Brett & Betsy’s West Village Ingenuity

updated Feb 20, 2019
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(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Name: Brett & Betsy Leonhardt (and Suze and Lola the bulldogs)
Location: West Village; New York, New York
Size: 515 square feet
Years lived in: 2

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We’re continually impressed by the ingenuity of apartment dwellers who manage to fit a huge variety of functions into a very small space. Case in point: Brett and Betsy’s West Village apartment, whose main room multitasks as a living room, dining room, workspace, and kitchen, all without sacrificing style. Besides being home to two humans, the apartment is also the home of two adorable bulldogs. If the stylish furnishings don’t steal your heart, chances are the critters will.

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The view of the living room as you enter the apartment. (Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

You may recognize Betsy and Brett’s place from episode 5 of the A Line, where we compared their approach to the layout of their small apartment with that of their upstairs neighbor, Kate, whose floor plan is nearly identical. It’s fascinating to see how these neighbors, both confronted with the challenge of a relatively small space, have come up with very different solutions — solutions that fit their style and their particular needs for the space. (→ check out the tour of Kate’s apartment here.)

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Inspiration: A mid-century modern sensibility – clean, simple design that’s not afraid of color or playfulness. Simple does not have to be boring.

Favorite Element: The Milton Glazer print signed by the artist to us. The raw materials of the space, like the unstained walnut floors and brick wall. And of course our Kid Robot collection.

Biggest Challenge: Curatorship. Tough to decide what goes up and what goes in storage. 500 square feet doesn’t provide a lot of “gallery space,” so it’s about being selective — making sure we leave some open spaces so that you feel the room too.

What Friends Say: “You told me that your place was small but it actually feels just right.”

Biggest Embarrassment: We have a secret storage closet in the basement that looks like Monica’s from Friends. And the continuous cleaning of dog fur.

Proudest DIY: Turning one room into three rooms. We have a living/dining/kitchen that really functions as all three. More often than not it’s our home office too.

Biggest Indulgence: Bulldog stuff. We tried hard not to become “those bulldog people” but lo and behold… we’re them.

Best Advice: Surround yourself with things that make you smile and it’ll always feel like home.

Dream Sources: Poliform Verena Kitchens, Dornbrach and Waterworks fixtures, LV Wood flooring, Butler hardware, Gauggenau appliances, and everything from Herman Miller.


(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)


• Benjamin Moore – Hale Navy • Benjamin Moore – French Beret

• Benjamin Moore – Slate Gray

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)


• Couch: Neo Sectional by Bensen • Living Room Chair: Womb Chair by Eero Saarinen (Knoll) • Coffee Table: Noguchi Table by Isamu Noguchi (Herman Miller) • Media Stand: Line Media Console 70 by Nathan Yong (DWR) • Dining Room table: Strut Table by Blu Dot • Dining Room Chairs: Navy Chair by Emeco • Dog Bowls by Loll Designs • Desk: Cant Desk by Blu Dot • Desk chair: Real Good Chair by Blu Dot • Living Room Bookcases: Sapien Modular shelving (DWR) • Hallway Hanger – Eames Hang-It All by Charles & Ray Eames (Herman Miller) • Living Room Stool – Aalto Stool (Vitra)

• Living Room light –Tolomeo Mega (Artimide) • Kitchen: dishwasher – Bosch •Kitchen: range – Bloomburg

• Kitchen Fridge – Liebherr 24” Panel ready

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)


• Bed: Zola bed (DWR) • Nightstands – IKEA

• Bed chandelier light: Random Light (Moooi)

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)


• New York is about New York – Milton Glazer (Over Desk) • Pray for Rain – Joe & Gerry Simboli (Living Room) • You Are Here – Trey Speegle (Living Room) • City Sunrise Painting – Jack Diamond (Living Room) • Lola Painting – Leslie Knight (Living Room) • Falling Girl – Lora Zombie (Dining Area) • Nerdy Superman – Lora Zombie (Hallway) • North Oar –Sanborn Canoe Co. (Living Room) • Figure Studies – Donna Leonhardt (Brett’s Mom) (Bathroom Hallway) • Boat Painting – Donna Leonhardt (Brett’s Mom) (Bedroom)

• Alexander Calder Print (Hallway)

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→ And see all of our past house tours here

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Thanks, Betsy and Brett!