A Minimal Brooklyn Studio Is Small-Space Living Done Well

updated Apr 30, 2019

A Minimal Brooklyn Studio Is Small-Space Living Done Well

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Name: Emily Kellerman
Location: Ditmas Park — Brooklyn, NY
Size: 450 square feet|
Years Lived In: 3 years, renting

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Prop stylist Emily Kellerman’s small studio apartment is proof you don’t need a ton of space—or separate rooms—to live beautifully and well. We first saw a sneak peek of her small 450-square-foot Brooklyn rental apartment in a house call, but I wanted to see more. Though a studio apartment… the space doesn’t feel like a glorified bedroom… nor does it feel cluttered or cramped. She’s harnessed the powers of good space planning to lay out a home that gives her cozy nooks for different activities, all while keeping the space feeling light and airy.

Emily called this her dream apartment when she described the space in her house call. “I was sold on the pink bathtub, moldings, and unique entryways.” Also the first time she’d be living without roommates, she was free to make every design decision herself—in a way that suits her needs.

What makes her home so successful despite its small size and lack of a bedroom door is how she’s harnessed the power of corners… both creating them and using the ones that existed. She purchased a sectional sofa that created a distinct living room area. She created a half wall that, combined with her bed, shapes a cozy little bedroom nook. Her favorite spot in the whole apartment—the breakfast table—features a corner bench and a lot of light.

Flooding the space with a lot of white allows the light to bounce around and for the space to feel larger than it is. But quirky accessories and spots of neon color inject fun into the design.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: A collection of all the things I like. Vintage, modern, minimalist, crafty I mix it all together.

Inspiration: My grandparents’ apartment; it had built-ins and was always neat. Along with Terence Conran and tons of internet content in and out of my mind.

Favorite Element: My breakfast nook.

Biggest Challenge: Creating a separate area to feel grounded and cozy to sleep in.

What Friends Say: That it is very Emily

Biggest Embarrassment: I love to make a pile of clothes on the back of the couch when I take them off at night. Forever a bedroom bleeding into a living room. I try my hardest to get them right into the closet.

Proudest DIY: My fake headboard/pony wall to create my sleeping area.

Biggest Indulgence: The couch. It is from Bloomingdales and is the perfect size. It wasn’t the cheapest. It is perfect and I love sitting in the corner.

Best Advice: Collect what you love, and what is meaningful to you. Always except family heirlooms!

Dream Sources: It’s all about the hunt for me; estate sales make my heart pump.


Benjamin Moore — Flat White

Table — Vintage
Hooks — Command Hooks
Mirror — Came with the apartment

Sofa — Bloomingdales, it is out of stock but they have a lot of great options and sales!
Acrylic Stacking Side Table — Purchased at a studio sale, similar to this CB2 one.
Poster — emovieposter.com
Frame — Framebridge
Rug — From a friend who was selling rugs from Morocco I would recommend searching Azilal on Etsy for similar rugs
TV Ledge — Ekena Mill Work
Pendant Light — Pearl River
Cord — Color Cord

Banquet Seating — Vintage sourced on Craigslist
Docksta — IKEA

Go Cart Shelf — CB2. Similar to this.

Platform Bed with Hydraulic Lift — Bought used from Craigslist. Was from CB2. Similar to this Overstock one.

Black and White Bath Mat — Aelfie

Thanks, Emily!

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