This Sexologist Keeps an Open Mind—and Bookshelf

Michaela and Rajiv love the process of searching for vintage and secondhand pieces together but decided to splurge on a new bookshelf due to the simplicity of easily finding multiple. The couple found their shelves on Amazon and describe them as a perfect fit for their versatility and ability to stack next to each other. “We’re really lucky because we have access to such incredible vintage pieces in Los Angeles,” she says. “There’s endless scrolls on Pinterest, Instagram, or TikTok of beautiful spaces. Instead of just copying and pasting, I decided to take my time with finding pieces that I really loved and hoped that they would go together well.”

Where & When?

The shelves, which have now found a home in the dining room, were initially meant for Micahela’s office. “We couldn’t get [them] into the walls,” she says. “I’m the handyman in this household and I couldn’t do it, so then I rethought where I’d put the bookshelves, and I intentionally put them in the dining space.”

Michaela decided to purchase the bookshelves without ever seeing them in person, but points to their minimalist design and price point as the motivating factors for pulling the trigger. She purchased them shortly after moving in because she “wanted something that felt really special to showcase my books and the art that was made by our friends and our peers.”

The items on the open shelves are often a conversation starter whenever Michaela hosts friends and family.

Some of Michaela’s most cherished items on the shelves include seashells from her favorite beaches, a candle from the couple’s favorite hotel in Paris, and a conglomeration of books that deeply influenced Michaela and gave her the “permission to be the woman that I am today.” Another honorable mention on the shelf is Rajiv’s photography book, While We Were Away.


When Michaela and Rajiv moved in together last year, it was pretty seamless. “We got really lucky because our stuff meshed easily, and we didn’t have to get a lot of new stuff. Almost everything in our apartment is either secondhand or vintage,” she says. Even though their belongings were already statement pieces, Michaela decided to keep the shelves to serve as the main point of interest in their space. “I love entertaining, which we do pretty often,” she explains. “[With the shelves] it’s like you’re sitting at the dining table and you’re looking up and you are browsing over these book titles and there’s a conversation starter surrounding the origins of one of the ceramic pieces.”

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