The other day I told a friend about my plan to decorate one of the walls in my apartment with painted tiles.
“You have an apartment?” she asked, with an excited gasp, “Since when? Where is it?”
“Oh you know,” I said. “Some days it is in Philadelphia. Other days Washington DC, and every so often in London or Paris.” For an instant I thought I could fool her into thinking that I had invested in seasonal homes.
“Oh,” she said.
“I’ll have it soon,” I said. “In a year or two. I’m in the preliminary planning stage now.”
By “preliminary planning stage,” I meant that I had spent hours flipping through pages of Crate and Barrel catalogues, pacing around the fake bedrooms at Anthropologie, and looking up “artsy coasters” and “kitchen wall decorations” on the web. I think step two may be to hold a hypothetical dinner party at one or more of IKEA’s kitchen tables. But all in good time.
It’s only natural that, since I’ve been spending so much time around people who have their own apartments, I’ve begun to mentally design my future one. The interior of the place changes as often as its location does: sometimes it is Asian themed, with bamboo sticks in vases and framed flower prints or Chinese lettering on the walls, and other times it is filled with prints by Kandinsky, Rothko, or Chagall.
The newest version, the one I tried to explain to my friend, has an elaborate scattered tile collage on one of its walls, inspired by tilework that I saw at an Indian restaurant a couple weeks ago.
The piece that I’m the most excited about is the bookcase. Yes, I know this makes me sound like a huge nerd, but the bookcase is going to be the most prominent piece in the apartment. It will have asymmetrical shelves, some of which will hold books and others which will display various storage bins and chachkes. I just need to figure out where to put it.
I could be conventional and put it against the wall:
I could let it join forces with the TV and be a bookcase slash entertainment center:
Or, if I’m really pressed for space, I could do what any rational decorator would do, and mount the case on the ceiling:
I always make sure that my friends are in the loop about the apartment’s current decor. And either because they are invested in the project, or because they’re tired of listening to me ramble on about this fictional abode, a couple of them have given me real objects that I can use once I move in.
These quirky champagne glasses, for example:
And these snazzy “London” plates:
Of course, the rest of the furniture, kitchen supplies, artwork, and lighting fixtures are stowed away in a folder on my computer desktop titled, “Apartment dreams.” If only I could upload them into life-size forms for free. But hey, you never know, by the time I sit down and sign my lease, there might be an Ap for that.