In Refinery29’s Sweet Digs, we take a look inside the sometimes small, sometimes spacious homes of millennial city dwellers. Today, New York native Brittany Garrett shows off her spacious, airy Bushwick studio apartment.
When 28-year-old Brittany Garrett finally decided to move in with her boyfriend, they both knew that they would need a lot of light. “We had a lot of plants before moving in together,” Garrett says. “I think my boyfriend had 30 plants and I had about 20, so, the hardest part was actually getting all of them over.”
The search for light led to a spacious apartment in Bushwick, Brooklyn, a Craigslist find at $3000 a month. The only issue: a wall separating the bedroom from the living space. So Garrett emailed the management company, offering to take the apartment with a few changes: Knock down the wall, paint the pipes and the ceiling, and retile the bathroom. “I mean, it’s New York,” she says. “If an apartment isn’t taken care of, it’ll fall apart immediately. And $3,000 a month isn’t cheap; we want to get our money’s worth. So we thought, we might as well ask. It’s kind of like negotiating a salary.”
Lucky for her, the management company agreed to all the terms — and completed her to-do list within five days. The result: A bright, sunny space filled to the brim with internationally-sourced art, vintage finds, and 52 plants (yes, they’ve added more). Scroll ahead to shop some of Garrett’s finds and read more about her decorating style.
How did you think about laying out this open space?
“It as easy because the bedroom is off in a little nook. The main thing was just figuring out where the plants went first, and then we arranged from there. Every two months we’ll change the layout around, but it’s easy because we have so much space.”
“Well my boyfriend lived in his apartment for about eight years before, so he had so much stuff. And I moved around quite a lot; I lived in London and I lived in California, so I was just used to moving all the time. So that was interesting; he had to get rid of a lot of stuff. Also, since our closets weren’t built-in or anything, when we first moved in everything was basically in the middle of the apartment. Then we slowly found places to put everything. ”
You mentioned you found a lot of pieces secondhand. Where do you normally browse?
“Junk is definitely a favorite, the one in Williamsburg. Brooklyn Flea is obviously a great place to go, and if you go on Grand Avenue and Bedford, there are a million antique stores over there. I got this really cool yellow tin for $25, and I have all my makeup and facial products in there. You can literally get anything in these antique stores.”
Where did you find inspiration for your space?
“Well, Andy’s mom is super into Pinterest, so when we were moving to the apartment, she made us a million different boards that we would get a lot of inspiration from. She’s so cute, and she knew our style really well. All our inspiration came from apartments with plants.”
Do you have any decorating rules or tips?
“Sometimes my boyfriend will be rearranging things, and he’ll make things super aligned with each other. He’ll have one thing in the middle and then two things on the side. But I like just putting stuff out there, mixing everything up, and if it works it works. If it doesn’t, we’ll take things out. Not everything needs to be perfectly aligned. I kind of like things to look a little messy in a weird way.”
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