Finding a great apartment in New York City can often come down to the luck of the draw. No matter what your budget, there is always a chance that you might end up needing to settle for something a little less than desirable — closet-sized living quarters, a 20-minute walk from the closest train, a windowless basement apartment with a peculiar smell. Indeed, as infinite as New York’s real estate options are, so too is the litany of horror stories that can accompany them. This is why, when one is able to lock down a gem— perhaps something with beautiful light; well-maintained hardwood floors; a view that isn’t limited to your neighbor’s bathroom window — it is worth celebrating.
When designer Dana Haim and journalist Jaron Gilinsky moved to the city three years ago, they were lucky enough to stumble upon such a gem. After a few false starts and failed attempts at finding the perfect space, the couple found it in Brooklyn’s historic Fort Greene neighborhood. In many ways the Holy Grail of New York City apartment hunting, the rental seemed to have it all. Gigantic windows with interior shutters; stunning crown moldings with ornate, acanthus leaf brackets; beautiful parquet flooring; a magnificent wooden mantel in the living room. Best of all? It was within walking distance to the park and within the couple’s budget.
This is not to say that Dana and Jaron faced no challenges when they arrived. Originally occupying the space as subletters, the couple had to agree to the terms set by the apartment’s official tenants. “It’s actually taken us about three years to settle in and get the place to feel like our home,” Dana says. “Since we subleased the space we were told not to change too much. Certain shelves, fixtures and paint colors had to stay…We didn’t really have a ton of creative freedom.”
Subleasing constraints aside, though, Dana and Jaron found creative ways to make the space feel like their own. “We really wanted to create a space that was a genuine expression of who we are individually and as a couple,” Dana continues. To do this, the couple turned to framed photographs, artfully arranged objects, and judiciously placed furnishings. Dana’s own textile art makes appearances, while the couple’s extensive book collection imparts bits of their personalities throughout the space. “We kept it simple, streamlined our stuff, and let the apartment speak for itself. We wanted to create an inviting and warm space because we love entertaining and want people to feel comfortable in our home.” —Max
- Rug – West Elm
- Lamps – Future Perfect
- Ladder – Future Perfect
- Indian embroidered textile on bed
- Pom-Pom wall hanging- Dana Haim
- Pom-Pom Necklaces, Morocco
- Ceramic vases – Moon River Chattel in Brooklyn
- Little naked female statue: gifted from a friend from Denmark
- Ceramic bowl – Mociun in Brooklyn
- Tea towel – won it in an Instagram contest from one of my favorite shops in San Fransisco, Little Paper Planes, it is by Jenny Pennywood.
- Hanging gourd baskets – typical for hanging veggies and fruits from the island of Dominica (we got it while honeymooning there).
- Spice rack – jars saved from wedding centerpieces
- Ceramics – acquired from all over. There are some by some Israeli artists, some from NY-based artists such as Susannah Sullivan and Shino Takeda. Some of my own mixed in there and a few also purchased at Mociun in Williamsburg.
- Round rug: West Africa
- Art prints: Brooklyn Flea
- Inherited art works
- Book case: West Elm
- Couch: West Elm
- Little tulip chair: Pierre Paulin
- Patterned rug: Cape Town, South Africa
- Coffee table: inherited from brother-in-law Neil. It’s from 80s London.