Alana’s Brooklyn Railroad
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Name: Alana Range, CEO of Radish Lab
Location: Greenpoint; Brooklyn
Size: 850 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years; Rented
After an exhaustive apartment search, Alana landed a rare, sun-drenched railroad style apartment in Brooklyn with an impressive nine windows! As any New Yorker can attest, railroad apartments can either be a total flop or, as in Alana’s case, a huge success. Each section of the apartment is cleverly furnished, and the living room offers a grand view of the Manhattan skyline just across the river.
Within hours of moving in, Alana removed the doors connecting the rooms. This decision has helped open and brighten the long apartment and improved ventilation. Alana knew exactly which furniture items she wanted for her apartment and by being patient and using Craigslist wisely, she was able to acquire the pieces on her wish list for a fraction of the price. With only one closet in the apartment, storage has been a challenge, but Alana has managed to keep the apartment minimal without being sterile. The minimal decor is accented by beautiful photographs and bold and colorful heirloom textiles.
Alana is the CEO of Radish Lab, a Brooklyn based creative agency that focuses on clients committed to social change. When she’s not working at their headquarters in DUMBO, you can find her working from home and using the whiteboard wall she painted in her office as a springboard for creative ideas. The Canada native’s office also features a floor to ceiling cork board wall with inspiring photos, keepsakes and reminders showing her love of travel, family and design.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Mid century modern.
Inspiration: My grandmother had amazing taste. A lot of the style elements and some of the pieces in my apartment come from her. She also had a love for textiles which has definitely been passed down to me.
Favorite Element: This flat has incredible windows, none of which I can take any design credit for, but which add a lot of charm and style to the space. I also love the high ceilings and the amazing view of the city.
Biggest Challenge: Storage! This apartment has plenty of floor space, but only one closest. I try to be pretty strict about what new things introduce to the apartment and how much clothing I buy, because there really isn’t room to expand without cluttering the space. The longer I live here, though, the more I’m accumulating, and I’ve had to find some solutions, like baskets or extra furniture, to hide the overflow.
What Friends Say: “Where’s all your stuff?” I have a super minimalistic style, and living in New York for seven years has taught me to really scale back on the things I keep. I am an excellent purger of unnecessary things. People also really like the rugs, which are all from the same Turkish rug dealer on eBay.
Biggest Embarrassment: I’m in the process of transforming my style and apartment into a real ‘grown-up’ apartment. My sofa, for instance, was $650 from Urban Outfitters, and while it looks cool from a distance, it isn’t very comfortable or well made. I’ve got a couple of things like that that I want to eventually ‘grow-up.’ Also, while I love the space in the kitchen, whoever renovated the building made some ugly counter and appliance choices.
Proudest DIY: I think I’m pretty crafty with storage. I recently hung some antique folding chairs that I got off Craigslist on the wall of my living room. I think they look kind of neat on the wall, and they are also amazing extra seating for big parties. I also love the Instagram photos in my kitchen. I know they’re not a super technical DIY, but they add so much color and love into an otherwise pretty sterile kitchen.
Biggest Indulgence: My coffee table. It was an impulse buy, but when the antique dealer showed me that it expands from a coffee table into a full 8-person dining room table, I knew I had to invest. It’s an amazing, sturdy, and stylish piece that lets me throw great (albeit small) dinner parties or just eat at a table, which seems so luxurious in New York.
Best Advice: Think about what you want and spend time to find it. And don’t pay full price! I spend a lot of time thinking about the pieces I want to add to my space, and then source them as cheaply and as authentically as possible. I love Craigslist because in New York, you can literally buy anything on there. I’m also a fan of eBay and of making connections with local furniture dealers who can keep you in the loop about cool things as they come in. Also, purge. Only keep the things you really love in your space. Take pictures of the rest, and give it away!
Dream Sources: I love dealers who specialize in mid-century modern furniture. They know a lot about what they’re selling. I think that some popular stores like West Elm and CB2 have great stuff if you’re clever about integrating it into your space. For textiles, I love Marimekko, and I actually think IKEA does beautiful bold fabric prints at amazing prices.
Resources of Note:
- Black wall basket – Urban Outfitters
- Red chairs: CB2 – both sourced on Craigslist
Sofa – Urban Outfitters
Table – Danish furniture dealer (Craigslist)
Credenza – Circa60.com
Art – inherited, Andrew Guenter, Jeff Wisfield
- Hanging chairs – Craigslist
- West Elm – sourced on Craiglist
- Magazine rack – Urban Outfitters
- Textile – inherited
- Laundry Basket – The Container Store
- Rug – http://stores.ebay.com/turkishkilimstore
- Dresser – Danish furniture dealer (Craigslist)
- Art – inherited
- Jewlery Box – Handmade by talented uncle
- Cork wall – http://www.widgetco.com/adhesive-cork-wall-tile-s…
- Whiteboard wall – Idea Paint
- Desk – Craigslist
- Desk Lamp – Ikea
- Stools – Local antique shops
- Book Shelf – West elm (sourced on Craigslist)
- Red storage boxes – The Container Store
- Storage Basket – West Elm
- Rug: http://stores.ebay.com/turkishkilimstore
- Storage baskets – Ikea
- Textile – Inherited
- Historical flow chart – printed on commission
- Instagram prints – prinstagram
- Large wall photograph: 20×200.com
- Smaller wall photograph: owner’s own
- Photograph: owner’s own
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