APT: Downtown Brooklyn + Life + Health

Stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before.

Yes, this is what you think it is: Another new apartment. Another move.


I did a mental count this morning of how many apartments I’ve rented in the past 20 years, and I came up with 10: Yonkers, White Plains, Brooklyn, Brooklyn, Brooklyn, Beacon, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Brooklyn, and…Brooklyn. That seems like a lot of apartments, I know. And it is, especially when you consider that we took four years off from renting entirely when we were commuting from our house in Newburgh to work every day.

There’s always been a reason for moving when it’s happened, though—it’s not like we’re just really into packing. The last time we moved (almost two years ago now, though it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long), we really, really thought it was going to be the last time for a good, long time, and it’s disappointing and frustrating for that not to be the case since there was (and is) so much that we really love about living there. Without getting into specifics, we’ve been dealing with some pretty serious problems with our apartment for the past year (which I now see is how long it’s been since the last time I even mentioned the apartment on the blog, interestingly) or so, though, and as hard as we’ve tried to resolve them, sometimes you just have to figure out how to improve your well-being and move on. Literally.

We started looking for a new apartment about six months ago, and as much as we knew it was going to be tough to find something we could afford in our neighborhood, I don’t think we were prepared for just how few apartments would be available at all. We expanded our search a further south, further east…anywhere in Brooklyn that would still be a relatively easy commute for both me and Evan (who accepted the fact that he might no longer be able to walk to his office in DUMBO). We met with lots of nice brokers, saw lots and lots of apartments that were either too big, too small, too expensive, too noisy, or too terribly renovated.

I knew eventually something would come up, and since we had the luxury of time on our side, we passed on everything that wasn’t just right. Finally, on my birthday, we found our new apartment! And it’s only three blocks (!!!) away from our current place!! We’ll technically be right on the border between Brooklyn Heights and Downtown Brooklyn (right now we’re on the border between Cobble Hill and Brooklyn Heights), but what’s the difference? All of the subways are right there, the grocery stores are awesome, Evan can still walk to work, and most importantly, it’s still the part of Brooklyn that I’ve known and loved for the better part of two decades now. It’s familiar to both of us in the best ways.

We aren’t moving in for a while, so in the mean time I’ll be looking at the realtor’s photos and trying to mentally plan everything out.


I’m terrible at making floor plans, but the listing for this apartment actually included one. Fancy! It’s a little hard to tell what’s what in the photos, so I marked out the general areas shown with numbers on the floor plan. It’s divided into two levels, with the kitchen, bathroom and a small living area on the first floor, and a large lofted area on the second floor.


Realtors love to use wide-angle lenses, so this looks a lot more enormous than it really is. It’s a big space, yes, but it’s not a roller rink. I’m not positive, but it looks to me like the brick walls on the second floor are actually the exterior walls of the buildings on either side. I’m not someone who freaks out in excitement over exposed brick, but I like it a lot here—it’s a nice contrast to the brand-new renovation.

The sloped ceiling is pretty low at the back of the building (I think about 4′), so I’ll have to figure out what to best use that area for—maybe a bunch of Fatboy bean bags? It seems like a nice spot to do some low-to-the-ground lounging.

(Side note: Take a look at the floor plan again—see how much closet space there is?! Amazing. I heart closets.)


The floor on the first level is old, which is nice. As crisp as this renovation looks, it actually does still feel like an old building because of the floor, the bricks, the window casings, and the steam radiators. I like that. We’re going to be the first people to live in this apartment post-renovation!


Such a cute little kitchen! Simple gloss-white cabinets, some sort of gray manufactured stone (Silestone, maybe?) countertop, slate floor tiles. It looks a little chilly as it is, but once I add a rug and all of my colorful dishes it’ll look so good. There’s pretty much no counter space to speak of, so we’ll need to buy or build an island—but there’s plenty of room for that. Also, did you notice the tiny dishwasher?! I’ve never really been too concerned about having a dishwasher (we don’t have one at the house, and I never think about it), but I have to admit it will be nice to have this little guy. It certainly makes a lot more sense for two people than a full-size dishwasher does.


And finally, the bathroom! Cute subway tiles! And…THERE IS NO VANITY CABINET! Woo-hoo! The apartment was pretty much a done deal for me as soon as I saw the pedestal sink. It’s new, but it’s a classic style and the hardware is very nice. You can’t tell from this photo, but I think the tub actually is old—it’s in perfect shape, but it’s very deep and has a curviness to it that doesn’t look contemporary to me. Storage is going to be an issue in this bathroom like it is in the kitchen, but I’ll figure it out—maybe the closet right next to it will need to be devoted to hair products and nail polish.

