This Small-Space Pro Transformed Her Brooklyn Rental into “Laidback Luxe” with Brilliant DIYs

published Apr 13, 2023

This Small-Space Pro Transformed Her Brooklyn Rental into “Laidback Luxe” with Brilliant DIYs

published Apr 13, 2023
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Name: Kim White
Location: Brooklyn — New York City, New York
Size: 600 square feet
Type of home: Apartment
Years lived in: 2.5 years, renting

Designer Kim White is an absolute expert at designing efficient and stylish small spaces, as evidenced by the tour of her last home, a 296-square-foot studio apartment. Although her last home felt much larger than its actual size — and functioned beautifully, too — a few years ago, Kim decided to make a move. “While I loved my little nest on the third floor, I couldn’t help but daydream about spreading my wings, clearing out the junk and weeds, and creating a space to host family and friends below. During the height of the pandemic, my neighbor relocated and I was able to snag her full floor garden apartment,” she writes.

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“Moving downstairs into a two-bedroom unit with a dedicated dining area, in-unit washer and dryer, and private outdoor space was an incredible opportunity. Because of the trust and rapport that I had built with my landlord in the previous apartment, I was granted permission to make most of the design, repair, and upgrade decisions within budget.”

Credit: Erin Derby

Apartment Therapy Survey

My style: Laid-back luxe tendencies, with a sentimental treasure-hunting habit.

Inspiration: A natural stone mosaic from a big-box store determined the color palette, and a desire to merge the indoor and outdoor spaces seamlessly inspired many of the design decisions. 

Credit: Erin Derby

Favorite element: Living on the ground floor of a brownstone, I experience the extremes of a southern and northern exposure. Instead of fighting it, I painted in accordance. The rear of the apartment, leading out to the garden, is sunny, bright, and airy; the front of the apartment is drenched in inky blacks and browns, and feels more sultry and cavernous. Both areas speak to the duality of my personality. I can pick and choose where to lounge based on my mood.

Credit: Erin Derby

Paint Colors

  • Sherwin-Williams’ “Tricorn Black”
  • Sherwin-Williams’ “Black Beauty”
  • Sherwin-Williams’ “Rockwood Terra”
  • Benjamin Moore’s “Hasbrouck Brown” 
  • Sherwin-Williams’ “Cyberspace” 
  • Sherwin-Williams’ “Jitney”
  • Farrow and Ball’s “Savage Ground” 

Thanks, Kim!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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