This Content Creator’s Brooklyn Apartment Features Lots of Cute Renter-Friendly Ideas

published Feb 1, 2022

This Content Creator’s Brooklyn Apartment Features Lots of Cute Renter-Friendly Ideas

published Feb 1, 2022
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Name: Marikah, my husbae Duran, and our daughter, Maiori
Location: East Flatbush — Brooklyn, New York
Size: 900 square feet
Type of Home: Apartment
Years lived in: 2 years, renting

Multi-hyphenate content creator, blogger, style lover, YouTuber, and Instagram strategist Marikah — who goes by MJ — says she’s always had a passion for interior design. “I have always loved home decor, since before I got married and moved out of my mom’s house,” writes Marikah. “I can sit and binge watch home decor videos on YouTube all day! I’ve  always dreamed of making my apartment as dope as the ones I saw. Home decor for me is an escape from reality. I aim to make my apartment feel how I feel when I go away, cozy and luxurious. When we first moved in, the first thing we purchased was our couch and this was during the pandemic when everyone had to be quarantined so you can only imagine the adventures we had with it. From movie nights, to game nights to eating late, and just enjoying each other’s company. This couch has definitely been our safe haven for sure.” 

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Credit: Erin Derby

Marikah and Duran are renting this one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn, and she says it’s spacious enough to fit everything they need, including all the baby things for their daughter, Maiori. “This apartment compared to others in Brooklyn would be considered very nice and spacious,” writes Marikah. “It’s really hard to come across an apartment like this nowadays for a reasonable price (in a nice neighborhood). My husbae really did his thing when we were apartment shopping. I have to give him his props because he was so good at negotiating and overall researching the perfect fit and style for us. The neighborhood is not loud like other parts of Brooklyn and my neighbors are really nice and friendly. They even go out their way to even hold our packages for us if we aren’t home! Our mailman actually drops our packages to our door, vs. just leaving it downstairs at the mailbox. 10/10 love how this community is.”

Credit: Erin Derby

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: I think I would describe my style as boho, chic, vintage, and modern. A mixture of all those kind of captures me as a person. Although I’m a sucker for a minimalistic, clean look, sometimes the decor I want to buy shies away from that and that’s OKAY. I think I’ve always kept the minimalist look in a box and didn’t really understand that a “minimalistic aesthetic” can still include a pop of color here or there. I’m really big on clean, boho, chic pieces that stand out and my husbae is the same way, so when it comes to home decor we can always agree quite easily. 

Inspiration: I get my inspiration from YouTube videos the most, but honestly my biggest inspiration comes from my last minute ideas in my head of what I want this space to look and feel like.

Credit: Erin Derby

Favorite Element: It’s so hard to choose because all of the rooms are amazing to me, but the kitchen and bedroom are my favorites. I love my kitchen because it makes me so proud every time I walk in there. We did a whole 360 in my kitchen when we added those tall storage racks and it has been a game changer for us. We also get the best light in the kitchen and the most beautiful views when it’s snowing in the winter time. I love my bedroom because it gives me freedom to let loose with a combination of different design styles. Since having our daughter, we turned the corner of our bedroom to a little nursery nook, which is definitely a hidden gem and can’t be seen from outside the room when the door is open (a plus). I love that we added the wallpaper in that corner because it gives her little space character and belonging. 

Biggest Challenge: Lighting! Our apartment is towards the back of the building so we don’t get the best lighting. In our living room, outside one of the windows is a brick wall from the building across from us, so it kind of lessens the light (but it is also a hack for privacy keeping). As a plant mom, I had to find a way to overcome this dilemma so we invested in plant lights alongside the curtain rods so it gives our plants the sufficient light they need. I had way more plants than this, but sadly some didn’t make it. I plan to add more plants to my collection soon.

Credit: Erin Derby

Proudest DIY: I have a couple of my proudest DIYs. First, is the bedroom bookshelves that I added on the wall to hang/showcase some of her favorite dresses and store our bathroom essentials and body oils. Second, the wooden hangers (three to be exact), for her baby bags, carriers, and jackets/coats. Third, in the kitchen, I used different colored mesh bags I snagged from amazon to store my fruits and veggies. Fourth, the windows. On all the window panels I wanted a “window pane look” so I saw a DIY and achieved it by using black electrical tape. The only thing I’d recommend is to swap it out and redo it every two months or so to avoid the sticky residue. Fifth, are our electric blinds from IKEA. This was pricey because we got four in total, but it was worth it. We love to sleep in darkness, and this really keeps out ALL the light at night and during movie nights. Last but definitely not least, the projector on our living room ceiling. We decided to save space and opt out of the “traditional television in the living room look,” for a projector to screen on the wall. My husbae took his time and set that up. This is definitely the best hack of all time and it ties in well with how our lighting situation is set up in our living room. Since we get little light, plus our electric blinds… it’s the perfect combo. Imagine the movie theater feeling right in your living room!

