This Minimal, Modern Brooklyn Rental Will Make You Believe in Beige Again

Interior designer Maggie Burns describes her Williamsburg rental apartment’s style as “Modern, Eclectic, Cozy, Urban, Minimal.” But I would describe it as a beautiful way to keep a home light and airy by using warm, cozy beige and cream tones (rather than a just all-white palette). Beige has (quite rightly) gotten a bad reputation over the years (mostly due to bland, builder’s grade homes). But in this newly built apartment, beige joins a cadre of other neutral, natural colors to create an elegant composition perfect for a fresh modern look. From the softly-hued furniture and accessories, to a beige kitchen backsplash, to a simple art grid composed of earthy colors over the sofa: This is a home that will make you reconsider beige!

Maggie describes the space in her own words:

My now-husband (in the tech industry) and I (an interior designer) moved to our Williamsburg, Brooklyn apartment just a little under two years ago. We were coming from the Upper East Side where we were living in his 500-square-foot studio apartment so the extra space was a welcome change (only in New York is 750 square feet considered extra space!).

We started off by giving the apartment the West Elm and IKEA special as we were on a tight budget, but over the years we’ve (I’ve) changed up almost everything. My style as a designer is ever-evolving and I like to use our apartment as a guinea pig to try out new trends and styles.

My favorite room is our living room! We live in a new build that was super bare and cold when we first moved in. It took a while of trial and error to get it to a place where it feels cozy and relaxing. We live on the 32nd floor with a great view of the East River so we used Bertoia-style chairs against the windows to not obstruct the views. I am not usually a huge Lucite fan but given that our living room is quite tiny it was the perfect choice in order to keep the space feeling open. My favorite part of the room is the yellow block paintings behind the sofa — a DIY project I took on one rainy Friday night a few weeks back!

I love the large windows for the great Manhattan views but would love to add some soft sheers or plush window treatments to soften the space a bit and give us some more privacy.

I recently went through a huge Yves Klein phase and, while I can’t afford one of his gorgeous tables at the moment, I found this cobalt blue totem pole on Etsy which does the trick for now!

Maggie’s advice for creating a home you love:

1) Start with the essentials and then build slowly from there! We love adding special pieces from trips we’ve gone on and places we’ve visited.

2) Keep it light! Especially when space is sparse… a light color palette with pops of color will instantly give the appearance of more square footage!

3) Play with art! I am constantly changing up the artwork we have around our home…it is easier and (sometimes) cheaper than switching out your furniture and is a quick way to shake things up if you’re feeling like a change!

Thanks Maggie!

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