500 Square Feet Is Just Right in Greenpoint

500 Square Feet Is Just Right in Greenpoint

By Allie Weiss / Photos by Philip Ficks
Adorned with succulents and sunlight, this compact Brooklyn pad is the perfect home base for a creative couple.

"My biggest fear when I moved to NYC was that I would miss the nature that is readily accessible in Northern California," says Cecilia Elguero. She and her husband, Bret Winans, brought a taste of the Golden State to their Greenpoint, Brooklyn, apartment in the form of plants and sunshine. Almost every room of the 500-square-foot space is filled with succulents, and warm light from the east-facing dining room floods the home during the day.

Cecilia, a prop stylist, and Bret, a musician, have also covered the home with collected mementos. "We love to travel and our home is in a way a collection of small objects that we bring with us as memories," Cecilia says.

The couple's changes to the space were mostly decorative. They built the custom bench in the dining area, which holds a litter box for their cat on one end and storage space on the other. The table was made by From The Source and the wall hanging is from CB2.

Many of the plants in the apartment were purchased at Sprout Home and Crest Hardware in Brooklyn. Cecilia, who is also a ceramic artist, made some of the planters, while others are picks from some of her favorite ceramicists.

The sustainably sourced wood table is also by Brooklyn's From the Source. The couple picked up the rug in Oaxaca, Mexico.

One vignette, propped on a radiator, features a pot by Isaac Nichols, a rope basket by Trish Andersen, and a crystal from Sprout Home.

"Until last year, it was difficult for me to keep any plants alive," Cecilia says. "At some point, something in me changed, and I learned little by little how to make them happy."

Bret's extensive record collection fills a corner of the space.


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