Despite a Cookie-Cutter Layout, This Studio’s Anything but Basic

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view from entryway into living space in brooklyn apartment: cushioned seating on floor with navy blue cover, black white and navy throw pillows. unframed art gallery wall on wall behind. crate as coffee table and crate with stack of books. Plants on floor and radiator, large window, white walls, pale neutral area rug

Damini Agrawal, who’s lived in this rental for 14 months, tells us about their home: I have a studio apartment with the most basic cookie-cutter layout and a stunning view of Brooklyn. I share it with my plants, and occasionally with family and friends when they’re visiting the city.

My bedspace

A little about me — I grew up in India and moved to the U.S. in 2016. After four years of art school and three years into my graphic design career, this is the first place I’ve stayed at where I’ve run wild decorating and watched it transform into a space that feels like home (and part art studio).

The foyer

Because I’ve moved around a lot, most of my furniture is either a hand-me-down or the cheapest IKEA find. However, what makes this space my own is the little things I’ve filled it with.

The dressing space and closet leading back into the kitchen

Housing trinkets from India, books, art by creatives who inspire me, test prints from college, tote bags from my travels, Post-its left by mom, and lots of photographs, it is an ever-growing cache of memorabilia that reflects my story.

The window overlooking Brooklyn

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or fewer: Boho, maximalist, crafty, cozy, greenhouse.

Entry into the living space alongside the kitchen

What is your favorite room and why? The living space is my go-to spot where you can find me lounging on the floor cushion, eating dinner, watching a movie, playing carrom (a South Asian tabletop game), adding another print to my gallery wall, or staring out the window. It is the coziest corner in my little apartment!

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? A wall clock designed by The Designer’s Foundry featuring their typefaces, and some azaleas from a local florist!

Added storage for my million mugs and cups

Any advice for creating a home you love? If you live in a small space like I do, try to make sure every object (or almost every object) you bring in — be it dinnerware, planters, or a bath mat — is adding to the decor and, hence, the story of your home. Another small-space tip? Use that vertical wall space!

Give yourself the time to let your home slowly take shape and evolve. Relieve yourself of the pressure of doing your new space up on day one and expecting it to feel like home.

Also, bring in some plants and watch them grow.

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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