best use of color

best use of color

An Eclectic, Artisanal, Harmonized Small/Cool Space

Name: Christy Joehl

Blog or website: https://www.christyjoehl.com/

Instagram: @christyjoehl

Size: 270 sq ft

Home type: Apartment

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Years lived in: 1.5 years, rented

Household: No one

Have any design professionals worked on this space: No

How did you use color in your space? Green is my favorite color, so this naturally laid the groundwork for my overall apartment color scheme. What I find special about green is that it can be both a neutral and an accent. A calming sage tone can sit alongside almost any color without competing, while a deep teal can enhance contrast in an entire space. Mixing greens never feels wrong because we see this organically in nature. Landscapes are my favorite subject to paint, which is why a variety of greens exist in my artwork. Green is a unifying and dynamic color that will always be part of my palette.

Describe your space:

This Brooklyn Heights studio is my first space that’s completely my own. I fell in love with this apartment because of the natural light, the unique architectural details and the charm of the neighborhood it resides in. In this apartment I have pieces that have been part of my life since childhood. Every time I look at them, I’m reminded of where I came from. Mixed in with these timeless pieces are pops of modern elements that create contrast in the space. It’s the juxtaposition of the old and new that gives my apartment an eclectic feel. Though small, there is space for everything I love.

Did you DIY anything in your space? And, if so, what's your favorite DIY?

All the artwork featured in my apartment is my own. As an artist, I take pride in my ability to create original pieces for my space. Not only do I have the freedom to curate my colors, but also the subject matter, scale and style. If there's a blank wall to fill, all I have to do is pick up a pencil or paintbrush and get to work. However, I'm aware that this luxury is not available to everyone. If you're not an artist, you can still create your own 'artwork' in a different way. I love the idea of framing photography, or even fabric swatches. If it ties in with your space, utilize it.

How do you make your small space work for you and feel bigger than it really is?

Proportion is especially important in small spaces. People are often surprised by how much furniture fits in my apartment without feeling cramped. Choose shapes and sizes that are appropriate for the room scale. I also have learned to strategically layer my elements in a way that looks intentional but can double as exposed storage. Whether it’s arranging multiple paintings against a mirror on my mantel, stacking coffee table books beneath a lamp, or dressing my bed with a French scarf and faux fur blanket, I challenge myself to make creative use of every available space.

How does your home reflect you?

My home is truly an extension of myself. My artwork covers the walls, the color scheme mimics my wardrobe, and the pieces that echo my roots sit alongside items I've acquired as my taste has evolved. Most items in my apartment were thrifted or scooped up from a brownstone stoop. Whether you’re on a tight budget or not, hunting for secondhand treasures is a fun way to decorate your space in a sustainable way. I love curating my home with pre-loved goods because every detail feels personal. It brings me joy when people say, ‘This apartment looks like you,' because it is part of who I am.