A 400-Square-Foot Brooklyn Apartment Balances Style and Function in a Small Space

published Nov 9, 2021

A 400-Square-Foot Brooklyn Apartment Balances Style and Function in a Small Space

published Nov 9, 2021
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Square feet
Sq ft

Name: Fredd Wilson
Location: Bedford-Stuyvesant — Brooklyn, New York City
Size: 400 square feet
Type of Home: One-bedroom apartment
Years lived in: 4 months, renting

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For digital marketing manager and music industry social media strategist Fredd Wilson, it was this apartment’s architectural elements that caught his eye. “I found my apartment on Streeteasy,” he explains. “I was looking at a much earlier time than advised in NYC, but was so happy I did because this listing was for a move-in date that was aligned with my timeline. It was the second out of the eight apartments I viewed, and I was so confident that it was the one for me that I submitted a deposit on the spot. All the industrial loft elements paired with the spa-like bathroom immediately captured my attention, and I knew that I couldn’t let this apartment pass me up.”

Credit: Erin Derby

Fredd got creative to find hidden storage for things in his small apartment. A trunk underneath the record player hides electronic accessories, and a step stool and cleaning supplies are hiding behind the sofa. He also had to make room for a home office in just 400 square feet, which he managed with a compact and sleek secretary desk. “On a normal day, I’m spending most of my time at my desk in virtual meetings or strategizing for digital campaigns,” he says. “Once the work day is over, I’ll play some of my favorite records, drink some wine, read a book, or rewatch some of my favorite shows/movies. And now that all of my friends are vaccinated, it’s nice to be able to invite them over for dinner or just to kick it.”

Credit: Erin Derby

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Industrial with Scandinavian and Jungalow touches

Inspiration: Boutique hotels, industrial lofts, Nordic designs

Credit: Erin Derby

Favorite Element: The exposed brick throughout the apartment

Biggest Challenge: I’ve been working from home since the start of the pandemic, so the biggest challenge was making sure I have a comfortable desk setup in my small space. By utilizing a secretary desk, I’m able to get all the functions I need while still saving space and maintaining the room’s aesthetic.

Credit: Erin Derby

Biggest Indulgence: My biggest indulgence was the Harmony Sofa from West Elm. It’s one of the most comfortable couches I’ve ever sat on, so I would absolutely do it again without reservation if needed!

What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? Some of my favorite things I’ve bought for my home are my plants. Adding life and greenery in your space really lifts your mood. Other than them being beautiful, there’s something fulfilling about taking care of plants and watching them grow and respond to the environment you’ve created.

Credit: Erin Derby

Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: Utilize trunks and baskets! They give you extra storage options for your miscellaneous objects, but still help elevate the look of your home.

Credit: Erin Derby

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? The greatest decorating advice I can give is to use spreadsheets to keep yourself organized. Create a tab for every room in your home, and add items that you’re attracted to. Once you’ve added all the different variants of items you need, go through and delete the options that won’t go well together. Avoid impulse purchases (easier said than done) and stick to your spreadsheet plan!


Credit: Erin Derby


  • Marble Table — World Market
  • Framed Print — National Gallery of Art
  • Mirror — Target
  • Key Rack — Urban Outfitters
  • Candle Holder — West Elm
Credit: Erin Derby


  • Harmony Sofa — West Elm
  • Raleigh Marble Table — West Elm (no longer available)
  • Secretary Desk — World Market
  • Rattan Chair — World Market
  • Arched Mirror — Fengsway
  • Throw Pillows — CB2
  • Plants — Natty Garden, Greenery Unlimited
  • Rug — Rugs USA
  • Artwork — Joelius Dubois
  • Floor Lamp — Target
  • Curtains — Target
Credit: Erin Derby


Credit: Erin Derby


  • Artwork Etsy
  • Utensil Holder Target
  • Trash Can Target
Credit: Erin Derby


Credit: Erin Derby


Thanks Fredd!

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.