An Indoor Jungle Grows in a Brooklyn Apartment

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Name: Summer Rayne Oakes
Location: Williamsburg — Brooklyn, New York
Size: 1,200 square feet
Years lived in: 11 years

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When you walk into Summer’s top-floor Williamsburg apartment, the thing you’ll notice first is the plants. And then: the plants. Seriously, there are plants everywhere. Summer’s home exists in a kind of liminal state: neither outdoor nor indoor, it has all the lush richness of a jungle, with all the insouciant style of the most stylish Brooklyn apartment.

Like a lot of New York apartments, Summer’s place lacks a backyard, so in the absence of an outdoor space she’s done her best to bring the outdoors in. In addition to all the plants, there’s also a hammock, a compost bin, and some (invited) insect friends (whom you can meet in the video). Besides all the green, Summer has also incorporated plenty of pattern and color into her home. The colors are invigorating, but the abundant foliage invites you to stay a while and relax—a lovely mix for a lovely home.

(Image credit: Summer Rayne Oakes)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Bedouin wanderer meets rooted gardener

Inspiration: Mother nature.

Favorite Element: Converting my closet to a kitchen grow garden. Now I get to eat fresh veggies, herbs and greens right out of my bedroom!

Biggest Challenge: Keeping all my plants happy—it’s the biggest challenge and the greatest reward.

What Friends Say: “It’s like a forest!”

Biggest Embarrassment: The plumbing. Whomever did the plumbing before me connected the sink, the washer and the shower together. It can be a bit of a pain if there is a clog.

Proudest DIY: The Mason Jar Plant Garden that I did with my dad. It was the first thing we built together in my home.

Biggest Indulgence: I have a monthly plant allowance. It’s seriously an obsession.

Best Advice: Make such a loving and inviting home so that your guests wish to never leave.

Dream Sources: All the local vintage furniture shops, Restoration Hardware, Anthropologie,

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)
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The blue bathroom paint is Lake Tahoe from Klenosky’s Paint (a 100-year old, fourth generation paint store in my neighborhood) (Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Thanks, Summer!

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