A 500-Square-Foot Brooklyn Rental Is Serving Up Cute ‘Parisian Café Vibes’

A 500-Square-Foot Brooklyn Rental Is Serving Up Cute ‘Parisian Café Vibes’

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Name: Dylan Grace Essertier and Michael Roman
Location: Brooklyn Heights — New York City
Size: 500 square feet
Years Lived In: 1 year, renting

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When designing my Brooklyn Heights apartment I kept coming back to the same question: How can I make it feel like I live inside my favorite restaurant, The Butcher’s Daughter? I ended up working with The Butcher’s Daughter herself, Heather Tierney, to recreate the best moments from her plant-based restaurant, cafe juice bar, and ‘vegetable slaughterhouse’ inside my 500-square-foot rental. I love the little sun-soaked cafe nook we created, where I spend my days writing and thinking and reading and the evenings enjoying homemade dinner and a glass of wine with my boyfriend. 

I’m a travel writer, so it was also very important to me to fill my space with sentimental treasures from my travels, including the beautiful painting that hangs above our bar cart, which was a gift from a friend of mine in Abu Dhabi (I spent five years living in the Middle East). I also love all of the framed art that’s scattered across the mantel above our fireplace, including postcards from Sri Lanka, photographs from South Africa, statues from India, and vases from Vietnam. It feels like we have bits and pieces of the entire world inside this cozy, peaceful little nest we’ve created. This wanderlust-filled aesthetic that’s both elegant and eclectic is exactly what I hoped for when I reached out to Heather to work together.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: I love a combination of Parisian café vibes with boho flair.

Inspiration: I worked with the talented Heather Tierney to design our space, who is both the restauranteur responsible for The Butcher’s Daughter brand as well as the founder of interior designer firm, Wanderlust. What drew me to Heather is how she manages to make her spaces feel both totally laid-back and completely polished at the same time. Heather’s aesthetic includes lots of rattan, plants, and thoughtful little touches sourced from around the world. For example, she suggested we add a Moroccan wedding blanket to our bed and candles and crystals inside our fireplace. These eclectic little touches really make all the difference.

Favorite Element: My cafe nook. It feels like I’m working from a cafe without ever having to leave my home (or get out of my pajamas).

Biggest Challenge: Heather had the difficult task of helping us figure out how to turn our tiny living room into an office, lounge, reading area, and “cafe.” When I was first thinking about the layout of the space, I was tempted to put the couch up against the wall to create more open space in the middle of the room but what she taught me is that by placing the couch in the center, it actually creates a better flow and allows each area in a small room to feel distinct.

Proudest DIY: Turning our poufs into extra storage for our winter clothes + installing bookshelves with bronze brackets found off of Etsy. As mentioned, I’m a writer, and have always dreamed of having a little home library, so this touch is particularly meaningful to me.

Biggest Indulgence: The art over my bed by Mika Cali.

What’s your best home secret? I love collecting candles from my favorite hotels and restaurants—it’s so transportive and takes me back to the feeling of being there. In the summer, we light the tobacco, leather, cedar candle from The Butcher’s Daughter and in the winter I’m all about this one woodsy candle I bought while on assignment in Ireland at Adare Manor .




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