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Before & After: A Small Brooklyn Apartment Gets a Sweet Makeover

published Jun 28, 2017
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(Image credit: Courtesy of Linda Cava)

Designer Linda Cava’s Brooklyn home is one of those weird studio/not quite studio apartments that can throw even a seasoned decorator for a loop. The apartment has three main spaces — an open foyer, a large room that needed to be her living room, bedroom and office rolled into one and a tiny kitchen she wanted to modernize. Let’s see how she tackled each of these spaces to suit her needs and her style.

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It was important for Linda that the foyer was painted in a bright, cheery color, because this space really was the hub of the home, serving as both the entrance and the connector to the other rooms.

“The foyer is my catch-all area. It’s where I do my painting or my DIY projects or play with my dog…or temporarily leave things that just came in (or are on their way out). Sometimes I eat there. It’s the central room that leads to all the other rooms including the apartment entrance, so for me I wanted the walls to be a bright and cheerful color.”

(Image credit: Reid Rolls)

The foyer’s walls are painted in Benjamin Moore’s “Ballet Slipper,” while the inside of the archway is painted in Benjamin Moore’s “Soot.” A standard ceiling light was replaced with an eye-catching Nuevo Helia Pendant. And a mix of antique finds and new buys creates a versatile space anyone would want to come home to.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Linda Cava)


The kitchen wasn’t in terrible condition, but it was tiny and it wasn’t Linda’s style. She decided the best course of action was to shrink the size of the refrigerator and stove to make more room, but that came with its own limitations — the only stove in that size (that her electrical grid could also handle) was only available in black.

(Image credit: Reid Rolls)

To create a unified look and make the space seems clean and modern, she added even more black to the space. “I also knew I wanted open upper shelves so everything could be right at my fingertips.”

(Image credit: Courtesy of Linda Cava)
(Image credit: Courtesy of Linda Cava)

Main Living Area

The apartment’s main area is one big rectangular open space that needed to fit both a living room, an office and a bedroom area. Linda opted to make the living room area directly across from the foyer, as it is a more public space. She used one wall as an office area, making room for a ten-foot long desk she can really stretch out on when working. And she tucked her bedroom area next to the closets in the back corner, in order to give it a bit of privacy.

(Image credit: Reid Rolls)

You can see all of Linda’s beautifully simple space in her full house tour → A Small Brooklyn Home Influenced By Southern Style