So that’s the new place, at least in part! We don’t know exactly what our official move-in date will be, but it’ll most likely all happen gradually over the course of the next month and a half. Evan and I are both really, really relieved to have found such a great place. We can’t wait to show it to Fritz and Bruno—they’re going to love it, too.

p.s. I forgot to mention that the new place has CENTRAL AIR CONDITIONING!!!!!! I’ve never had central air in my life, so I realize I might be overestimating how fabulous it’s going to be, but that’s OK. Central air in a New York apartment?! Madness!

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  • Reply Victoria Smith November 7, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    STUNNING, K2!! I can’t wait to see you transform it!!

    • Anna @ D16 November 8, 2014 at 12:25 am

      I can’t wait for you to see it in person! xox

  • Reply Caroline November 7, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. I would have so much fun with that open floor plan. The floors! The walls! The tiles!


    • Maria November 7, 2014 at 4:52 pm

      EXACTLY what i was going to say! Absolutely.
      and yes, central a/c is all THAT, and a bag of chips. same with a dishwasher. i grew up with both, and when we first bought our house life was not cool in the summers, at all – until we finally put in central a/c. HUGE congrats, what a beautiful place!

  • Reply jenn @ beyond the stoop November 7, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    wow! i’m crazy excited for you guys. your lofted area MIGHT be bigger than my entire apartment (and it’s two bedrooms). I have low ceilings, and I thought I was going to hate it. my ceilings at both the front and the back are just 6′ high, so at least I can stand and i’m fine (my husband? not so much…) I don’t hate it though because the natural light we get is ah-mazing. yours looks the same, lots of good light!

    you could consider putting your home office in the low area. use a poof for a seat, and chop down the legs of a fun vintage or antique table/desk. also you can put some plants in those corners! shorter house plants will look awesome over there. get a big elephant ear plant (what’s the real name of those things anyways?) and it will look amazing because it will literally go to the ceiling 😉

    best of luck!

    jenn @ beyond the stoop

  • Reply Geninne November 7, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    It’s amazing Anna! So much light!

  • Reply Mia November 7, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Congrats! This space looks great! I can’t WAIT to see what you do with it, I love reading about your apartment updates but a new place to decorate is even better!

  • Reply jaclyn November 7, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Central Air is definitely something to hoot and holler about!! You’re so lucky to be the first tenants after the reno.

  • Reply Kate F November 7, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    I immediately though home office stretch of desks along the low wall (or between the windows), too. Extra deep desks would pull you back far enough to have headroom when sitting, and you could have a tier of storage taking up the back section.

    You aren’t at all underestimating the amazingness of central air. It’s so quiet and SO EFFECTIVE compared to window units. Your house is just comfortable, not kind of constantly fighting the humidity with a loud window a/c panting away. Our place has central air on the first floor, yay! But not upstairs where the bedrooms are, BOO.

    The place looks great. Congrats!

    • Anna @ D16 November 8, 2014 at 12:27 am

      I don’t think I need quite that much desk space, but yeah, I was definitely thinking that I might be able to have a small office area back there. It really depends on where we decide we want to sleep!

  • Reply Kate F November 7, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    (OVERestimating, I mean. You may, in fact, be underestimating it! Oof.)

  • Reply sara November 7, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Trust me, you are NOT underestimating central air, it is beautiful and perfect and makes life in the summer so much better.

  • Reply Elizabeth Alley November 7, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    this looks so great – I can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  • Reply Lindsey November 7, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    holy shit…. that’s a beautiful space. I canNOT wait to see what you do with it

  • Reply Nicole November 7, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Congrats! It’s a beautiful space. I’m in love with all the brick with white and wood and all the light! I moved into a loft space 2 years ago and it’s so amazing. Since there’s no rooms to hide stuff in, you get good at living with only the stuff you need. I can’t wait to see what you do with the space, have a good move!

  • Reply Fiona November 7, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    In my fondest imagination that’s what all New York apartments look like.

    • Anna @ D16 November 8, 2014 at 12:29 am

      Unfortunately, most of them look like (as my friend Daniel puts it) homages to the Olive Garden. A good renovation is tough to find, and sadly most apartments have been renovated at this point. Nice old tenement-style flats (which is what I picture classic New York apartments looking like!) are rapidly becoming extinct.

  • Reply Anne November 7, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Looks amazing! Change is always a good thing. Happy that you guys found another great place to call home!

  • Reply Lizzie Modern November 7, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    That is seriously one gorgeous lookin’ place! It’s gonna look even cooler with your design skills added into it.

  • Reply lau November 7, 2014 at 5:41 pm


  • Reply Jade Sheldon-Burnsed November 7, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Ooo! What a gem of a place. So happy for you guys. And once you have central air, there is no going back…

    • Anna @ D16 November 8, 2014 at 12:30 am

      Haha, we’re in trouble at our house, then!

