Express: Dressing an Apartment

I am running out of wall space. When H1 and I moved to the Upper West Side, we were pretty much completely sold on our apartment when we saw how much charm and character it had - brick walls and multiple levels and romantically uneven wooden floors. We pretended in front of the broker like it wasn't all that, slouching around the place like unimpressed seventeen year olds, but the looks we kept throwing each other clearly indicated that we both loved the place unconditionally, and were prepared to throw our budget out the window to get it.

We were so taken with the charm that we managed to totally overlook the slight downsides, like the teeny-tiny kitchen, mismatched bathroom, and lack of wall space. We had - and have - a decent amount of artwork, and it was only after we had signed the contract, had the contents of our bank accounts removed, and carefully given up the rights to our future unborn children that we began to realise it might not all fit. Turns out brick walls and multiple levels don't naturally lend themselves to displaying art the way our bright white box of a previous apartment had. There's a reason art galleries tend to go for the bright white box look, rather than the crumbling charm look.

We made it work. The brick walls had enough nails and wall mounts left in them from previous owners that we were able to hang some of our larger pieces on them, including our oversized* world map, which made it into our spare bedroom/bike store/office.

It's an office! It's bike storage! It's a spare room! It's everything!

I'm still a fan of where that is and how it looks, but if you look carefully at the office corner (shouldn't take long - it is a space best described as dinky) you'll see the obvious, glaring problem.

Brick wall...

...and bikes.

There is just no more wall space in the office area to put anything up. That wouldn't be a problem if I just never bought or produced anything else for our walls, but, much like I can't stop myself buying jewellery when I find something amazing, I can't stop myself buying prints or photos or paintings when I discover something I love. And just like I can't wear all my jewellery at once - that would look stupid, and I would clink when I walked - I can't put all my art up at once. I just don't have the space.

It's been playing on my mind recently, as I came across a project in Ireland that I had to have in my office a few weeks ago. Client feedback converted into beautiful prints. The same impulsiveness that led me to rent a slightly impractical apartment saw me emailing off to demand they send a couple to New York immediately, with no regard as to where I was going to display them whatsoever.

I still don't know, but the prints haven't arrived yet, so I'm quite prepared to leave that problem to my future self. I do know one thing, though, and that is that they will be going up somewhere in the office, because they are golden, and - like all beautiful and hilarious things - guaranteed to make life a little better. Crowded, but better**.

*Not literally oversized. That would make it bigger than the world. That wouldn't work.

**Minimalists may disagree.