A 400-Square-Foot Brooklyn Apartment Gives Truth To The Phrase ‘Less Is More’

updated Mar 10, 2020

A 400-Square-Foot Brooklyn Apartment Gives Truth To The Phrase ‘Less Is More’

updated Mar 10, 2020
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Name: Taylor Lorenz
Location: Fort Greene, Brooklyn
Size: 400 square feet
Years Lived In: 1.5 years, renting

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If you’re a millennial or older and you know anything about TikTok, niche Instagram memes, or other Gen Z related topics, you likely have Taylor Lorenz to thank. A technology reporter for The New York Times, Taylor primarily covers internet culture, like social media, online trends, influencers, memes, and more. When she’s not writing about the culture of technology or competing in web-surfing competitions (yes, she’s competed in a web-surfing competition—and won a prize for it, thank you very much), Taylor can be found at home in her dreamy, light-filled, one-bedroom, 400-square-foot apartment in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. 

A rare New York City story, Taylor has actually lived in this unit twice. She originally lived in the apartment from 2013 to 2014 but later moved out of New York. She loved the apartment, and managed, quite impressively, to move back into the same unit about a year and a half ago. “I had already lived there before and it was decorated totally differently. When I moved back, I thought about all of the design choices I made the first time and how I wanted to switch it up this time around,” she said. 

She has made the most of her small space with her perfectly positioned sectional, wall-mounted projector, and fireplace-turned-bookshelf. Having lived in larger spaces in different cities, Taylor says she actually prefers a smaller apartment. In fact, she calls her Fort Greene home, a “perfect one-person apartment.” When she moved back to New York, she had sold all of her furniture, down to the pots and pans, and appreciated the opportunity to choose every design element that went into this space, including skipping a desk and opting for a space-saving fold-out table. “It was great because I got to have a totally fresh start. I got to fill [the apartment] with things that were really intentional,” she said. And who doesn’t love a do-over? 

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My style: I’d describe my home as clean, modern, bright, and colorful. 

Inspiration: I love decorating and redoing spaces. I follow a lot of before and after Instagram accounts, and that gives me a lot of ideas. I’m always making changes; my apartment is never static. I like to change it up. 

Favorite Element: The thing I love the most is that [the unit] is south-facing and on the fourth floor, so it gets tons of light. I face a church courtyard in the back, so you feel like you’re up in the trees. Every Sunday morning I can hear church bells and choirs singing, so it’s really peaceful and quiet.

Also, my grandmother was a very avid needlepointer and needlepointed the cover of this chair that I have in the corner of my apartment, which I love—it’s one of my keepsake items. My grandmother also used to collect wooden ducks, so I have one of her mallards.

Biggest Challenge: My apartment is tiny! When I lived here previously I tried to cram too much stuff into a tiny space. Now, with the table that flips up and has chairs stashed underneath I can transform my living room into a dining area, or chill on the couch and turn it into a movie room with my projector, or pull over my chair and stool and have a seating area for up to five people. It’s still tiny, but having the room be more multi-function makes it feel bigger. 

Proudest DIY: I got a projector for my apartment as a gift. For a while I had the projector just sitting on a chair, so I built this shelf and now I can lay in bed and watch movies.

Best Advice: My main advice for anyone with a small space is not to focus too much on filling it. When I lived here before, I had a desk, shelving, a large arm chair in the living room, a couch, and a large, fixed coffee table. The room felt so cluttered because you couldn’t move things around or transform it for different use cases! So my advice is to stick with the basics, and don’t be afraid of a little open space. 




Thanks Taylor!