This 500-Square-Foot Brooklyn Apartment Takes Inspiration from Early West African Graphic Design and Pop Art

published Feb 6, 2023

This 500-Square-Foot Brooklyn Apartment Takes Inspiration from Early West African Graphic Design and Pop Art

published Feb 6, 2023
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Name: Dotun Abeshinbioke
Location: Crown Heights — Brooklyn, New York
Size: 500 square feet
Type of home: Two-bedroom apartment
Years lived in: 2 years, renting

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Multidisciplinary creative Dotun Abeshinbioke loves to play around with “color, type, and imagery. I run my creative agency, ábiké studio, full-time where I do branding, web design, and set design for clients. In my spare time, I love cooking and binging my fave podcasts,” Dotun writes.

“After about five applications and over 10 apartment viewings, the realtor I was working with sent me a video of my current apartment, as it wasn’t listed anywhere yet,” Dotun continues. “The first thing that caught my attention was all the windows facing trees and the great sunlight; my place feels very private and secluded (I don’t face the street). Also, it was a two-bedroom so I had extra space and could make my work area and bedroom feel separate.” Dotun also shares this cool space on Peerspace.

Apartment Therapy Survey

My style: Nostalgic and playful.

Inspiration: Early West African graphic design and pop art.

Favorite element: The view of my dining area with my checkered wall and framed poster.

Biggest challenge: The layout is a little weird because I felt like the main room wasn’t large enough for the kitchen and to also be my living area, so I use the second room as my living room instead and added a desk nook. Then the space in front of my kitchen I use as my dining area. It’s perfect for when people come over and we eat together or even co-work.

Proudest DIY: My proudest DIY of my home is my dining nook; I painted it a checkered yellow print and framed one of my digital print works to match. It’s the first thing I see when I come home, and it always brightens the space in the daytime. The colors work great together and I love keeping flowers out to add more color to the space.

Budget: I’ve been lucky to always find great deals on Wayfair and FB Marketplace so my budget has been less than $4,000 so far but I’m always experimenting and switching stuff out. My monthly rent is $1800.

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? I use one of the bedrooms as a living room.

Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: My top tip is to hang as much on the wall as you can: Mount the TV, go with floating shelves instead of a bookcase, etc. The fewer pieces of furniture that touch the floor, the bigger your space looks.

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Check on Facebook and OfferUp for your wish list items first and consistently look in case you find something that catches your eye.

If you want to add color but you’re not sure what color combinations to use, use a color wheel and pair opposing colors on the wheel, as they are complementary.

Remember to add yourself in your home — frame your favorite pictures, put your favorite books on display, display pictures on your fridge etc.



  • Dining room — Benjamin Moore “Base 3, W625”
  • Orange — Behr Marquee “Base 2453” and “Inferno”
  • Entryway — Behr Marquee “Base 2453” and “Sweet and Sour”


  • Records — Lagos, Nigeria
  • Woven basket — Rwanda
  • Record player — FB Marketplace
  • Books — Amazon
  • Console — Wayfair


  • Sofa — OfferUp
  • Red shelves — IKEA
  • Bar cart — FB Marketplace


  • Table — FB Marketplace
  • Chairs — Offerup


  • Mattress and frame — Casper

Thanks, Dotun!

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