  • Reply Amy @ The American-Made Guide to Life November 7, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    I love the space. Central air will be awesome. I just can’t imagine moving again.

  • Reply zola November 7, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    hhahaha I wondered why we never got to see the stairpaint finished at your place . Ill stop waiting for that post then lol.

    • Anna @ D16 November 8, 2014 at 12:31 am

      I never did get around to it, Zola! Too much work, not enough free time. :\

    • Simone November 14, 2014 at 5:09 am

      Yes I was wondering about the stairs as well. And I really liked the bathroom.
      But this looks top-notch, and it looks like you only need to move and place your furniture, nothing else.
      Congratulations. Have a wonderful day!

  • Reply Super cool! November 7, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Super cool!

  • Reply Amanda November 7, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    I am so insanely jealous! Everything about this apartment is perfect. Can’t wait to see the transformation!

  • Reply Jen November 7, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Can you draw on the floor plan where my bed will be? Thanks! xo

    • Anna @ D16 November 8, 2014 at 12:35 am

      I’m turning the entire living room into your bedroom, actually, and I’m putting in a giant round bed. Pink!!

  • Reply Anne November 7, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    I am so happy for you! It looks beautiful and I really love the way they have preserved elements of the old building feeling. I always find that tremendously reassuring, somehow.

    • Anna @ D16 November 8, 2014 at 12:31 am

      I know exactly what you mean. 🙂

  • Reply Jen November 8, 2014 at 12:40 am

    Perfect! There’s enough space by the windows for the life-sized Carrara marble unicorn statue. I still think you could skate in there. xo

  • Reply Karen November 8, 2014 at 1:01 am

    it looks lovely – I’m sorry you have to move again, but how nice you’ve found such a great place!

  • Reply val figueroa November 8, 2014 at 1:22 am

    I love it, I’m a sucker for exposed brick but that’s probably because on the west coast we almost never see it, thank you earthquakes. If you’re like me (I have at least a month and a half before I move in my new place) and love to obsess about how to decorate and organize, check out roomstyler.com! I randomly found it and it even has ikea furniture and architectural elements like exposed brick. I lost like 3 hours of my life planning my new loft haha 🙂

  • Reply Alex - Hydrangea Girl November 8, 2014 at 3:04 am

    I actually said ‘WAOW’ about 20 times as I was reading your post, creeping the floor plan and matching it up with the photos. It’s currently pouring and terrible here in Dublin, and you’re making me want to up and leave. It has me daydreaming like mad.

    p.s. One question though – will your bedroom be incorporated into the loft space? Meaning, leaving entertaining space to downstairs? Or will there be overlapping of space upstairs? Maybe I missed something (it’s way too early on a Saturday morning here, after all).

    Can’t wait to live vicariously through you xx A

  • Reply Misa November 8, 2014 at 11:00 am

    I LOVE it! It is stunning. I can’t wait to see what you’ll do to it!

  • Reply LaTiesha November 8, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Im so excited, the place looks great. Ill miss thinking about how close i am to your apartment whenever i go to Trader Joe’s or the movies, but the upside is that Im going to get to see what you do with this new place. Congrats.

    • Anna @ D16 November 8, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      The new apartment is only three blocks away from the old one, so you can still think that. 😉

  • Reply Brittany Fry November 8, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    this looks amazing! I especially like the exposed brick. Can’t wait to see what it looks like once you have moved in (:

  • Reply Jen Ray November 8, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    Ok, holy crap. This place looks incredible. Seriously, it’s perfect. I kinda got heart palpitations.

    Might have to pretend the big round pink bed for Jen HoneyKennedy is for meeee.. I’ll share with Fritz and Bruno!

    Huge congrats. xx

  • Reply Maggie November 9, 2014 at 7:23 am

    Your new space looks beautiful! What software do you use to make your floor plans?

    • Anna @ D16 November 9, 2014 at 7:15 pm

      Maggie, that’s the one I mentioned being from the listing. I’ve never made a real floor plan myself.

  • Reply qlkowa November 9, 2014 at 7:24 am

    Wow, it’s great!!!!
    And red bricks in the bathroom.
    Lucky you!

  • Reply rx November 9, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    wow! beautiful. can’t wait to see what you do with it. also that pedestal sink looks like the ideal shape/size for my bathroom!

  • Reply Steph Nelson November 9, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    Looks like the perfect city apartment. I know you loved that apartment that you are currently living in so things must REALLY be uggg to be moving. At least you found a great place to move to! Hope you rent is the same or less, cherry on top of the cake kind of thing.
    I immediately thought “island” when it came to the kitchen. One on wheels would be cool.

    • Steph Nelson November 9, 2014 at 9:46 pm

      Oh! The pups are going to love looking out those low windows, don’t you think?

