An Eclectic Modern Mini 288 Square Foot Brooklyn Studio

updated Dec 19, 2019
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(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Name: Akhira N. Ismail
Location: Fort Greene; Brooklyn, New York
Size: 288 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years

Akhira is beautiful and brilliant and welcoming and warm, and her apartment is no different. With only 288 square feet and a modest budget, she’s created a space so stylish and functional that when you see the photos, you may want to move in immediately.

Thanks to the layout of the apartment — and Akhira’s ingeniuty — this little space feels much larger than it is. There’s a cozy nook for the bed, surrounded by beautiful art that Akhira made herself, and a quite spacious living room, which shares a breakfast bar with the kitchen. Akhira designed and built the bar herself, and it serves as a prep space, dining table, and workspace all in one. Akhira doesn’t see her small space as a limitation, so much as an opportunity for creative solutions — and she definitely doesn’t let it keep her from entertaining. “You can always fit people in your space as long as you have a place for them to sit.”

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Like what you see? Akhira works a designer — you can check out more of her work here.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Eclectic, modern cozy.

Inspiration: Nature, color, architecture, tiny houses, women’s and men’s fashion.

Favorite Element: My plants and my man’s chair, which is a leather safari chair. Oh and my windows. Love my windows — I can actually sit in them.

Biggest Challenge: Making sure I can fit everything and leaving room for me to welcome something new in my life.

What Friends Say: Wow, this is gorgeous. It doesn’t feel like a studio. This is well laid out and so many liitle cool details.

Biggest Embarrassment: Well, it’s not an embarrassment to me, but I would have to say most people complain about my TV. It’s a tube TV. Yes, I still have one and I love it .

Proudest DIY: My bar, because it made with old shelves from an IKEA Expedit unit. It created the right width for bar in a small space. Oh, and my large painting — it came to me in a dream.

Biggest Indulgence: My closet. It’s an Elfa closet, and it’s well planned to hold all of my clothing and all of my shoes !

Best Advice: Keep only the items you love and leave a little space for you to allow something new space in your life.

Dream Sources: Tom Ford closet, shops in Copenhagen, Ethiopia, oh and Texas for amazing antiques.


(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)


  • Ultra White- Benjamin Moore
  • (Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)


  • White end table – Brooklyn Flea
  • Chinese prayer bell – git from friend
  • (Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)


  • IKEA leather sofa bed
  • Elfa shelfing brackets
  • Leather safari chair (gift from stepfather)
  • Baskets (DIY) painting
  • Painting of arabic letter Lam – DIY
  • (Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)


  • Ikea expedit unit shelfs
  • Brass Moroccan style platter
  • Vase from Crate and Barrel
  • Bodium Hot and cold glasses and wine glasses from Crate and Barrell
  • 8 pc Cuisine art pot set from Macy’s
  • 20 pc dish set from IKEA
  • (Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)


    • Storage bed frame from IKEA • Fulani tribe African hat- Brooklyn African Festival • Elfa closet system from Container Store

    • Headboard – DIY

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    Thanks, Akhira!