Lee’s “First Apartment with a Bedroom Door” in Brooklyn
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Location: Carroll Gardens – Brooklyn, NY
When I moved to Degraw Street seven years ago, it was my first time living in Brooklyn and also my first “full-size” (meaning it had a bedroom door) apartment in New York. A 700 sq ft, 1.5 br floor-through in a Carroll Gardens brownstone was an exciting change from my alcove studio on the Upper East Side, though the disrepaired circa-1870s details like the wide plank floors with dropped-out knots and original, rattling, wood frame windows were perhaps in danger of being too charming. Nonetheless, I loved the rental like it was my own and used it as a canvas on which to explore my Brooklyn side.
I built the bones of the decor with clean, modern pieces with a dose of femininity. Over time, I accented with more masculine texture and color. In the living room, “Bedouin tent”-inspired pieces like a heavy reclaimed wood bench, an ikat ottoman, kilim pillows and a metallic leather pouf filled in among classic pieces like a navy velvet wing chair, antique folding demilune console and high-armed modern couch.
The bedroom got a bit of a “cabin” treatment with a navy walls and Pendleton’s Chief Joseph blanket & shams to rough up the modern 4-poster bed and original moulding.
After my boyfriend, now husband, moved in, we layered in things we collected in our travels: a shed antler from Montana, a turtle shell, the vintage “pig vs. boar” poster I got him for our first Christmas together, a bronze lion statue the size of a small dog that I hand-carried back from our honeymoon in Cambodia. It made it ours, and gave the place more texture.
One room that remained largely untouched after Andrew moved in? The den/office off the bedroom that I’d made into my walk-in closet. It’s the one very girly room in the place: shoes on display, vintage floral tole chandelier, and a 1950s silhouette of my mom as a girl on the wall. Although I did give Andrew a dresser in it :]
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