can continue to add splashy feminine touches elsewhere in the room.

2. Stagger things! Don’t be afraid to be asymmetrical; the eye is drawn faster to something unexpected or seemingly out of place. Stack vertical items with horizontal ones, all shapes and sizes, etc. Toss in a vase or odd shape next to the more structured pieces. Of course it’s fun to include pairs of goodies (see the milk bottles on the right);  but while keeping them close enough to be identified as a pair, try not to use them in a “book end” sort of way.

My most colourful CD’s, staggered.

3. Use each little unit or shelf to show off a theme or interest. For instance, I had a whole whack of Bruce Springsteen, journalism, Rolling Stone (both books and magazines), and music-related books. So, I have a shelf dedicated to each.

Rolling Stone and The Boss-themed me, there's more.

Writing-themed books

4. See a fashion advertisement you like? A band profile in Spin Magazine? An old card a special friend gave you? Run to the dollar store and grab some 8×11 frames, and frame them! It can be a stand-up sort of frame, as seen here with Band of Horses and Ryan Adams articles, or it can hang in a cluster on your wall and make for an immediately trendy and thematic statement.

5. These kind of units, so that they don’t become overly information-based or literature heavy, are an amazing place to throw in little trinkets – such as these. A milk bottle with a beautiful saying, a vintage wartime camera, and a tiny ceramic pot I’ve had forever have all found homes on top and around my bookcase items.

Et voila!

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