A Small Brooklyn Apartment is Decorated with Hand-Picked Furniture and Hand-Painted Artwork

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View of bedroom through doorframe
Credit: Ariel Sun

Name: Ariel Sun, husband, Simon, and cat, Mochi
Location: Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, New York
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 602 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, owned

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: My husband, Simon, and I both moved to NYC in the early 2010s. Currently, I work in a biotech company’s design group, and Simon works in healthcare market research. We met and started dating in 2013, had our separate rental apartments with roommates for a few years, and eventually moved in together.

Credit: Ariel Sun

We’d always known we wanted to own an apartment in Brooklyn and had been looking before the pandemic. There were a lot of false starts: We would find an apartment we liked, only to get outbid or to discover some major deal-breakers with the apartment or building. We were at a low point in our apartment hunt when the pandemic hit in 2020 and put our hunt on pause for a while. It turned out to be worth the wait. A lovely apartment that was previously beyond our range lowered its price at the peak of the pandemic, and we were able to close the deal on our new home, in a building with awesome neighbors.

Credit: Ariel Sun

When we moved in last August, it became clear that the pandemic was nowhere near over, and WFH was here to stay. So we set out to make this home a multi-functional space where we can work, relax, and pursue creative endeavors. The small square footage makes it challenging, but it pushes us to be creative with space usage and truly focus on what we need when making purchase decisions.

Credit: Ariel Sun

I started my career as a designer/illustrator and still like to think of myself as an artist. When we were renters, I long dreamed of a day when we could decorate our place however we like and invest in timeless pieces. Simon and I are naturally drawn to bright colors. When we moved in, the apartment already had a white-earthy tone for the kitchen, so instead of redoing the kitchen, we decided to match the apartment’s style with it.

Credit: Ariel Sun

We selected the majority of our furniture pieces in black, white, and earthy tones. When selecting accessories, we either go with the black-white-earthy rule, or things with pop accents. I started learning to paint in oil pastels soon after we moved in, both as a pandemic hobby and as a way to create pieces to decorate our new home. I converted my desk to become a station for both my full-time job and for painting. The painting collection has been such a big part of the apartment’s style now!

Credit: Ariel Sun

What is your favorite room and why? There are only two rooms in total so picking one feels like picking favorites, ha! I do love our gallery wall/aromatherapy station with our plant corner next to it! It’s such an intentional space; every item there is either handmade or handpicked to go well with one another.

Credit: Ariel Sun

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? A black acrylic bridge that’s simple and beautiful and happens to sturdy enough to hold my plants.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Vibrant, Playful, Colorful, Eclectic, Contemporary

Credit: Ariel Sun

Any advice for creating a home you love? Have a vision first. When picking items for your home, remember you are not buying an isolated object. Make sure it goes well with the rest of your home and adds value to the vision you set out with.

This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.