Interiorssneak peeks

Amazing Details In Fort Greene, Brooklyn

by Maxwell Tielman

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

Source List


  • 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.

Living Room:

  • 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.
Dana Haim and Jaron Gilinsky's Brooklyn home, featured on Design*Sponge
The living room. "We got the hammock in Cartagena, Colombia (where my family is from and where we got married)," Dana says, "and decided to display it above the couch since we don't have space in the apartment or outdoor space to hang it from. We figured it would be better there for now than scrunched away in some box."
Dana Haim and Jaron Gilinsky's Brooklyn home, featured on Design*Sponge
Corner of the living room. "The rug was a wedding gift that our friends picked up in Africa for us," Dana says. "They sent it through the post and it got here about nine months later. We were totally convinced it was lost, and one day it showed up in a very tattered box that had clearly been through a lot. It's a very special piece to say the least. All the art on the wall is meaningful to us in some way and represents an important time in our lives. The silhouette is actually Jaron's from when he was a six-year-old in kindergarten. The torso drawing is a beautiful and exquisitely done pencil drawing that mother did as a young lady, one of my most valued treasures."
Dana Haim and Jaron Gilinsky's Brooklyn home, featured on Design*Sponge
"This is the other half of the living room, which also has a lovely non-working fireplace that we use to store books and trinkets," Dana notes. "The rug is another meaningful heirloom that we inherited from Jaron's grandparents, who are from South Africa. You can see a glimpse of our rainbow bookshelf that my friend Callie and I painstakingly coded together. We are both avid National Geographic readers, so we have a big collection of those that we never throw away."
Dana Haim and Jaron Gilinsky's Brooklyn home, featured on Design*Sponge
A close-up of the living room's mantel. "We like to keep special things on here, "Dana says. "The drawing was purchased on the street from a very sweet old man one night while walking after dinner in Greenwich Village. I actually really love it; it's all done with tiny stippling marks and is a lovely reminder of that night."
Dana Haim and Jaron Gilinsky's Brooklyn home, featured on Design*Sponge
The living room office. "We did not have much space for a proper office or craft room, so we created this little nook with the extra space behind the couch," Dana says. "I am actually quite productive from home sometimes, so it's helpful to have a little mini work station here. The chair has been in my family as long as I can remember. I used it all throughout my teen years and jumped at the opportunity to bring it here. It's my favorite piece of furniture. It's an original Pierre Paulin Little Tulip chair designed in 1965. On the far right is one of my first weavings I ever made while at school for textiles at the Rhode Island School of Design. The other textiles were picked up on one of my trips to Cartagena. The lamp was an amazing thrift store score from my years in Providence that I have taken with me around the world."
Dana Haim and Jaron Gilinsky's Brooklyn home, featured on Design*Sponge
The bedroom. "We like to keep it very minimal," Dana notes, "with the exception of textiles and plants, which I am always happy to collect and display. We couldn't find nightstands that we liked, so we just picked up some old wooden crates at the Brooklyn Flea and went with those."
Dana Haim and Jaron Gilinsky's Brooklyn home, featured on Design*Sponge
"Our bedroom is a very clean and serene space," Dana says. "It's the room that gets flooded with light throughout the day, so rather than clutter it, we wanted to keep it feeling fresh and white and let our belongings and plants add some color. I am always collecting trinkets from travels which add some color and texture to the room and the house in general. We love this room because of the light, the ceiling moldings, the fireplace, and beautiful views to the backyard that change with the seasons."
Dana Haim and Jaron Gilinsky's Brooklyn home, featured on Design*Sponge
"The ladder was a wedding gift," Dana says. "It's pretty special because during our wedding weekend, our friend Dave read us the story of Jacob’s ladder, so it felt appropriate to keep it in our room as a place to store and hang stuff on. I hang my favorite jewels and textiles on there. The Pom-Pom necklaces were gifts from my mother who got them on a trip to Morocco. They continue to be a big inspiration for me."
Dana Haim and Jaron Gilinsky's Brooklyn home, featured on Design*Sponge
"The stuff on the bedroom mantel usually gets rotated a bit," Dana says, "but there are always things that are special to us in some way, like stuff from our wedding, photos, and meaningful tchotchkes. The Pom-Pom wall hanging is one of my creations that I decided to keep for ourselves. We have a fiddle-leaf fig plant that we love and some antique little jars that served as centerpieces from our wedding that we keep around and use throughout the house."
Dana Haim and Jaron Gilinsky's Brooklyn home, featured on Design*Sponge
A close-up of one of the bedroom's nightstands.
Dana Haim and Jaron Gilinsky's Brooklyn home, featured on Design*Sponge
"The kitchen is one of our most used spaces," Dana says. "We spend a lot of time in there together fixing up meals and just talking. When people come over, [even] though it's tiny, it ends up being a place of gathering. We don't have much storage space, but have lots of utensils and tools that are constantly used, so we put up a magnetic knife strip and put some discreet hooks throughout the small kitchen to hang up whatever we could. It’s handy and saved us a lot of space."
Dana Haim and Jaron Gilinsky's Brooklyn home, featured on Design*Sponge
The kitchen's spice rack and pantry. "This is one of my favorite parts of the entire house," Dana says. "Many of the jars used here were ones that I hunted specifically for for our wedding. I spent lots of time on eBay and actually went out to Dead Horse Bay and collected tons of jars and bottles on the beach. They were used as centerpieces in mismatched groups. We saved our favorite ones and used them to store spices and pantry staples as well as using them as vases throughout the home. It's nice to have these special mementos that are also functional and great-looking. It's always fun to see all of the colors of the spices, seasonings, and pantry staples together. I have a bit of a dangerous jar obsession. We also keep all the pretty jars from things we buy, so our collection is always growing. It's a little crazy."
Dana Haim and Jaron Gilinsky's Brooklyn home, featured on Design*Sponge
The kitchen's collection of ceramics. "I did ceramics as a kid and it was always my favorite activity," Dana says, "so when I realized that there was a place I could do it in NYC in a slightly more serious establishment, I jumped at the chance. It started as something that Jaron and I did together, but I got totally hooked. I am still making ceramics today and love it. I also started collecting ceramics from other artists. Hopefully one day I'll have a nice open-shelved cabinet that I can display them on. I enjoy serving my food on beautiful mismatched works of art."
Dana Haim and Jaron Gilinsky's Brooklyn home, featured on Design*Sponge

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