This Organic Minimal Brooklyn Condo Is Inspired by West Africa

published Nov 13, 2023

This Organic Minimal Brooklyn Condo Is Inspired by West Africa

published Nov 13, 2023
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Oyin Antwi, the cofounder of interior design firm Via Asha Design and Digital Park, a Brooklyn-based creative design studio, is no stranger to Apartment Therapy. We first toured her 370-square-foot studio apartment she lived in solo in 2019. Then, in 2020, we got to see inside the new home of her and husband, Jeffery Antwi, which was a slight upgrade in size at 550 square feet, but still a compact home that showed off what a talented designer and small-space planning expert Oyin is.

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AT didn’t just stop at featuring those two homes, though. We also filmed a gorgeous video tour, and went into more detail about an incredibly smart and organized closet.

Considering just how beautiful and functional these previous homes have been, it comes as no surprise that their current home — a Brooklyn condo they’ve put some renovation work into — is just as lovely (and packed with inspiration, too).

“A year after the pandemic, as NYC began getting back to its favorite pastime of rebuilding, I was on my usual afternoon strolls when I was stopped in my tracks by a regency-style condo building in construction,” Oyin begins. I looked up at the glimmering white stucco façade contrasted against black wrought iron Juliette balconies, the beautiful bay windows with evocative architectural moldings, and immediately knew this must be ‘home.’”

“Growing up in London as a child, I’ve always had an affinity for row homes in regency-style architecture, and seeing this similar style as a condo building in the middle of one of my most beloved Brooklyn neighborhoods could not have been a better dream come true, as my husband, Jeff, and I were in the process of searching for a condo to purchase. This modern white stucco building was a reconstruction of the previous townhome that stood there since 1899, converted into a six-unit modern boutique condo building that still paid an ode in design to the neighboring homes on this classic Brooklyn block,” she continues.  

“At that point in 2021, interest rates were skyrocketing … but so were our rent prices in NYC, and we decided that if we could qualify for a condo that would give us a lower mortgage payment than our current rent price, then we would pursue purchasing. We knew that ultimately, as we continued to save money to build our forever home, if we could purchase something in the meantime that could then serve as rental income in the future, it would make sense for us financially,” Oyin admits.

“After working with a few lenders from the end of 2021 to 2022, we were able to secure our desired rate and mortgage payment with Rocket Mortgage, and my dream of owning a piece of real estate in the city that has changed my life over the past decade, was becoming a reality.”

“At that point, the building was still in construction, but it allowed us to get a head-start in working with our real estate agent and friend, Janet Temidayo, to put in an offer when the condo units in the building came to market end of 2022. Thankfully our offer was accepted, and we scored a great deal for our one-bedroom/one-bathroom street-facing unit with a rooftop, and officially closed this past March 2023!” 

Oyin didn’t waste any time after closing to start the decoration process, explaining that the entire month of April was “filled with e-design sessions with my sister and cofounder of Via Asha Design, Sade Hoffschroer, to help think through and validate my ideas and design solutions for each space.”

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They moved the bedroom entrance 30 inches to the left so they could convert the bedroom door into a pocket door, giving them enough room to install an IKEA PAX wardrobe.

“As an interior designer with over a decade of experience designing homes of all shapes and sizes in the London areas, our small modern box condo was an easy feat and the perfect canvas for Sade and me to create art with,” Oyin continues.

“Together, we created e-design mood boards and a shopping list for each area of the space, and once complete, the next step was finding the right full-service local general contractor to partner with in executing it all. For ease of search, Angi came to save the day! I was able to narrow down my search on Angi’s app to a local contractor company, Waxtel LLC, who helped get the job done.”

Oyin explains that she wanted to create more distinct “division between the spaces” in the open-plan condo, and came up with four main ways to do that:

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"Apart from the beautiful curves of the bay-windows (which is what sold us to be honest), the rest of our condo unit itself was essentially a plain white modern box," Oyin begins.

“Firstly, the original straight ceiling beam in the middle of the room was converted into a dropped arched ceiling beam to distinctly divide the entry/kitchen vs. living/dining, creating a striking architectural detail that still softens the edges of the room and complements the curves of the bay window,” she writes. “Whether you’re entering the condo and looking towards the bay windows or sitting on the ledge of the bay windows looking towards the kitchen, the dropped arch ceiling beam creates a midway pause to your line of sight in a stylish, but subtle way.”

“Secondly, wood wall panels were used to zone the living area from the dining area, and because these panels have an acoustic felt-backing, they also reduce noise levels within our street-facing unit. In addition, they create a sense of extended height in the space, giving it a minimalist but stand-out design that serves as a sort of artwork in the living area.”

“Thirdly, in our L-shaped kitchen area, custom millwork cabinets were added on the back wall to create additional storage and give a more finished look to the space, while the terrazzo backsplash was added underneath to add character to the original all-white kitchen,” she continues.

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"Our budget for renovations was $20,000: about $12K for contractor work and another $8K for furnishing and decor, and our maximum timeline was 4 months (in hopes to have all renovations done and furniture arrival by fall, our favorite season to cozy into our space)."

“And lastly, a movable natural wood island table with seating and storage was added to the entry/kitchen area. This table allows for additional ‘countertop’ space for prepping in the kitchen, or sitting and enjoying quick bites, but it also serves an entryway console, as it’s positioned across from the coat and storage closet as well.”









Thanks, Oyin!

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