  • Reply Felicity November 10, 2014 at 4:59 am

    What an amazing space – I love the exposed brick and they way the sloping roof makes a feature of the windows (which are in perfect proportion to the room). I’m looking forward to see what you do with it!

  • Reply victoria November 11, 2014 at 3:07 am

    I think your new space looks lovely, although I feel quite silly, as I thought you’d bought the house, and had been renovating it together, I feel like there’s a piece of the pie I completely missed! Looking forward to seeing what you do with this space.

    • Anna @ D16 November 11, 2014 at 8:10 am

      Victoria, we do own a house in upstate New York (Newburgh) that we’ve been renovating for almost 9 years now. We also rent an apartment in Brooklyn—that’s what’s changing, not the house. 🙂

      You can read more on my about page, if this is confusing!

  • Reply sappy16 November 11, 2014 at 5:09 am

    It looks absolutely gorgeous. Hope you will be very happy there!

  • Reply Amanda @ Heart Tree Home November 11, 2014 at 10:20 am

    This apartment looks amazing. I’d guess that would be about a million dollars a month in Brooklyn, haha

  • Reply Matilda November 11, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Congratulations! The apartment looks fabulous and I can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  • Reply DeeDee November 11, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    The apartment looks amazing. I know how hard the NYC search can be having moved 5 times in the last 7 years. Did you try Urban Compass? That’s who I used and I found an apartment in Brooklyn Heights for under 3k which is pretty tough to do as I’m sure you know.

  • Reply Agnes November 11, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    I really feel ya on a negative living situation so congratulations on the moving on! Your posts of your homes are my favorite on your blog so I am looking forward to seeing how you decorate this place.

  • Reply Micol November 14, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Anna, congratulations. It is a great space. I love it. You and you family (4) are very lucky to have found such an amazing appartment.
    Now, miss perfectionist speaking. I hope this doesn’t bother you: in architecture, stairs on plans have the arrow indicating the way up. The arrows is used to indicated how the stair goes up. So in your upper level plan the arrow must be at the line that separate the last step from the floor. And must be points the floor. Ok, sorry. I just thought you would be glad to know.
    Again…I can’t wait for you to move in and of course I look forward to reading all about it on you beautiful blog.

    • Anna @ D16 November 14, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      Hi Micol, I didn’t make the floor plan—it was in the real estate listing.

      When I make a floor plan, it’s with a pen on a napkin. 🙂

  • Reply Micol November 15, 2014 at 1:34 am

    I knew it!

  • Reply Paula November 20, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Good for you!!! Congrats!! Been following your blog and on Instagram too, for almost two years now,so I have no doubt you´ll do an excelent work in here and your new place will become so cool. Salutes from Buenos Aires. Paula.

  • Reply katerina g November 23, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    come on anna! we are waiting for… we are addicted!!

    • Anna @ D16 November 23, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      We haven’t moved in yet, Katerina—I have nothing to share!

  • Reply tanyha November 26, 2014 at 9:38 am

    (This is the first time I comment, i´ve been following your blog for a long time 🙂 ) I´m moving into my first apartment ever pretty soon, I´ve been looking for almost a year because I wanted something i could afford downtown (I live in a small -compared to NYC- city in Mexico). I was a little bit apprehensive because, of course, all the places i found were either too small, to expensive, or they didn´t meet my expectations. Today you made me realize it takes years and a lot of moving to get closer to my dream house/apartment and that its OK if my first (second, third…) apartment is not perfect. Thanks!

    Looking forward to seeing what you do with the new space, Cheers!

  • Reply Saara / Postmodernhausfrau November 26, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Gorgeous and spacious! Congrats 🙂 Moving in always exciting and creative but moving out with all the packaging, carrying and the stress. I prefer the first over the second any day!

  • Reply ombia November 30, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Amazin place! I can hardly wait to see it goging throug your hands. About a dishwasher, I live alone, most of the week at least and have big dishwasher and love this thing more then any other household item in my home. Not to mention having guests and cooking a lot and then going to sleep and until morning clean and dry mountain of dishes is waiting in a kitchen.

  • Reply Fleur December 1, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    So comforting to know that I’m not the only one who has moved like a million times (ummm technically it’s 7 times in ten years, but who’s counting?). Obviously not crazy about all the stress moves tend to induce, but I can’t really imagine my life any other way…there is always an element of excitement and adventure to it all. Best of luck on the move! The new place looks so light and airy and perfect 🙂

  • Reply XpressDecorators December 10, 2014 at 3:02 am

    Wow, sorry to point out the obvious, but you’ve really moved and rented a lot! Anyways, the place in itself is great already but surely with some designing, you can turn it into a more stunning space.

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