This Writer’s Brooklyn Rental Is Full of Bright Colors and Hundreds of Books

published Jun 7, 2022

This Writer’s Brooklyn Rental Is Full of Bright Colors and Hundreds of Books

published Jun 7, 2022
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Bedrooms
Square feet
700
Sq ft
700

Name: Greg Mania and partner, Pete
Location: Brooklyn — New York City, New York
Size: 700 square feet
Type of Home: Apartment
Years lived in: 9 months, renting

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“I’m a queer writer, known for my flamboyant style, and my home is a reverberation of that,” explains New York-based writer, comedian, and award-winning screenwriter Greg Mania of the 700-square-foot apartment he rents in Brooklyn. “From the pops of pink, undercurrents of teal, and a generous dose of yellow (my favorite color), this apartment is inspired by the color palette of the cover of my first book, ‘Born to Be Public.’ It’s both chic and punk — a technicolor euphoria impossible not to feel at home at.”

Credit: Erin Derby

The first time living without a roommate in NYC (as well as the first time getting to sleep in something larger than a twin-sized bed), Greg’s apartment is filled with color, collections, books, and meaningful objects, but doesn’t feel too cluttered at all. And though he has written a book and been published in impressive publications like The New Yorker, Paper Mag, Out, Oprah Daily, and more, he counts the creation and furnishing of this colorful, cozy home by himself as a monumental personal achievement. “And it’s something that everyday I walk in here and I’m like ‘I did this for myself,’ and it feels very safe, and it feels like home,” Greg says in his video tour.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: My style is best described as “if a wildly homosexual kindergartener had access to a credit card.”

Credit: Erin Derby

Inspiration: It’s all about colors for me. I love dusty yellows, greens, pinks — anything that looks like it could be found in or around a diner and/or gas station from the ’80s. I’ll use that as a focal point and branch out from there.

Favorite Element: The bedroom. I’ve lived in NYC for eight years now, and this is my first time NOT sleeping in a twin-sized bed, and even though I’ve procured the hot-pink couch of my dreams, I still make a bee-line straight towards my Casper mattress when I get home. This is also my first time living without roommates, so I’ve surrounded my space with things I love, and my bedroom is the space that allows me to escape the stress of day-to-day life the most. Also, I have a balcony, which still feels like a pipe dream, especially as someone who’s, up until recently, been perennially broke.

Credit: Erin Derby

Biggest Challenge: Since I ordered mostly everything online, there was a lot of returning and exchanging going on because of the discrepancies between what it looked like on my screen versus what showed up at my door. It took some time, but, in the end, everything worked out!

Credit: Erin Derby

Proudest DIY: LMAO. Listen, I am the most least handy person I know. If there are more than two steps in the assembly instructions, my partner, Pete, has to smack my phone out of my hand before I hire a TaskRabbit. I have no patience; I get frustrated easily. My favorite thing about arts and crafts in school? That lunch was right after it. That being said, the closest thing I’ve come to DIY-ing my home is repotting my plants. Sorry, I suck!!!

Credit: Erin Derby

Biggest Indulgence: My hot-pink couch. Her name is Angelyne because she was custom-made in Hollywood, California.

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? My home is basically just a storage unit for my books — even the kitchen! There’s over a hundred books lined up above the kitchen cabinets. Between work and pleasure, I amass a lot of books every year, so it’s all about organizing them in a way that’s pleasing to the eye, but also sustainable.

Credit: Erin Derby

What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? The floating bookshelves are so useful, not just for the sheer volume of books I own, but for anything that’s sort of just marooned and needs a permanent home somewhere.

Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: What you lack in length and width, you can make up for in height. The walls are your friend! You can install corner shelves, hooks, among other methods of storing and organizing things vertically. This will open up the space, ergo more opportunities to pepper it with things that are representative of you and the things you love.

Credit: Erin Derby

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? I think it’s really important to surround yourself by things you love and bring you joy. Maybe your favorite flowers are crocuses, and you want to enjoy them all year round: you can buy a print and frame it near your bed so it’s the first thing you see when you wake up. Or you can pick them and press them in a book, and you can have the actual flower all-year-round in a way that’s decorative. There are so many ways to be creative: have fun with it, and when it brings you happiness, hold it close — literally. Put it in your kitchen, bathroom, wherever. Just being near it will imbue your space with you, and these small things will add up, texturing your life with these simple joys that are so often overlooked.

Resources

Credit: Erin Derby

LIVING ROOM

Credit: Erin Derby

DINING ROOM

  • Dining room table — Overstock
  • Dining table chairs —  Target
  • Sailor Moon neon sign — Etsy
Credit: Erin Derby

KITCHEN

  • Toaster — Buydeem
  • Vintage breadbox — Etsy
  • Kettle — Smeg
  • Coffee cannister — Etsy
  • Trash/recycling cans — Williams Sonoma
Credit: Erin Derby

BEDROOM

Credit: Erin Derby

ART

Thanks Greg!

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