Clutter, tchotchkes, and minimalism

I used to live in an apartment with four other people. Each person had their own definitive style and managed to find a lot of unique ways to decorate the place. There were action figures, owls, candles, artwork, and more hanging on the walls, sitting on the mantle, and lining the halls. We were also able to paint the walls. We chose lots of yellows and some kinds of red. It helped to warm up the place.

Then I lived in an apartment with my then girlfriend that had a lot of character. It had a red brick exterior and a warm, radiator supported interior. There weren’t as many knickknacks lying around, but we painted the walls to match the furniture. Our red and yellow chairs deserved red and cream walls. The office was painted yellow and the bedroom was painted green. The house was smaller, but the color made it cozy. The relationship didn’t work out (and I don’t blame the house).

So now I’m in my current apartment, and we aren’t allowed to paint the walls. My roommate is a first time renter, so he doesn’t have much stuff and, being a programmer, spends most of his time in his room, which leaves it up to me to decorate. But I’ve always relied on everyone else to supplement the decorations, and, as a result, the apartment is clean, but a little unwelcoming and plain.

I didn’t truly realize it until I visited a friend’s house who had nice olive green walls, postcards mounted all around, tin robots on knickknack shelves and an over-sized Godzilla poster on the wall. It was reinvigorating.

So I went home and rethought how I wanted to approach my new apartment decoration. I had a piece of artwork that I could potentially hang, so I did just that. Then I looked around for more and realized just how little artistic supply I actually have. A very disappointing realization.

So I made a resolution to find more. I already have a new print that I intend to buy as long as I don’t receive it for the holidays. And I’m planning a mural for my bedroom wall. Not rainbows and waterfalls and unicorns, assuredly, but maybe some ideas will sprout up in this blog. It may not be a good time to start spending money on art, but it’s certainly a good time to start supporting it.

If you’ve got any recommendations for any artists you think are deserving of support, send some links my way!

Archived Comments

These comments were pulled from the archives after a site failure in mid 2014. Though I no longer accept public comments on my site, I’ve included them for posterity. If you’d like to submit a comment, send one to

  1. This really got me thinking. I don’t have any real ideas, but it at least got me thinking. I’ve gone through phases where I’ve either immensely overdecorated, or else completely ignored it (like now). I’d like to find a happy medium.

    Tim · 2008-12-20 21:07 · #

  2. Sorry for being such a shut-in. I’ll try to make it out a little more. 😛

    I really like this guy’s work (link). Also would randomly like a few prints from dA or random typographic posters but so many more utilitarian things to pay for.

    Jordan Arentsen · 2008-12-24 01:04 · #

  3. Also this.

    Jordan Arentsen · 2008-12-24 02:15 · #