Brooklyn Roommates Took a 530-Square-Foot Rental From Bland to Beautiful With DIYs and Hacks

updated Aug 30, 2023

Brooklyn Roommates Took a 530-Square-Foot Rental From Bland to Beautiful With DIYs and Hacks

updated Aug 30, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Square feet
Sq ft

Name: Carrie Carrollo (also find her on YouTube); roommate, Celia Skvaril (TikTok: @celia_skvaril); with pug, June; and cat, Squid
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Size: 530 square feet
Type of home: Two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment
Years lived in: 2.5 years, renting

House tour cover

Can't-Miss House Tours Straight to Your Inbox

Keep up with our latest house tours each weekday with our House Tour of the Day newsletter

Celia Skvaril, a beauty video host and producer, moved into this two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment in this Brooklyn neighborhood six months before the pandemic began. When Celia’s last roommate left the city, Carrie Carrollo, a creative strategist as well as a freelance writer and content creator, moved out of her previous home, a studio apartment Apartment Therapy toured, and into this one.

Credit: Erin Derby

Most of the common space’s furniture had belonged to Celia’s former roommate, so it was a blank slate when Carrie moved in. “Some of the decor (in my room and the common spaces) followed me from my last apartment, but I had the chance to decorate and DIY to this specific space, while keeping our different-but-complementary styles in mind,” she writes. “It was a challenge to transition from living (and decorating) alone to with another person, but I’m really happy with where the apartment landed. It feels functional, consistently inspiring, and, most of all, fun.”

Credit: Erin Derby

Apartment Therapy Survey

My style: I’ve been asked what to call it before, and honestly I’m not sure! Some words I would use to describe it, though, are colorful, playful, somewhat eclectic, and influenced by Postmodernism, space-age decor, and what’s trending.

Credit: Erin Derby

Inspiration: This applies to my decorating “process” too, but I tend to find inspiration from individual pieces of furniture or decor. When I find something I really like, I’ll usually use it as my jumping-off point — whether to influence a color palette or help dictate what I buy next. And if it reminds me of a photo or room I’ve maybe seen online or in a magazine, that can also help inspire me. In this space, for example, that was my rug in the living room and my bedroom headboard.

Credit: Erin Derby

Favorite element: Either the south-facing windows, which create the most beautiful light that changes throughout the year, or just all the color. Having a colorful space is really important to me.

Credit: Erin Derby

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Fill your home with the things that make you happy. Rather than buying something just to buy it (like a random piece of tabletop decor) make it something you not only like to look at and live with, but also something that feels personal or has a story. When I look around my space, it’s filled only with things that I love, and that just makes it feel so much more like home.


Credit: Erin Derby


  • Living room (and white color throughout the space) — “Whipped” Clare
  • Carrie’s bedroom black wall — “Blackish” Clare
  • Carrie’s bedroom green walls — “Green Tea Leaf” Behr
  • Celia’s bedroom pink wall — “Baby Soft” Clare
Credit: Erin Derby


  • Naomi velvet sofa — Houzz (or Amazon)
  • Kiki shag rug — Aelfie
  • Knot pillows — Jiu Jie Decor
  • Fruit prints — Vintage by Judy Targan
  • Mushroom tables — Vintage from Dobbin St Co Op
  • Michael Taylor-style spiral lamp — Vintage from Carpenter Studio
  • Yoji wall mirror — Urban Outfitters
  • Tetris planter — Pieces by an Aesthetic Pursuit
  • Kinzie wood credenza — CB2
  • Ceramic zebra — Vintage from Dobbin St Co Op
  • Frame TV — Amazon
  • Fan wall sconce — Vintage from Etsy
  • Setago mushroom lamp — MoMA Design Store
  • Purple bistro table — Vintage from Dobbin St Co Op
  • Cream dining chairs — Craigslist
  • Flower market print — Astrid Wilson
  • White bookshelf — Wayfair
  • Bookshelf artwork — Ayane Kurai via Curina
  • Curtains — IKEA
Credit: Erin Derby


  • White cart — Yamakazi Home
  • Rug — Aelfie
  • Print — Society 6
  • Terrazzo contact paper — Etsy
  • Peel & stick backsplash — Wayfair
  • Cabinet pulls — Etsy
  • Fruit bowl — Vintage from Dream Fishing Tackle
  • Storage bin — Open Spaces
  • Wood shelves — Amazon
Credit: Erin Derby


  • Rug — Overstock
  • Desk — Vintage Giovanni Maur for Treco, via Bi-Rite
  • Wood Breuer chair — Facebook Marketplace
  • Mirror — Vintage Clairol from Dream Fishing Tackle
  • Dresser — IKEA Tarva DIY
  • Face artwork — Debbi Kenote via Curina
  • Yellow lamp — Entler Studio
  • Mirror — Thrifted
  • Shoe rack — Open Spaces
  • Side table/stool — Kartell
  • Headboard – Target Opalhouse
  • Orb lamp — Vintage from Portmanteau
  • Bedding — Dusen Dusen
  • Periodic table artwork — YoungBlanks
  • Cat clock — MoMA Design Store
  • Curtains — IKEA
  • Pendant light — Vintage from Etsy
Credit: Erin Derby


  • Desk — DIY
  • Dresser — Facebook Marketplace
  • Drawer pulls — Etsy
  • Green mirror — Vintage IKEA
  • Green clock — Amazon
  • Sconce — IKEA
  • Shoe rack — Open Spaces
  • Green shelf — Sophie Colle Design
  • Desk chair — Wayfair
  • Storage bins — HAY
  • Pink clothing rack — Amazon
  • Flower lamp — 1stdibs
  • Bedside table — Handmade by friend’s dad
  • Rug — Safavieh
  • Bedding — Crisp Sheets
  • Curtains — IKEA

Thanks, Carrie and Celia!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
Share your style: House Tour & House Call Submission Form