This Small Brooklyn Rental Will Inspire You to Break Furniture Layout Rules

published Aug 5, 2021

This Small Brooklyn Rental Will Inspire You to Break Furniture Layout Rules

published Aug 5, 2021
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Name: Celeste Escotet and Lucas Silverstein
Location: Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Size: 600 square feet
Type of Home: Apartment
Years lived in: Less than a year, renting

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Celeste Escotet says that being born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, made her appreciate color, shapes, and movement — decor elements that play a large part in the small rental apartment she shares with her partner, Lucas Silverstein. “Those elements make me feel at home, make me feel closer to my family that is still there and my true unique identity,” she explains. “I utilized them while I was thinking and conceptualizing this space. Now, there’s bold colors, shapes and movement all around me and it immerses my partner in my culture and background, as well!”

Credit: Erin Derby

When Celeste and Lucas decided to move in together, they went on the hunt for a new place. “We were looking for something in a newer building in Brooklyn or Queens that had lots of natural light and space for both of us to work from home,” Celeste explains. “We fell in love with Greenpoint because of the people, food, and the energy of the area. We wanted to make the apartment a space where we could work productively while having a fun space to relax and unwind. Both of us coming from very different — yet creative — backgrounds, we found a way to mesh our vibrant and modern styles.”

By day, Celeste is Creative Lead for Social Media Strategy at Viacom CBS, but in her free time she manages an activism and news Instagram account she co-founded with a coworker, called @wereleavingearly.

Credit: Erin Derby

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: We have a very vibrant and colorful style and take a lot of inspiration from mid-century modern and Memphis styles. Having a creative background has allowed us to transform our small space into a fun place to work and live.

Inspiration: Mid-century modern and Memphis. Also, growing up in Venezuela I was surrounded by very vibrant colors, patterns, and shapes. My mom was a theater clothing designer, which is where I take most of my different patterns combinations and fabric inspiration.

Credit: Erin Derby

Favorite Element: Our big windows and the view of the East River and Manhattan. We’re fortunate enough to see the Chrysler and Empire State buildings from our balcony.

Biggest Challenge: The size of the apartment was our biggest challenge. At only 600 square feet, it was a challenge creating separate working and living spaces with an open layout. We were able to split our open space into different sections to separate work and life to create a good work/life balance.

Credit: Erin Derby

Proudest DIY: The wall in our bedroom. Since our living room is vibrant and colorful because of the gallery wall and rug, we wanted to carry some of the color to the bedroom without it becoming overwhelming. We painted a teal arch on the wall of the bedroom to give the room some dimension/depth since it’s a very small space.

Biggest Indulgence: Our record player, speakers, and record collection. We love playing a couple records to start our day and Greenpoint is full of small record shops where we can explore new sounds and build our collection. The records also double as artwork that can be switched up from time to time as they are an extension of our gallery wall.

Credit: Erin Derby

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? We were able to split the open living room space into a workstation and a typical living room area with our couch and TV. We also separate our workstation from the kitchen using a minimal shelf unit that we bought from Facebook Marketplace. 

What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? The shelves that separate our working space and kitchen and small thrifted decor pieces (mug, vases, and lamps).

Credit: Erin Derby

Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: Don’t be a wall hugger! I’ve learned over the years of decorating my own spaces to try to visualize the floor plan in a more fluid way rather than filling wall space. Don’t be scared to add elements in the middle of the room that will ultimately make your small space feel bigger.

What’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Stay true to yourself and don’t mimic anyone else’s style. Have fun with it and try to bring your personality into your space with art, music, sports, or whatever it may be. Make it somewhere you want to be, not just a place to sleep.


Credit: Erin Derby


  • Because we’re renting we didn’t have control over the paint color, but for the arch in the bedroom we used — Country Chic Paint’s “Bliss”
Credit: Erin Derby


  • Shelf — Facebook Marketplace
  • Desk — Amazon
  • Work Chairs — Amazon
  • Lamp — @shopsometimes on IG
  • Record Player Stand — Wayfair
  • Record Player — Audio Technica
  • Balcony Chairs — CB2
  • Balcony Table — Novogratz
  • Air purifier — Amazon
Credit: Erin Derby


  • Sofa — Wayfair
  • Rug — Novagratz
  • TCL Roku TV — Amazon
  • Table — Overstock
  • Ottoman — Wayfair
  • Armchair — Wayfair
  • Art work — Matisse, Alex Proba, Myself
  • Pillow Covers — Amazon and Urban Outfitters
  • Disco Ball Plant Pot — @bluehourgoods on IG and ETSY
  • Lamp — @honeyandivydesign on IG and ETSY
  • Speaker — Marshall Speaker
  • Vinyl Shelves — Amazon
  • Milk Crates — Etsy
Credit: Erin Derby


Credit: Erin Derby


  • Dresser — Facebook Marketplace
  • Armoires — IKEA
  • Lamp — @honeyandivydesign on IG and ETSY
  • Décor — Amazon

Thanks Celeste and Lucas!

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