Style with Color

Color can open up a space and add original style. A prefab space has unique features for maximizing space, a Chicago space becomes a hideout for storage ideas, a New Yorker colors her apartment 14 hues and a London space gets stylish.

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Jeanie Engelbach has been living in this 850-square-foot East Village apartment for 12 years — and boy has it evolved. It started out as a gross, cookie cutter rental that felt really small. (Although it's actually the largest home of any of her friends with the exception of "those who married well.") Over the years, Engelbach has painted her walls — 14 different colors. And not wimpy colors either. Some are pale, others pop, but somehow they all meld together beautifully and make the perfect backdrop for her many, many kitschy collections (from Pez dispensers and bottle caps, to bobble heads and globes).

Even though the main room is one big space, Jeanie has arranged the furniture to create distinctive 'rooms.' The foyer leads to the living room, which abuts the library that opens to Little Bit's territory (her bulldog's chair). The dining area functions mostly as a work space for her thriving photo archiving business. A distressed Asian buffet houses all her work supplies and stereo equipment and allows for quick cleanup when meeting with clients at home. She describes the playful room as "a dash of PeeWee's Playhouse, a pop culture merchandise museum and a little dash of Romper Room."