This Singer-Songwriter’s Brooklyn Rental Is Bold on a Budget

published May 12, 2023

This Singer-Songwriter’s Brooklyn Rental Is Bold on a Budget

published May 12, 2023
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Singer, songwriter, and entertainment industry professional Abhilasha Sinha says the hunt for an apartment to share with her husband, Joe Otterson (an entertainment journalist at Variety), was a challenging time in March of 2021. “This was our first apartment living together. My then-boyfriend was moving from Los Angeles, and I was essentially hunting for the both of us alone and then FaceTiming him/sharing photos,” Abhilasha begins. “We had some basic criteria: a two-bedroom or a large one-bedroom, dishwasher, and preferably separate kitchen (I’m an enthusiastic home cook). We love to host friends for dinner and my family from India visits sometimes, but because they visit for a long while at a time, we needed a large-enough space where we weren’t breathing down each other’s necks.”

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Credit: Erin Derby

Abhilasha was able to secure this fabulous rental — a 750-square-foot, two-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood — thanks to scouring StreetEasy and Facebook groups. And when it came to decorating the space, Abhilasha’s beliefs about home decor have created a beautiful, personal home. “It’s as personal as the clothes you wear, or the language you speak,” she describes of decorating a home. “It’s also really important to emphasize that home decor can often be an incredibly expensive and oftentimes wasteful habit,” she explains. “You don’t need to buy the latest home decor trends, only to throw them out a few months later. You don’t need to start the perfect DIY, only to abandon the project because you don’t actually know how to sand perfectly. It’s about getting the things in your home that bring you comfort and joy — and slowly realizing your own aesthetic over months, instead of filling your house in a single online order.” 

Credit: Erin Derby

Abhilasha continues: “Rajiv Surendra is a big inspiration for me in terms of a home decor sensibility — make as much as you can by yourself, only buy the things that you would use, buy things that are useful and beautiful, and don’t be afraid to use your most beautiful things! I also love Lone Fox Home (Drew Scott) and Caroline Winkler — they influence my home decor choices a lot!”

“Does designing my house in this way get hard, tiring, and frankly, inconvenient? Yes, it does. But there is a beauty in inconvenience. We’re so used to getting anything we want delivered to our doorstep, provided we can pay for it, that there’s very little fulfillment, rather than actually finding or creating something anymore. Plus it’s wonderful to see the items in your home that have a story behind how you procured it.” 



  • Entryway bench — Target (secondhand) 
  • Entryway rug — Target (new)
  • Entryway rug hung as wall art — Handmade from India
  • Entryway small antique silver mirrors — Facebook Marketplace
  • Hallway shoe closet — Amazon (new)
  • Hallway round mirror — West Elm (stooped)
  • Hallway rug — Thrifted
  • Hallway artwork — Thrifted/painted
Credit: Erin Derby


  • Cream/beige sofa (style unknown) — Ashley Furniture, Facebook Marketplace
  • Beige/cream cushions — Brand unknown, thrifted
  • Accent cushions — brand unknown, local stores in neighborhood
  • Blue accent chair — style & brand unknown, Facebook Marketplace
  • Southwest style throw cushion — West Elm – Facebook Marketplace
  • Area rug — Olivia rug – Joybird – Facebook marketplace
  • Bookshelf — vintage IKEA – stooped
  • Campanelli Coffee Table — Mercury Row (Wayfair) – Facebook marketplace
  • Mid century modern credenza, legs removed — West Elm – Facebook marketplace
  • Live edge wood side table — Facebook marketplace
  • Mastropietro Mobile Metal Bar Cart — Williston Forge (Wayfair) – Facebook marketplace
  • Vintage gold mirror over bar cart — Facebook marketplace 
  • Antique brass, black marble and glass accent table — stooped on @stoopingnyc
  • Fireplace mantle — stooped on stoopingnyc
  • Freestanding Stove Heater with Realistic Flame — Amazon
  • Fireplace mantle large antique gold mirror — purchased from a friend
  • Paintings — purchased at vintage stores/made by artist friends/painted by self
  • Cream linen-style curtains — Amazon
  • Yellow floral curtains — Homecentre (India)
  • Peach/pink door curtains — Homecentre (India)
  • Brass/wood nesting side tables — Facebook Marketplace
  • Olive green 1-drawer side table – gift from friend
  • Large donut hole ceramic cream vase – H&M Home – Facebook marketplace
  • Manila Cylinder Drum Accent Table next to fireplace – Target (Threshold) – Facebook markeplace
  • Vintage silver pedestal table next to fireplace – stooped
  • Faux marble and brass small console table – Facebook marketplace
  • Framed Monet print – buy nothing group
  • All lamps – stooped or Facebook marketplace, vintage/brands unknown
Credit: Erin Derby


  • Bel-Air 72.25” Upholstered Sofa — Wayfair – Facebook marketplace
  • Reclaimed wood shelf – Facebook marketplace
  • Slatted Herman Miller-esque bench used as coffee table – stooped on stoopingnyc
  • Red Turkish Hand Knotted Rug – Facebook Marketplace
  • Cream and Wood Side Tables – Mitchell Gold + Bob Williamsstooped on @stoopingnyc
  • Black shelf lamp with white lampshade — stooped
  • Cream ceramic lamp – Pottery Barn (with vintage lampshade) – Facebook marketplace
  • Wooden pedestal dining table – gift from friend
  • Pink velvet mid-century dining chairs – Overstock – Facebook marketplace 
  • Zareen Scarlet Rug (Round) – Ruggable – stooped 
  • Antique Lane cedar chest – stooped
  • Blue fabric wingback chair – Facebook Marketplace
  • Vintage wood desk/entryway console – Facebook Marketplace
  • VINDKAST White hanging pendant light – IKEA
  • Small gold/blue/maroon rug – Handmade from India
  • White curtains with red fringe – Amazon
  • Cream linen curtains – gift from friend
  • Artwork – Stooping/friends who are artists/prints/painted myself
Credit: Erin Derby


  • Layla Rug – LOLOI – stooped
  • Crosley Stainless Steel Top Kitchen Island – Target – Facebook marketplace
  • Reclaimed wood shelves – Facebook marketplace
  • Kitchen stools – IKEA – gift from friend
  • Chicken soup recipe drawings – Antonio Mora – Limited edition prints
  • Painting of flowers – my own
  • Vintage decor/books/crock – thrift stores
Credit: Erin Derby


  • Gray/Cream Tufted Bed Frame – Facebook Marketplace
  • Pink Turkish area rug – nuLoom – Facebook Marketplace
  • Yellow embroidered bedspread – Handmade in India
  • Tufted Diamond Crinkle Comforter – Target
  •  Reclaimed wood shelf – Facebook marketplace
  • 6-drawer White Oak MALM Dresser – IKEA – stooped
  • Painted dresser – Facebook Marketplace, painted and updated hardware myself
  • Vintage long full-length mirror – Stooped
  • Vintage needlepoint artwork – Remix Market
  • Vintage Antonio Peticov 1980s framed print – purchased from a homeless gentleman
  • Live edge wood bench – handmade by someone in the neighborhood
  • Blockprint bookends – Nicobar – Gift from a friend
  • Antique wood and cane chair – buy nothing group
  • White cotton curtains – Amazon, Fabindia
Credit: Erin Derby


  • Cream fabric shower curtains — Target
  • Green bathroom rugs — Amazon
  • Brass candlestick — pushcart vintage
  • Vintage wicker wastebasket — stooped

Thanks, Abhilasha!

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