6 Ideas to Steal from a 200-Square-Foot Rental in Brooklyn, New York

Photography by Katie Hovland

Despite its tiny footprint, Katie Hovland’s second-floor walk-up in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn feels far more spacious than it is. At first, she says, the space felt “very claustrophobic, cluttered, and grey,” but after a few small tweaks, simple furniture shifts, and a coat of white paint, the space feels considered, bright, and livable. Plus, Katie, a senior designer at Laura Mercier, managed to DIY the only essential missing: a closet.

1. Add a fresh coat of paint: Katie’s landlord agreed to paint the full space in a bright shade of Benjamin Moore.

2. Finesse the layout: “I took measurements of the space and drew everything up in Adobe Illustrator, like an interior design floor plan,” Katie says. 

3. Don't overcrowd: No need for a side table when a radiator makes a perfect spot for a vase; the fireplace acts as a natural space divider.

4. Double your windows: Hanging a mirror by a window is a simple way to bring in much, much more light.

5. Make subtle shifts: Moving the fridge next to the kitchen freed up wall space for another mirror and made the fridge more accessible while cooking.

6. DIY a closet: "I got inspired when I came across retail corner dressing rooms," Katie says; she DIYed a corner closet with a curved bar and linen curtain.