A “Maximalist Rich Lady” Style Brooklyn Studio

updated Feb 19, 2019
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(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Name: Margaret Meehan and Tim Monaghan
Location: Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York
Size: 650 square feet
Years lived in: 8 months

Margaret and Tim’s Brooklyn loft is a dream of an apartment: Although it’s only 650 square feet, its high ceilings and ample light make it seem much bigger. Their building, which in a past life was a pencil factory, has plenty of interesting details: exposed brick, concrete floors, richly texture wood ceilings. Margaret and Tim have layered in lots of rugs, patterns, and interesting pieces, for a look that’s warm, stylish and welcoming.

Margaret & Tim's Lofty, Small Studio Apartment in Brooklyn - Kent Street

The apartment is technically a studio, but the alcove next to the front door, separated from the rest of the apartment by an IKEA bookcase that also provides book and record storage, stands in nicely as a bedroom. The rest of the apartment is really just one room, a lofty and multi-functional space that serves as living room, dining room, kitchen, and music room all in one.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

I love Margaret’s approach to design—her idea is to focus less on decorating and more on surrounding yourself with things you really love. She’s also a bit of a thrift shopper, having spent hours scouring eBay for some of the rugs you see here. The pieces all come together as if they wanted to be together all along, in that wonderful, serendipitous way that good decorators make seemingly effortless.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: ’60s interiors, books, and art.

Inspiration: The Omega Workshops and Charleston House, Candice Bergen’s 1979 apartment, maximalist rich lady apartments (like Nan Kempner, Gloria Vanderbilt, and Iris Apfel), ’60s modernism, Wallace Collection, and the period rooms at The Met.

Favorite Element: High ceilings with exposed beams. Makes us feel lofty.

Biggest Challenge: Moving from a two-bedroom apartment to a no-bedroom apartment. Many chairs were sacrificed! Many possessions hidden under the bed!

What Friends Say: They say, “cool apartment,” and then run and recoil in fear from cat’s hissing.

Biggest Embarrassment: The cat’s social graces (see above).

Proudest DIY: The plants are alive.

Biggest Indulgence: Nothing in the apartment was remotely expensive. I think I have permanent neck damage from spending hours on eBay searching for moderately attractive rugs under $200. Not being able to get exactly what you want can add to the personality of a place.

Best Advice: Surround yourself with things you authentically like (even if they’re extremely ugly). If you spend time cultivating your interests rather than “decorating,” your home will be a real reflection of your tastes.

Dream Sources: Marché aux Puces flea market, antique row in West Palm Beach (where I’m from), and Iris Apfel’s storage unit


(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)


  • Credenza: vintage, Craigslist
  • Mirror: antique, sister hand-me-down
  • Chairs: vintage, Brooklyn Flea
  • Rug: vintage, eBay
  • Painting: Thailand (from aunt)
  • Black-and-white photograph: by friend Aaron Diskin
  • Various artwork: thrift/antique stores, flea markets
(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)


  • Credenza: vintage, Craigslist
  • Coffee table: vintage, Craigslist
  • Rug: vintage, eBay
  • Lounge chair: vintage, Craigslist
  • Black ottoman: vintage, thrift store
  • Trunk: vintage, flea market
  • Buddha: hand-carved in Thailand (from aunt)
  • Gold lamp: vintage,
  • Ceramic lamp: West Elm
  • Pillows: vintage, Etsy, eBay
  • Various artwork and lithographs: thrift stores, flea markets
  • Photograph: by sister Erin Meehan


  • Dresser and hutch: vintage, Craigslist
  • Mirror: vintage, Brooklyn Flea
  • Table:
  • Chairs: vintage,
  • Rug: vintage, eBay
(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)


  • Paintings: by friend Phillip John Velasco Gabriel
  • Rug: Nepal (from aunt)
  • Lamp: vintage, Junk in Williamsburg
  • Bookshelf: Ikea
  • Closets: Ikea

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Thanks, Margaret & Tim!