White Out

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I’ll never forget the day I finished decorating and arranging my apartment and invited some of my friends over to admire my hard work.

They took one look and uttered, “It’s so….white.”

I was perplexed. Yes, there was a lot of white in the room (the walls, the curtains, my bedding, my dresser), but there were also strategic pops of color. My headboard was a dark, navy blue and my nightstands were gloss black.

After trying to justify my design choices to my friends, I realized that some can see the power of white, and others can’t. To some, white seems like the easy way out, for most people paint walls white when they’re unsure of what other color to choose. I, however, see white as a strategic selection; while it’s predictable, it’s extremely bold to decorate with mostly white and the clean, crisp look it creates is unparalleled.

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Photos from: Pinterest and Elle Decor.

Do As The Parisians Do

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Whenever I have the time, I’ve been reading little snippets from Jennifer L. Scott’s “Lessons from Madame Chic.” Since I studied abroad in Paris, any topics vaguely touching upon Parisian culture captures all of my attention at the drop of a hat.

Particularly, I absolutely loved Scott’s chapter about the differences between a typical American closet and a typical Parisian closet. While I definitely noticed that the French tend to repeat outfits far more often than any American would deem “socially acceptable,” I never really took the time to explore the idea and understand why exactly the French do this, or rather, why Americans don’t.

As Scott describes, American closets are “stuffed to the brim,” and yet it’s not uncommon to hear an American woman proclaim that she has nothing to wear even when walking in to her giant, filled to the maximum capacity, closet (44). On the other hand, the typical Parisian has about ten items that they rotate throughout the week. Of course, these ten items differ from season to season, but nonetheless, the French are extremely selective with their wardrobes and don’t mind the occasional outfit repeat.

While I certainly fall more on the American end of things, I think I do have a bit of a Parisian mentally instilled. I like to narrow down my closet to only pieces that I truly love and not pieces that are just there to take up space.

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Maybe we can all learn from Parisians — after all, they are trop chic. I say let’s use this to inspire some major Spring cleaning!

In Color

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I know, I know, it’s like bookshelves have taken over my blog and demanded I post about them not once, not twice, but three times. But, the third time’s the charm, right? At my home, I have a whole room dedicated to books — some may call it a library. My books spread across two shelves, but because these books don’t just belong to me, but also my siblings, they can often get messy. Imagine family members entering the library, looking for that John Steinbeck book and shuffling through pile upon pile until they find it and then not cleaning up the mess they just made. Got that image? Ok, that’s a lot what my shelves looked like.

Before:

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I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been on a cleaning kick, or whether it’s because I’m all for blogging about bookshelves these days, but last week I set out to make my two shelves absolutely pristine.

The first step to making this happen was going through the books and donating those ones with excessive scribble and ripped covers. No need to keep those! I also was able to get rid of my old Spanish novels that I unfortunately can’t read anymore as my Spanish fluency has greatly dwindled since high school. With these old and unnecessary books out of the way, it was now time for the fun — the organizing! Now, I don’t know if you follow me on Pinterest (and if you don’t, you really should), but I have a whole board dedicated to bookshelves and I’m currently loving the idea of organizing books by color. So, naturally, I chose to organize my small collection of books by color as well.

After:

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Bookshelf Styling

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It’s no secret that less is more, and it’s no secret that this mantra should apply to your bookshelves as well. While bookshelves are certainly meant for books —I mean, it’s called book-shelf, right?— they look much better when interspersed with chochkies, pottery, and fun little accessories.

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When organizing my bookshelves, I didn’t really see the advantage of organizing by author name in my particular case. Instead, I chose to organize books by type and content. For instance, I placed my larger books flat on the shelf and stacked them on top of one another. I then placed little tchotchkes between that pile of books and the next, so my bookshelves look welcoming and manageable, as opposed to cluttered and overwhelming.

The shelves now serve as art statements in the entry way and their rich colors make my happy when I walk through the door!

Float On

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Floating shelves have to be one of my favorite design choices, as they work just as perfectly in a kitchen as they do in a closet. I love how sleek they are and particularly love the muted, minimalistic vibes in these photos.

In a closet, I’m really into the idea of filling floating shelves with boxes, much like is shown in the last picture. The boxes can be filled with sunglasses, watches, mittens, and really any other accessory that looks better tucked away than displayed freely. I also love that if you’re lacking storage space in any room, you can always add a few hanging shelves to lean some art on, or to display your dishes for easy access.image

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Photos from: Pinterest.

Buttoned Up

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No matter how many colorful dresses or blouses I have in my closet, I find myself reaching for my white button downs and black jeans time after time. To me, there’s nothing fresher than a crisp white button down and since it can be styled so many different ways, I never grow tired of wearing mine.

Here are only a few photos that showcase just how versatile they are:

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Photos from: Pinterest.