Neutral Love: Apartment In Frankfurt

White is boring, cold, "like a hospital" -- I've heard it all a million times. But I argue that if done right, a neutral palette can be warm, inviting and a very nice and flexible base in which to work with. It's especially good for those of us who like to decorate seasonally, swapping out the aubergine pillows with the pale aqua ones for the Summer months, for instance. In a moment, I'm going to show you a very nice example of white done right. But first, I must confess that I've been quite a Flickr/expat blog addict lately because I'm trying to find fellow bloggers who live in my new country so that I'm able to not only read their blogs but see how they live, where they shop and what they do for fun. I figure reading local blogs may help me as an expat to navigate my way around and so far, it is helping out immensely. Today I was reading Rearranged Design and found Busy Bee's blog which is about a girl and her boyfriend, Iro & Jan and their 700 square foot penthouse apartment in Frankfurt. Upon seeing it, I thought I'd share bits of it with you. You'll see why...

Iro & Jan, Busy Bee Blog

Love the IKEA frames with inserts of postcards and wallpaper -- and I really like the cozy gray chair and am dying to learn where she found it as I'm in need of a chair so badly for my living room. So pretty! The stacks of magazines look great and since they're all the same, with neat white spines, this look totally works without looking cluttered.

Iro & Jan, Busy Bee Blog

Here's a nice living room view. I can imagine evenings spent on this sofa surrounded by flickering candles and my favorite music... with yummy snacks on the table and a big glass of wine. Oh yes, "the" life.

Iro & Jan, Busy Bee Blog

Here's a glimpse of her eating nook, so common here in Germany is to have the living room and dining room combined like this. It's not very common at all to have a separate room only for a dining area in a typical city apartment anyway. In a home or a very large apartment yes -- but not at all common in the city. My dining room is also part of my living room, much like this. Don't you love her teapot?

Iro & Jan, Busy Bee Blog

I'm not completely sure what the kitchen looks like, but this view gives me the impression that it is neat and well organized. I like how she arranged her spices. The most common arrangement is to simply put them all in an orderly row. But no, no -- she's "spiced" things up a bit with her zig zag design. Cute!

Iro & Jan, Busy Bee Blog

Here's another view of her dining area. Nice, right? I think so too!

Iro & Jan, Busy Bee Blog

Here's a good view of the entire area, the living room and then if you look to the left and squint a little and pull your chair up thisclose to the screen you'll see the work area she has designed and managed to nicely separate from the living/dining space. Directly to your left in this photo is the nook where she reads on that gray chair that I must have! :)

Iro & Jan, Busy Bee Blog

Here's the working nook she's carved out for herself. Nice, eh?

Iro & Jan, Busy Bee Blog

Here's their bedroom, which has a little more color and a cozy feel to it. I think her man must feel really comfortable in here with the deeper colors combined with her neutral palette.

Iro & Jan, Busy Bee Blog

What a nice morning breakfast spot, don't you agree? Less is definitely more here.

In the Busy Bee blog, she talks a lot about decorating on her blog along with life in Germany (she's from Greece originally) so I really appreciate learning her viewpoints. She's also on Flickr where I've added her as a friend (you can too, here). Her apartment is refreshing and cozy in every way -- it's neutral for one with lots of texture and a variety of white tones ranging from bright white to cozy creams and soft beige. She knows how to do neutrals right, don't you agree? And she uses a nice mix of IKEA finds along with things from other stores. Another high five to her for keeping it real and affordable while still infusing the rooms with her own style. Nice!

(images: Iro & Jan@ Busy Bee's Blog)