An Interior Design Student’s Bright Brooklyn Apartment

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.

Name: Kate
Location: Brooklyn Heights — Brooklyn, New York

I live in a two bedroom, pre-war federal-style townhouse in Brooklyn Heights, as one of four owners in the building. I moved here four years ago from a studio in Gramercy to get more space, but mostly because I love the sense of history in both the apartment (it’s got thick moldings and an old marble fireplace), and the neighborhood. For me, walking through the streets on a Saturday is an exciting activity in itself. I always spot a new detail on a building, or wonder about the residents who lived here 150 years ago.

As for my space, I’ve taken my time painting and updating it, developing a sense of cohesion from room to room. I work in media but study interior design, so I wanted to use this space as a design laboratory to try things out. For example, I painted the small bedroom a deep charcoal, which turned out great.

I’m inspired by my neighborhood and neighboring DUMBO, as my tastes lean toward the industrial. I love color and was once inspired by what Emily Henderson said about people who love color: keep a neutral backdrop, so you can bring in and rotate through many colors. Because of this, I have neutral grays from room to room and infuse the space with oranges, teals and pinks.

A favorite feature is the way my bright orange CB2 chairs pop next to a wood industrial dining table, which doubles as my painting desk. I also watercolor a bit, so this has become my work space. I grew up going to the beach in New Jersey a lot as a kid, and love painting beach scenes, and also gravitate toward art that nods to the coast.

I also am proud of my bookshelves and am constantly rearranging and styling them. They’re home to my collection of brightly-colored seltzer bottles, also a favorite vignette of mine. My kitchen is the sore spot…functional but dated, so I’m tackling a renovation this spring. I document some of what I do on my (small and scrappy) blog.

Thanks, Kate!

• Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour & House Call Submission Form.