Name: Alexandra Sifferlin
Location: Park Slope — Brooklyn, New York
Size: 350 square feet
Years lived in: Renting 9 months
Having lived in New York neighborhoods like Hell's Kitchen and Crown Heights, Alexandra Sifferlin recently settled into her first studio apartment, this time in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Her small space is above an acupuncturist, and is close to Prospect Park. "It seems like every time I move, I'm in a calmer location," Alexandra reflects.
The soothing atmosphere is surely a respite for Alexandra, who is a health writer for Time. And though her apartment is on the tiny side — about 350 square feet — the space feels anything but cramped. The studio features charming pre-war details and welcomes plenty of sunlight, which Alexandra often enjoys while sipping coffee or writing. A self-proclaimed lover of color, her home is a perfect example of incorporating pops of cheery hues without overwhelming.
Alexandra's living situation isn't just unique because of how small it is; it's also got a family connection: "A few months ago, my sister Francesca and I moved into our first studio apartments, in different cities (both under 400 square feet). Francesca, who works in refugee services, lives in an apartment in Minneapolis near a lake," wrote Alexandra. We toured her sister's Minneapolis apartment earlier this year. Both studios reflect the sisters' unique decorating talents.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Similar to my sister Francesca, my style is a mix of old and new. I have pieces of furniture that have been in my family for years. Most of the decorative pieces I've acquired more recently come from places I've traveled, like Ecuador, Spain and Ethiopia. I also love color. I have a yellow pillow, a multi-colored mirror, and a green desk.
Inspiration: My parents are my greatest design influences. My father went to art school and still paints regularly. In fact, three of the paintings in my apartment are by him — including one of my childhood home. I'm also obsessed with the Instagram explore tab. I get many decorating ideas from strangers.
Favorite Element: The tall windows in my apartment bring in so much light. I'm on the top floor, right by a big tree, and sometimes I feel like I'm living in a tree house.
Biggest Challenge: When I moved, I had to choose between my sofa and my desk, and I chose the desk. As a writer, having a special place to work at home is very important. That desk and I have history.
What Friends Say: One friend said, "it's like a little museum in here!" and I felt very proud. The brownstone was built in 1920, and I want to maintain its character.
Biggest Embarrassment: I spent more than I'd like to admit on plants...and all of them died. Wish me luck keeping these new succulents alive.
Proudest DIY: The cushions on my wicker chair. I went to quite a few places to find the right fabric and settled on bright yellow. I also love that fringe so much.
Biggest Indulgence: Coffee table books. My favorites are Natural Histories from The American Museum of Natural History and Past Forward by photographer Vincent Fournier.
Best Advice: My mother always urged me not to buy cheesy souvenirs or clothes when I travel, but instead look for decorative items that will remind me of the places I've been.
Dream Sources: West Elm, Fishs Eddy, Anthropologie. Brooklyn also has excellent flea markets.
Explore this style:
Lampshade — IKEA
Breakfast bowls — Anthropologie
Teacups — Anthropologie