A Modern Brooklyn Bachelor Pad Takes Design Cues from ‘Hey Arnold!’

updated Mar 21, 2019

A Modern Brooklyn Bachelor Pad Takes Design Cues from ‘Hey Arnold!’

updated Mar 21, 2019
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Square feet
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Name: Julian Thomas
Location: Bushwick — Brooklyn, New York
Size: 700 square feet
Years Lived In: Less than a year, renting

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“Who needs TV when you have Bushwick? This is live entertainment at its finest,” remarks 28-year-old self-proclaimed bachelor Julian Thomas as he looks out of a window of his Brooklyn loft in this video tour he posted on YouTube. His 1,000-square-foot home might be right next to a train—but that’s part of the city-life charm the space has. Also among its positive attributes: a big size, lofty layout, tons of light, tall ceilings, and everything this busy entrepreneur could want in a home.

From the way Julian talks about his home, you can tell this is a person who loves their space. That passion for home is likely due in no small part to all the DIY work he’s put into customizing the loft, which you can see from the very first moment you walk into the space. What he calls his “control center” is a neatly organized area for his sneakers, wallet, keys, and tote bags, a custom setup created with IKEA shelving.

Right next to his control center is a small but mighty home office. As the owner of an independent brand communications firm, he needs a space where he can focus and get work done, which this compact desk and DIY cork wall ($100 from Michaels, according to his video tour) provides.

The loft, though imbued with plenty of positives, didn’t come with a lot of kitchen surfaces or any built-in closets, but Julian added in an IKEA island and racks and shelves along one wall of the bedroom.

According to Julian, his rent is $2,100 a month for this space (utilities not included), and that feels like a steal considering all the work he’s put into creating such a diverse array of areas in one space. The jewel of the entire home might just be the multi-functional loft lounge, though. A place for relaxing, meditating, and more, it features a splurge-worthy couch, a nice art collage, and a DIY wood wall covered in a unique mural painted by a neighbor.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Brooklyn modern bachelor.

Inspiration: “Hey Arnold’s” Bedroom, mixed with island vibes and the industrial aesthetic of my neighborhood.

Favorite Element: To be perfectly honest… the train! Yes, I live right next to it and it can be loud at times (especially upstairs), but it’s so quintessentially Brooklyn!

I feel so hip and cool every time it passes. I also like it when the train is stalled and people point and stare into my apartment, they all look amazed. I’ve had people take photos of my apartment from the train and even found me on social media to comment how cool it is.

Kind of creepy but I digress.

Biggest Challenge: Heating and cooling the apartment! During the day, with these large windows, it gets so hot! Even during the winter, I have to crack a window to let in some cool air. During the summer, it’s ridiculously hot. So hot, I can’t keep anything plastic on the windowsill or it will melt!

Conversely, with the tall ceilings, it’s very hard to heat the apartment at night. Fortunately, heat rises, so I just hang out upstairs where it’s really cozy.

What Friends Say: My friends love it. I really do feel like “Hey Arnold,” because all of my friends want to come over and hang out at my apartment, and they all say it feels so Brooklyn.

Biggest Embarrassment: The steep stairs leading up to the loft. Everyone that comes over always comments that they’re afraid they’re going to fall and hurt themselves.

Proudest DIY: So many! The wooden wall was an easy one, and my next door neighbor came over and painted the mural all by herself, which I thought was a great housewarming gift!

Also the stairs! I got the idea from Pinterest and it was a lot easier than it looks. I already had the plants and books so I just went to my local hardware store and showed them the inspiration and they took care of everything else. All I had to do was paint the stairs according to number and voila!

Biggest Indulgence: Working from home. I’ve been freelancing for two years now, so when I was looking for an apartment, I knew I wanted a live/work situation and this apartment is perfect for that. I can work from my dedicated workspace, or move to the kitchen or even go upstairs. It’s an awesome space to truly grow my business.

Best Advice: Plan. Plan. Plan. I planned everything about this apartment down to the tiniest of details. I love spreadsheets and Pinterest boards, and combining the two made finding the apartment, moving in, and doing all of the DIY projects very seamless, and most importantly… on budget!

Dream Sources: I am not a minimalist. So my dream sources are those that have plenty to offer in terms of character that matches my style. Brands like Seletti and Best Made Co. satisfy my wild side, while designers like Bodega Rose and Wyatt Little embody my Brooklyn side.


All paint by Benjamin Moore

Shelves and Mirror — IKEA

Lawndale Saddle Leather Daybed — CB2
Assorted Pillows — IKEA
Rug — IKEA
Picture Ledges — CB2
Wood Panels — Lowe’s
Muralist — Simi Mahtani
Media Console — Amazon
Accent Table — World Market
Bean Bag — Muji
Lightbox — CB2
Coffee Table — CB2 (discontinued)

Kitchen Island — IKEA
Bar Cart — CB2
Bar Accessories — CB2
Drinkware — CB2

Bed Frame — CB2
Floor Lamp — CB2 (Discontinued)

Desk — CB2
Corkboard Panels — Michael’s
Cafe Chair — CB2
Terracotta Planter — Wyatt Little

Thanks, Julian!

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