Name: Taiyo Kitagawa and Lebowski the cat
Location: Williamsburg — Brooklyn, NY
Size: 750 square feet
Years lived in: 10 months, renting
I grew up in Fuji, Japan and moved to Switzerland when I was 9 years old. I moved to the USA for college, so my apartment contains design influences from around the world. I’m an art director now and my personal style comes through in the space, from the art on the walls to knickknacks. My artwork and objects have been collected over the years from traveling and living in Japan and San Francisco. The previous tenants left the custom shelves across the living space and it’s perfect to display my books and objects.
The apartment itself is the top floor of a standalone building, which is pretty unique in NYC. Downstairs is a local business, so I have the luxury of being neighbor-free and have my own private entry. My friend coined my apartment a “half loft, half studio” since it’s quite spacious for a studio.
What is your favorite room and why? The large and open floor plan of my studio has allowed me to define each area and corner. My favorite nook is my dining area in the morning. The light floods in from the kitchen and there’s nothing I love more than sitting on my bench with a cup of tea to start my day.
I share the space with Lebowski, my cat. He definitely thinks he owns the place and it was a bit of a challenge to incorporate his scratcher and litter box in an all-open space. I’m constantly lint rolling and vacuuming after him.
My bedroom is kept all white and minimal which contrasts with the rest of the apartment. My goal was to create a calming space to wind down in.
If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? A lot of renters share this pain, but I’d love to change the kitchen and bathroom cabinets. I’ve updated everything from the bathroom mirror to a kitchen backsplash, but my landlord unfortunately won’t budge on letting me paint the cabinets.
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? I’ve been slowly (but surely) accumulating plants. My latest purchase was a basil that I’ve hung in my kitchen window. It’s both decor and functional for summer meals, and it also smells incredible.
Any advice for creating a home you love? Fill your home with things you love, and go with your gut if you’re debating about getting a specific piece/furniture. I pounce on a lot of pieces without measuring but when you know it belongs in your space, go for it.
Thanks, Taiyo Kitagawa!
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