A Handmade Brooklyn Home That Maximizes Space With Style

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The kitchen is tiny but functional with a surprising amount of storage and counter space. (Image credit: Ali McEnhill)

Name: Ali and Chip, their poodle Gigi and cat Dinah
Location: Cobble Hill — Brooklyn, New York
The basics: 3 years, owned — 475 square feet

Ali and Chip’s Brooklyn condo has the sort of hazy cool that many aspire to. It comes from pouring yourself into the space like the pair has, tackling most of the updates and renovations themselves, and slowly filling it with personal pieces.

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: We purchased our tiny, as-is condo in September 2014. It was in extremely poor condition: the ceilings were sagging, the floors were slanted, and the kitchen and bath were totally unusable. We immediately set to work moving walls, replacing the battered floors, repairing the ceiling, adding closets, and redoing the kitchen and bath. Our favorite discovery during the process was our brick fireplace. It took us weeks to dig it out of the drywall and plaster encasing it but was well worth the effort!

We completed the major part of the renovation ourselves in just two months and staying within our very limited budget, but have spent the last few years finding, designing, and making furniture and lighting for the space. We built a lot of the furniture ourselves when we could not find pieces that we both loved and could carry up the five flights of spiral stairs that lead to the apartment. It has truly been a labor of love.

What is your favorite room and why? Our main room is our favorite. It does triple duty as our living room, dining room, and home office. Our latest furniture build project, the wall suspended leather and lucite table, allows us to seat six for a dinner party and makes a great work table for all our design projects. It amazes us that one room can comfortably fit so many activities!

If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? I wish the walls could magically change color. I repaint the entry and bathroom every few months – they have been black, white, grey, pink, and every shade in between in just the few short years we have lived in the apartment.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? Our beautiful Temoayan bed blanket from Yucu Ninu. It is very thick and soft yet perfectly cool for the summer months. It was a splurge, but well worth it!

Which fictional character would be most at home in your place? The old woman who lived in a shoe as she would be used to the size!

Ali’s words of wisdom: Buy (or make!) only what you love.

Thanks, Ali and Chip!

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