This Designer’s Brooklyn Home Has A Seriously Envy-Inducing Walk-Through Closet

published Jun 29, 2020

This Designer’s Brooklyn Home Has A Seriously Envy-Inducing Walk-Through Closet

published Jun 29, 2020
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Name: Sara Larson and Gunnar Larson – kids are Ihlen and Royal
Location: Greenpoint — Brooklyn, NY
Size: 900 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, renting

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Interior designer Gunnar Larson knows hip design. As a participating designer for Apartment Therapy’s Small/Cool Experience, he mixed bold shapes for a cool and colorful ’80s Explosion living room look, the kind of room you might want to hang out with friends. It’s the same casual, energetic vibes that he brings into his own home that he shares with his equally stylish wife Sara Larson and their kids, Ihlen and Royal. The interiors of their small Brooklyn rental apartment reflects Gunnar, Sara, and their cute family. “We love to find items that bring us joy and are also somewhat quirky or unique in their own way—ultimately they all flow together to make a space that feels custom to us and also memorable for anyone who visits,” Sara says. “Our home is filled with love. From Gunnar and me to our two kids, while we love to have a space that is aesthetically pleasing and of course functional, we want the feeling of welcome to always be present.”

Their rental was quite the find, and old friends—now neighbors—played a big part. “Our best friends (who we have known since our second week in NYC 10 years ago) live upstairs, and they were actually the ones who told us about their old neighbors were moving out, so we had the chance to meet with our landlord before the apartment went on the market! We couldn’t believe it,” describes Sara. “They have three kids and we are always up and down in each others spaces, like a modern day ‘Friends,’ really. Nothing better!”

Credit: Alec Kugler

While the interior of their apartment may be the main show, their outdoor areas are a huge part of how the family enjoys life at home. “We love the cozy feeling of living close to each other and also having the space to breathe in the Brooklyn air, right off our back patio—which is perfect for an afternoon sunbathe in the hammock with a good book, or a pool party with the kids, or an impromptu dinner party with our closest friends—the deck space feels like a special hideaway from the rest of the world,” Sara explains. “Gardening is also big for us and both kids love being outdoors. Our apartment is a block from the water, so it’s nice to feel like our backyard is actually overlooking the East River. There is a certain electricity living so close to water, also a feeling of being a bit removed from the city, yet still being able to look at it from afar. It’s pretty magical.”

Credit: Alec Kugler

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Scandinese with a layer of color and pop. I love simplistic design but then layer it with a hint of maximal interior style. 

Inspiration: Travel and fashion. We love to create and find something new. So our home really is a collection of found, discovered, and made. Always love finding something unique for our space from a trip, either far away or close to home. 

Credit: Alec Kugler

Favorite Element: We love having a back deck right off the living/dining area. With the glass doors and windows it feels like an extension of the living room. I find just being able to see out onto a beautiful outdoor space gives me a sense of calm and makes the living room feel twice as big as it is.

Biggest Challenge: Finding space for our 9’ sofa. In our previous place we had a bit more space so when we moved we knew keeping our massive sofa could be tricky. We got rid of our TV and used our Sony projector on the side wall. It really limits our TV time but we agree that it was worth the sacrifice. Although having an extra deep sofa makes the arm almost feel like a chair and a half, which is perfect for us to cuddle and watch a movie or read books with the kids. It also serves as a perfect spot for a friend or loved one to land for the night. 

Proudest DIY: Our walk-through closet. I love a small space challenge, so when I measured our hallway and figured we could maximize the extra space for a custom walk-through closet, I was thrilled! I used a combo of Yamazaki racks, IKEA BESTA cabinets, Elfa Closet structure, and custom ash shelves to create the ultimate space-saving closet that also allows us to view our ever-expanding shoe and handbag collection, thanks to my wife and her fashion career. 

Biggest Indulgence: Everything in our home has some story to it, some crazier than others. Nothing tops finding our vintage rug in Australia while on vacation last fall. We ended up taking a day trip via ferry to go to Tiki La La and then flew home with a rug. It was an amazing day of exploring  and what a treasured find!

Credit: Alec Kugler

Best Advice: Your home should be your haven. Invest in making it a home and a reflection of you.  

What’s your best home secret? Always wear what makes you feel the most comfortable!!! We love Sleepy Jones pajamas! Be free to be yourself and most importantly, laugh and have fun!! Everything in our home has its place and with two kids it’s not always put together perfectly but we’ve realized that life is short, so enjoy making the mess with the kids! Don’t sweat the small stuff!! Oh and having groceries delivered is an incredible thing, especially right now! 


Credit: Alec Kugler



Credit: Alec Kugler



Credit: Alec Kugler




Blankets — Faribault Mill

Fireplace — Lumens

Glassware — Williams-Sonoma

Decanter — Williams-Sonoma


Thanks Gunnar and Sara!

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Correction: An earlier version of this post mistakenly said their home overlooks the Hudson river, but it’s actually the East River. We’ve updated the post to be more accurate—hopefully, we can blame it on Mercury retrograde.