A Sunny Brooklyn Loft Is Home to a Magnificent Indoor Plant Wall

published Aug 8, 2023

A Sunny Brooklyn Loft Is Home to a Magnificent Indoor Plant Wall

published Aug 8, 2023
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After three years of living in a New York City apartment with only one window, where “every night spent in that apartment was in a windowless concrete box below sea level,” Chyelle Milgrom wanted to be pragmatic with her next move. 

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“To say I had been strategizing my next apartment hunt from the moment I moved in doesn’t begin to encompass the level of thought I put into my plan when it was finally time to pack up and go,” Milgrom, who’s a UI/UX designer and “a product design and furniture enthusiast, an eco interior designer, and Facebook-market thrifting king,” says. 

In 2020, it was time for Milgrom to look for a new place — and she was prepared. She whittled her apartment wish list down to three important conditions: Her new space had to have a window in every room, a bathtub, and in-unit laundry. But in her mind, she knew she might have to sacrifice some of her dreams. 

“In case you didn’t know, unless you have a fat budget, in NYC, even if you narrow your needs down to three bullets, know you’ll have to prioritize just one,” Milgrom admits. “With the budget of an unemployed, new graduate during COVID-19, this seemingly basic list would prove to be like hunting for a unicorn while wearing flip flops.”

Milgrom began her exhausting month-long apartment-hunting journey in New York City. If you’re familiar with the experience, you know how overwhelming and uninspiring it can be. But she persevered. 

“My days were a sweaty, hot mess of finding shitholes with potential, but, as they say, ‘If you don’t like it in the store, then you’ll never wear it.’ Some of these apartments were cute, but don’t settle if you’re not trying to move after a year.” 

After finding an apartment that checked every single box, it was, unfortunately, swooped up by other tenants. Milgrom asked the listing broker if he had other units to show in Brooklyn. He had one left. 

“The moment I walked into the apartment, my eyes watered. Not just because of the joy I experienced when I knew I had finally found it, but because it reeked of rotting cat piss, frat-house boys, trash, and food so moldy it burned your eyes,” Milgrom writes. 

Milgrom signed the lease that day — even with the three-bedroom rental apartment’s drawbacks. Because of the state it was in when she toured, she knew she’d have wiggle room to make it her own. 

Since moving in, Milgrom (who lives with her friend and roommate, Cris) has renovated the bathroom (she got her tub!), created a dining space, installed a washer and dryer, retiled the kitchen counters and backsplash, designed two steel ladders to access the loft space, coordinated the building of a deck, added an archway in the foyer, and built a catio for her two cats, Qadir and Martin, among so many other projects. 



  • Rubber Maid shelving system — Facebook Marketplace 


  • Mario Bellini Camaleonda sofa — Facebook Marketplace
  • Milo Baughman coffee table — Facebook Marketplace 
  • Media stand (IKEA BESTA cabinets) — Facebook Marketplace 
  • West Elm leather sofa — Facebook Marketplace
  • Wassily chair — Facebook Marketplace 
  • Standing ball ashtray — Facebook Marketplace 
  • Eames lounge chair — Facebook Marketplace
  • Folding chrome chairs — Reuse America NY
  • Roly Poly cookie jar (1940s) — Goodwill


  • Tulip table — Facebook Marketplace
  • Bentwood bistro chair — Facebook Marketplace
  • Jeanneret dining chair — Facebook Marketplace
  • Mies Van Der Rohe MR chair — Facebook Marketplace
  • Cesca cantilever chair — Facebook Marketplace 
  • Danish shelving unit — Facebook Marketplace 
  • Danish book stand/desk — Facebook Marketplace
  • IKEA swivel chair — Facebook Marketplace
  • Artek Aalto stool — Facebook Marketplace
  • Beosound 9000 — Facebook Marketplace
  • Roberto & Sons Stam cantilever — Facebook Marketplace


  • Silver dish rack — Facebook Marketplace
  • Gaggia espresso machine — Facebook Marketplace
  • IKEA square cabinets — Facebook Marketplace


  • Ultrafragola mirror — Facebook Marketplace
  • MCM bed frame — Facebook Marketplace
  • Foldout desk — Urban Outfitters
  • String shelf dupe — Amazon
  • Foot rug — IKEA
  • Ladder — I made it


  • Vanity — Facebook Marketplace
  • Washer/dryer — Facebook Marketplace
  • Hardware — Amazon

Thanks, Chyelle!

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