Josh's Small Space on a Budget

Josh's Small Space on a Budget

Aaron Able
Sep 21, 2010

Name: Josh
Location: Williamsburg — Brooklyn, New York

Hi, Apartment Therapy! As a big fan of the site, I'm excited to introduce my new space. Two month ago I moved into a pre-war 2 bedroom in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I love the location and the building's vintage charms, but the interior presented all the normal NYC apartment problems — size, lack of storage, poor condition — plus there's no bathroom. There is a toilet-only water closet and the shower stall has migrated to the kitchen. Creating a separate space around the shower and making the kitchen sink an appealing place for both toothbrushing and dishwashing were challenges.

I was really lucky to have a friend — Ryuhei Minami, an architect now practicing interior design — agree to help. His professional eyes saw layout solutions for the oddly configured space that mine didn't. He also challenged some pre-conceived notions I had about paint treatments — the dark wall color and accent stripe makes the living feel really open.

Also, I'd previously had roommates, so I needed a lot of furniture on a budget. We addressed that by mixing inexpensive IKEA pieces, secondhand finds and a few pieces I pulled off the street. I spent more than I expected but the total was under $2,000! A great deal for finishing a 2 bedroom apartment.

Inspiration-wise, I'm really in love with rough-hewn textures (wood, horn, rope), maps/globes and vintage fabric. I just finished a patchwork installation in the bathroom inspired by old fashion cross stitch samplers.

I also love contradictions: contemporary versus vintage, masculine versus feminine, the play of opposing textures and playful twists. The one-of-a-kind, gilded driftwood kitchen lighting fixture — glam but utilitarian, rustic but sleek — is pretty emblematic of my aesthetic. The unexpected part of working with Ryuhei was that it actually exaggerated my point of view. I got more surprising moments that way. For example, the vintage suitcase repurposed as a wine rack and a deer head wearing a kerchief and rosary are the fruits of collaboration.

It's still in process and I'll continue to enjoy designing my space as my schedule and budget allow!

Thanks Josh!

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