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A Minimalist, Vintage, Modern Small/Cool Space

Name: Katie Howell

Size: 650 sq ft

Home type: Apartment

Location: Brooklyn, New York

Years lived in: A year and a half, rented

Household: My husband

Have any design professionals worked on this space: No

Describe your space:

Our main vision for a home is a minimal and curated space to host people. We weave together elements of Scandinavian and antique furniture to create a space where the warmth of your grandmother’s home meets the refined elements of mid-century interiors. I read "Wabi-Sabi Welcome" by Julie Pointer Adams and totally shifted my expectation of a home. I not only resonated with bringing natural elements of light and greenery into the space, but also encouraging the feeling of being welcome and relaxed.

Did you DIY anything in your space? And, if so, what's your favorite DIY?

I love having lots of greenery in our home, but often feel that too much of it is close to the ground. With a large ball of string and a brass ring that I had in my crafting supplies, I got to work on making macramé hanging planters. The initial task was a bit daunting, but after watching a few tutorials on Pinterest, I was confident in my abilities. I even used some of the knots I learned in middle school for making friendship bracelets! I made two of them—one hangs in our bathroom and one in the living room.

What's your favorite product that you bought for your space and where did it come from?

My favorite piece of furniture in our home is our dining room table. We purchased it from West Elm shortly after moving into this apartment. Months before moving, I was researching dining tables—styles, colors, brands. Though we made the most of our tiny bistro table, I was ready for an upgrade. We thought such an essential piece in our home should be simple and sturdy. I had looked at the table online many times, but after finally having a place to put it, the decision was easy. We felt like proud parents. We have been reaping the reward of a crowded table ever since.

What inspires you?

A lot of my design interest was sparked years ago by Hovey Design and John Derian. These two companies do a beautiful job of marrying grand presentation with livability. The way they use color, shapes, and vintage portraiture shook my understanding of what a home can look like. I gain inspiration regularly from publications like Architectural Digest and interior shots from the 1970s. Travel has also played into various color combinations or textures I pull into our home. Mexico City was my most recent muse. It is important to understand your interests and style, but not limit them.