A 450-Square-Foot Brooklyn Apartment Blends Rock ‘n Roll, Classical Art, and Mediterranean Influence
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Name: Xenia Polychronis and partner
Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 450 square feet
Years lived in: Nearly 2 years, renting
Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: Our home’s style is a very weird fusion between rock and roll and classical art, topped off with many homages to my Mediterranean roots. Admittedly, this sounds like a mess, but it works for us and our style and very perfectly complements our lives, individually and together.
I am a Cypriot-born, Brooklyn-living product development manager by day and artist by night (and weekend). My partner, a British transplant, is a primary school teacher by day and writer by night who also used to DJ on the weekends. Our home is perpetually filled with the smell of oil paints and coffee, and the sounds of music from the record player are always, always present.
My identity is all over this apartment and I am not ashamed to admit it! I am a creative first and foremost, and I think that is very well reflected in the art we’ve selected to hang, the photography we’ve chosen to frame, the words we’ve highlighted and taped up, and the furniture and accents we’ve chosen to live alongside.
I come from a family who moved to the States many years ago but whose roots are still very firmly planted in the Mediterranean. It’s for this reason that it was extremely important to me to make sure that the apartment was warm and inviting despite its size. My culture taught me to always be prepared for guests, and to always welcome them. This is why I want my apartment to feel like home to whoever is in it. I think we’ve done a good job of conveying this, even still with space limitations.
What is your favorite room and why? My favorite room is the living room. It’s where I tend to do my best painting, and it’s the closest to the kitchen, which is equally important. The windows are huge and open up to the balcony, which creates an ethereal ambiance when the weather is forgiving. It is also where we spend most of our time as a team. When the work day is done, it’s the living space that sees us unwind.
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The last thing I bought for my home was a small stone figurine that I found at a market when I was in Cyprus this past summer. It’s the figure of Aphrodite (the goddess) who is said to be from the island. She’s the epitome of love and sexiness and is also a cultural pillar of my heritage. I would include a link, but that market barely has a street sign, much less an online store!
Any advice for creating a home you love? My advice is very simple: Find patterns in what you like by doing research online, at friends’ places, at home stores, etc. Take those things, and play around with how to fit them into the size of your home. For instance, my style is sexy and edgy and a little bit frantic, but is also warm and simple and cozy. These two “styles” do not go together on paper, but they go together for me! So find what you like, and just go for it!
This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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