Interiorssneak peeks

A Multifunctional Apartment in Brooklyn

by Amy Azzarito

Furniture designer Katy Skelton Acuff and her husband Drew Acuff – who’s in the process of completing a graduate degree in publishing – have called Brooklyn’s neighborhood of Crown Heights home for the last three years, but they just transitioned to this two-bedroom apartment in May. For Katy, it’s more than just home, it’s also her furniture workshop. So it was important they find a place with a second bedroom so she could shut the door and contain the mess at the end of the workday. Luckily, they found this apartment, in a building built in the 1800s, right around the corner from their old apartment, which certainly made moving a simple prospect. With great light, high ceilings and an open-plan living space, they were smitten right away. And when they saw the balcony, they were sold, put down a deposit on the spot and got the keys just one week later. The apartment had been recently renovated so there wasn’t much to do other than change out some of the light fixtures. Now they have a space that functions equally well as a workshop, home office, study space for Drew and, with the open-plan living room/kitchen, entertaining space for friends. –Amy

Photography by Maxwell Tielman

Image above: “Our living room is my favorite room in the house,” says Katy. “We get so much light and have huge windows and a glass door that we keep open almost all the time. Drew is a grad student and while he has a desk in the office, he often works on the sofa with his laptop. The sconce is from One Forty Three, and the vintage kilim pillow is from Etsy. The sofa is actually from IKEA. We bought a cover from Knesting and legs from Uncle Bob’s Workshop to make it look a little nicer. The coffee table and tray are from my line.”

Image above: “In the bedroom, I made custom Round Zelda Tables from my furniture line. Since they don’t have drawers, I use a candy dish from my grandmother’s house to hold lotion and Chapstick. The cleat on the wall reminds me of my dad, who took me sailing all the time when I was growing up. The light is a prototype for my line, and the art is a tiny embroidered textile that I got this last summer when I took my sister to San Jose del Cabo for her bachelorette weekend.”


See more of this Brooklyn apartment after the jump!

Image above: “Our home is a testing lab for my pieces, and I just introduced the Desi Media Cabinet earlier this year, so we have been using it to see if there are any changes that need to be made in the construction. The side table with the plant on it was part of my graduate thesis, which was a collection of pieces I had manufactured at a fair-trade factory in India. The leather camp stool was purchased on a trip to India, and the decorative items are from Vietnam and Tunisia.”

Image above: “The air plant in the small terrarium on our coffee table was one of the table decorations at our wedding last year. The acrylic Casper table is a piece that I developed while I was working at the Austin-based furniture wholesaler, Four Hands. The round mirror is actually just an IKEA bathroom mirror with a gold spray painted frame.”

Image above: “I love the little lamp, which is from West Elm. The basket is from The Little Market, which is a great resource for artisan-made goods. I got the box on my first trip to India in 2008.”

Image above: “This chair is the Louis Ghost chair by Philippe Starck. It is one of my all-time favorite designs, and is one of the pieces that greatly influenced my desire to be a designer. My parents gave me a set of two of them when I completed my MFA. The guitar is my husband’s.”

Image above: “This little brass yak is from Drew’s grandmother’s house. She passed away last year and he brought this home as a keepsake.”

Image above: “Our living room and kitchen are in one large room, which I love. Our last apartment had a separate kitchen, so when we entertained it was very secluded for the people making the food or drinks. I love the open plan, and really like that we have a counter we can sit at since we don’t have a dining room.”

Image above: “These are the lights that we switched out when we moved in. They are Ranarp from IKEA, and we have matching sconces which we used in our last bedroom. Most of the wooden cutting boards and ceramics are from Canvas, where I worked when we first moved to New York.”

Image above: “This rug is my favorite. I got it for a photo shoot last year from a Turkish rug dealer on eBay. I got a great deal on it and love the colors. Even though we have a great open kitchen, there isn’t much storage, so we keep our everyday dishes on this rolling cart. The map was a gift from Drew’s parents. It is a map of Brooklyn that I found on Etsy. None of us knew it was in Spanish until it arrived!”

