A 750-Square-Foot Brooklyn Apartment Has a Cute and Meticulously Organized Mini Library

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Credit: Jordan Lauf
Living room with thrifted furniture and gallery wall

Name: Jordan Lauf
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 750 square feet
Years lived in: Less than a year, renting

Credit: Jordan Lauf
The archway to my tiny kitchen

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I am a radio producer who works on New York Public Radio’s (WNYC) live daily culture show, “All Of It with Alison Stewart.” I also helped launch our show’s popular book club, “Get Lit with All Of It,” which is now in partnership with the New York Public Library and has featured Pulitzer Prize winning authors and even one Nobel Laureate.

Credit: Jordan Lauf
All of the furniture in this image is thrifted or stooped.

I have always had a deep love and appreciation for arts, culture, and above all, books. My job allows me to attend some of the most exciting cultural happenings in the city and produce conversations with some of the most talented creatives working today. As part of my job, I receive many books from publishers. So many, in fact, that one of my biggest priorities when looking for an apartment was a place that could properly house my extensive library, and provide a cozy atmosphere for reading. Luckily, I found the perfect apartment!

Credit: Jordan Lauf
Thrifted bar cart and gallery wall featuring a pastel nude by my friend Lucia

I live on the top floor of a townhouse in Carroll Gardens, in an old building with lots of character. The decorative tin ceilings, crown moulding, rounded archway, French doors, and stunning views give this apartment a warm and inviting appeal. This apartment also featured a beautiful nook in between the living room and bedroom, allowing me to fit both a dining area and one wall of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.

Credit: Jordan Lauf
One side of the gallery wall

Since it was my first time living without a roommate, a priority for me was sustainability and affordability. Luckily, my mom is an adept stooper, thrifter, and amateur decorator. Together we were able to furnish the apartment nearly entirely with thrifted pieces. The living space was large enough to fit both a stunning vintage mirror as well as construct two gallery walls, which consist of many thrifted pieces as well as original art from one of my dearest friends from Tufts University. I love coming home and seeing her work featured prominently on the wall as soon as I step in the door. It has been challenging producing a live radio show from home during the pandemic, but having such a beautiful and inspired space in which to do it has changed my workdays completely.

Credit: Jordan Lauf
My pride and joy... my bookshelf! With a thrifted recliner

What is your favorite room and why? My favorite spot in the apartment is my reading nook. Reading is my first love and is also a big part of my job day to day. We were able to construct a mini-library, with one wall of all books, organized meticulously by genre. Other than the bookshelf, my favorite aspect of this space is the thrifted chair I found in Remix Market in Long Island City. The remarkably comfortable armchair is actually a vintage recliner in disguise, allowing me to put my feet up for hours of reading pleasure. Finally, my chair faces the opposite wall, which features one of my favorite pieces of original art displayed in my apartment: a portrait of a pineapple painted by my late grandfather, Jack Lauf, a prolific and talented artist. His fruit portraits hang in the homes of each of his children, and it was a beautiful moment to finally hang one in my own space.

Credit: Jordan Lauf
Dining area featuring a vintage table with hidden leaves and original artwork from my grandfather

Any advice for creating a home you love? If you’re lucky enough to find a place with great bones and interesting character, lean into that style to enhance the space and create a unique look. Great decor doesn’t have to come at a cost! If you know what you’re looking for, you can find great recycled pieces for cheap, and that will make your space truly one-of-a-kind.

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