Credit: Erin Derby

Biggest Indulgence: Our couch! It was pricey, but worth it. It’s literally the most comfiest couch I’ve ever sat on. Everyone rants and raves about it when they come over to visit.

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? It captures everything we love and are passionate about. I’ll elaborate a bit. Our plants that take up space within almost every room, our bikes in our entryway, my husbae’s vinyl player and 100s of records, DIY projects that showcase things we love, the storage rack turned bookshelf in our entryway hall, and my storage hacks around my home.

Credit: Erin Derby

What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? Some of my favorite products are our Dyson air purifier and humidifier and our voice-automated blinds and projector systems. We splurged on our Dyson when we found out we were pregnant. We wanted to make sure we had the best, clean air for our baby. We also love our gadgets, so our voice-automated blinds (that also come with a remote) make life so much easier in the mornings. Somewhat like Siri and Alexa, our projector has the feature where we can “speak things into existence.”

Credit: Erin Derby

Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: Some helpful tips for organization? I got you.

  1. Use baskets to store and hide away things. We use our baskets to store our blankets, daughter’s toys, baby blankets/clothes, plant necessities, and other household tools under our cabinets.
  2. Do it yourself and save your coins! I bought my wall decals and electrical tape from Amazon and Etsy and got the luxurious look I wanted on a budget.
  3. Use closet dividers to make your closet look more neat and organized.
  4. Use mesh bags to store things like fruits or vegetables. You can also use them to store your laundry necessities like the dryer sheets, masks to grab and go, shoe covers for when guests or maintenance workers come to do work in your apartment etc.
  5. Use the large Ziploc bags and storage bins to store things flat and sleek underneath your bed. It keeps it neat and you know where everything is. 
  6. Use bookshelves for other purposes like I did. 
  7. Hang your plants!
  8. Repurpose storage by using a rolling rack for makeup stations, bathroom stations, or baby stations!

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Go for it! Sometimes because you live in an apartment you can’t always do everything you want to (painting the walls for example), so improvise and find hacks. Amazon, IKEA, and Etsy have all the best DIY tools to transform your home on a budget. You don’t have to spend hundreds to obtain luxury. You can make your home the way you want it to be. Don’t be afraid to step out and do so. Although you’re renting, you can still be comfortable. I have so many other upcoming DIY projects to complete in my home and I cannot wait to do it!


Credit: Erin Derby


  • Bike Hanger — Dahanger
  • Bookshelf — Amazon
  • Artwork 1 plant lady — Urban Outfitters
  • Artwork 2 black girl blowing bubble gum — Wayfair
  • Fur rug — Amazon
  • Entryway Rack (not pictured) — Open Spaces
Credit: Erin Derby


  • Couch — Wayfair
  • Boho pillow cover — Amazon
  • Frames — Framebridge (family photos)
  • Art prints — Lindsey Kay Collective 
  • Computer desk — Wayfair
  • Computer chair — Amazon
  • Plant light — Amazon
  • Foot stool — IKEA
  • Rug — Overstock
  • Electric blinds — IKEA
  • Projector— Best Buy
  • Pampas grass — Amazon
  • Large knot pillow — Etsy
  • Wall decals — Etsy
  • Fur rug on couch — Amazon
Credit: Erin Derby


  • Storage racks — IKEA
  • Dining table — Wayfair
  • Chairs — Wayfair
  • Cushion covers — Wayfair
  • High chair — Maisonette
  • Mesh reusable bags — Amazon
  • Trash garbage can — Amazon
Credit: Erin Derby


  • Bed — Wayfair
  • Wooden hanger — H&M
  • Bookshelf — Amazon
Credit: Erin Derby


  • Crib — Buy Buy Baby
  • Matching dresser for crib — Buy Buy Baby
  • Tall Dresser — Overstock
  • Wallpaper — Wallmur
  • Crib sheets — Solly Baby
  • Crib small knot pillow — Etsy
Credit: Erin Derby


  • Wall decals — Etsy
  • Pampas grass — Amazon
  • Shower Curtain — Target
  • Vanity tray — Target

Thanks Marikah!

This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.