Image above: “This is standing in the hall looking into the office. The artwork with the yellow chair is by our friend Brianne Farley, who is a children’s book author and illustrator. This print is artwork from her first book, Ike’s Incredible Ink. “

Image above: “This is my studio/office. It usually is a little bit more of a disaster, as I make Zelda tables, Captain’s Trays and endless experiments/prototypes in here. I like that it is a big open area because I usually need a lot of space for assembling furniture or boxing up orders. I put the wheels on the table so that we can move it around as needed. The parts set up on the table in the photo are for making my new marble tray, which will be introduced in a few weeks. I always have hairpin legs laying around, and these were for a custom nesting table set that I was finishing. “

Image above: “This is my desk. I bought the print for a branding story I was doing a few weeks ago and I love it. It is from Congo Studio in Spain. The lamp is another prototype I am working on. It actually isn’t wired in the photo because I was still figuring out the configuration of the parts. “

Image above: “This map was a gift from Drew’s grandmother when he was little to document his travels. When we moved in together, I added some of my trips to it, and since then we have started documenting places we go together.”

Image above: “The pillow on our bed is from an Etsy maker. Whenever I am looking for something new for our home, I almost always start with Etsy. There are so many great makers out there, and I love to support them by buying from them instead of big companies when I can. The art above our bed is a wood-block print that I made during a printmaking class in graduate school. “

Image above: “The windows above the closet look into the office, which has a huge window. I actually ended up liking that we don’t have any exterior windows in the bedroom. It stays pretty dark in there all the time, which is great for napping or sleeping in. The closet that was added to the room created a perfect shelf for all of our books. Our bed is actually an IKEA frame that I upholstered with fabric from Mood.”

Image above: “We are so lucky to have a private outdoor space. We love sitting out here in the mornings for breakfast, and in the evening for people-watching. We are on a main street so we have a lot of traffic, which keeps things pretty interesting. I also use the space often for work projects. I sand, cut wood and spray paint out here, which is so nice because I had to do all that on the fire escape at our last apartment.”

Living Room
Sconce from One Forty Three
Kilim pillow from Etsy
Captain’s Tray, Desi Coffee Table, One Drink Table from Katy Skelton
Mirror from IKEA
Sofa from IKEA
Sofa cover from Knesting
Sofa legs from Uncle Bob’s Workshop
Desi Media Console from Katy Skelton
“Married to the Sea” print by Clare Elsaesser
“Waiting” by Ian Baguskas
Casper Table
West Elm lamp
Louis Ghost chair by Kartell

Zelda table from Katy Skelton
Cleat from Anthropologie
Bed from IKEA
Industry desk by Katy Skelton
Artwork by Congo Studio
Gold pillow by Frosting Home Decor
Girl in Yellow Suit art by Lisa Goligtly

IKEA Ranarp lights
IKEA barstools
Rug from eBay
Ikea cart


Suggested For You


  • It’s so lovely to see how you’ve decorated your apartment in Crown Heights. I’ve recently moved into the neighborhood and love it. Those beautiful older buildings have so much potential and you did such a wonderful job. Thanks for sharing!

  • I think a bedroom without an outside window, but with adjacent light is a smart idea, especially in an apartment with limited space and (probably) noisy traffic nearby; quiet, dark, and no peeping toms. I like your home.

  • Looks comfy! Love that you embrace the “sounds” of your neighborhood & the balcony is amazing. You mentioned breakfast on the patio… Is that do-able in your pj’s or “not cool?”

  • Wow!!!! Loved so many things in this apartment.. Lot of good collection… Side table with plant, ghost chair, kitchen/dining, studio/office… Nice nice nice.. . Nice post Amy!

  • What a beautifully curated home! I was going to ask where the desk in the office and the side table on the balcony are from, but took a wild guess they were made by Katy, and, indeed, I see them on her website. Adding to my wishlist!

  • gorgeous home. i love the amount of restraint used in the decorating…it makes every piece feel really special and loved.

  • How did you turn that ikea bed into your bed? Did you out the grey fabric on the headboard yourself?

  • I LOVE the acrylic side table, I searched the Four Hands website, but it doesn’t help me much because I am in Germany, any chance you know of a way I could get my hands on one? Fantastic apartment, I would feel very at home there :)

  • Lovely home. I especially love what appears to be lightweight linen drapes in your office. Did you have those custom made?

  • ah it’s so good to see this feature! I love Katy’s designs and style. I am so pleased to see one of my photographs in her space ! Even though it’s a bit hard to see (the light) I still am thrilled to see it in her fabulous space and am so proud! She is such an amazing designer and I love her aesthetic. Very open and airy space filled with such well made and gorgeous pieces. I am a huge fan!

  • Lovely home, i love it all! you’ve inspired me to decorate my apartment. Thank you for sharing your home with us and the locations where you got all your pieces. One item i couldn’t find on your list was the living room rug, where did you get it? Thanks