Before and After: A Light-Filled Refresh for This 1920s Living Room

published Feb 11, 2020
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No surprise here: When it comes to small space living, the name of the game is maximizing space and storage. So when Giulia moved to her 500-square-foot one-bedroom apartment in a 1920s Park Slope brownstone, she knew that a major priority would be getting the most out of every square inch. Also high priority? Making the living room feel happier and brighter, all while keeping sustainability and environmental impact in mind during the course of the renovation.

Giulia turned to pros to get the job done, hiring through Sweeten, a renovation platform connecting homeowners to vetted general contractors. “The place had big, “old” character in its window and door moldings, fireplace, and wood floor,” Giulia says. Bright white paint—Giulia used Benjamin Moore’s Natura line, which is zero-VOC—helped freshen them up without sacrificing that charm.

For lighting, Giulia chose a cool multi-pendant fixture that holds its own against the ornate fireplace.

With storage a priority, Giulia knew that she’d want to add built-ins to her space. A beautiful bay window on the street-facing side provided an ideal spot for a window seat. The hinged lids lift in sections to reveal storage beneath, while two outer cubbies on either end offer a spot to display books, plants, and other decorative objects. A dining table tucked in front turns the space into a dreamy little dining spot.

New white tile on the fireplace adds a breath of fresh air and highlights the stunning vintage summer cover in front. A geometric rug in a bold blue color provides some pop (and complements the gorgeous blue kitchen, too). We’d say this nearly 100-year-old apartment is looking just as good as it was the day it was built—no small feat!

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