Watch a 288-Square-Foot Brooklyn Apartment Get a Scandi Holiday Makeover

updated May 3, 2019
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.

You may recall touring designer Akhira Ismail‘s eclectic modern Brooklyn apartment (and her warm and welcoming personality) from her house tour. This winter, we revisited her cozy space to give it a holiday makeover inspired by all things natural, minimalist and Scandi-chic. After draping eucalyptus leaf garlands, decorating a mini 3-foot fir tree, and decking out every last nook and cranny, this 288-square-foot home packs a surprising amount of holiday spirit.

Browse through the full holiday house tour, or scroll on to let Akhira guide you through her decorated space.

1 / 10
Hello, everybody, welcome back, Apartment Therapy! I am Akhira Ismail, in Brooklyn, New York, in my 288-square-foot apartment. Apartment Therapy contacted me so that y’all can see exactly what it’s like to celebrate the holiday season, Scandinavian-style, in such a small apartment. Let me show you what they did, come inside.
(Image credit: Christopher Broe)
My thing, that I love the most, is that they wanted to add a tree. And I thought that they were going to bring in something big. Like, okay, a big tree…No. So this tree is called Matthew (that’s right, I named it). He is so cute. You don’t have to overdecorate it, a little bit here, a little bit there, a little lights, and it’s just enough.
(Image credit: Christopher Broe)
If you don’t want a tree, this can be it [the simple pine branch arrangement, above]. And look at the little decorations—It’s so cute! Pinecones everywhere, and little touches of gold, and lights. Everything that just says festive, holiday, festive, holiday. This is what I want in my life!
(Image credit: Christopher Broe)
You add a little garland to unexpected places [like draped on a chandelier], and unexpected places at the top [of a bookshelf]. You can take some of your books, and you can cover them. You can add little touches and pops of color. Here we used greens and a little light white. And then, change up all of your small little details. You turn off the light, you go to bed (and, you know, I’m in a studio, so I see everything) and this looks so cute [the glass box of pinecones and string lights, above], it looks so romantic. That’s a little too much, but you know, I’m just letting you know what you can have for the holiday season. You can do this. They did it . . . here. Bye!

Thanks so much, Akhira! If you’re inspired by her small space, be sure to follow her latest design projects here.

→ Here are 10 holiday decorating ideas to steal from this awesome apartment.