This Serene Brooklyn Apartment Redefines Minimalism

Casey Zhang schools us on the true meaning of living simply.

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Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE

We’ve seen our fair share of minimalist spaces. And contrary to what some may believe, there are varying degrees to what a minimalist decor scheme can entail. Factors ranging from the use of color to mixing prints and patterns, can all influence the design theme—not to mention the number of furnishings or decorative accessories around.

Enter this 600-square-foot apartment, situated in Brooklyn’s Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood. It’s home to Casey Zhang, a creative strategist and art director, who schooled us on what true minimalism is. Her space boasts a reserved palette of delicate neutrals balanced out by stunning vignettes, each contrived of a dynamic slew of bold colors.

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Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE

Zhang, who studied abroad in Hong Kong, draws on her travels to Tokyo as a major source of inspiration for her home. “I became really interested in functional and modular design and it’s something that I try to incorporate into my NY lifestyle as well,” she says.

Drawn to open space, natural light, and an affinity for cleanliness—the quintessential markings of minimalist style— her home embodies these themes, all the while channeling the efficiently-designed spaces from her travels. “I don’t like things that feel too perfect or too precious though, so I would call my vibe more of a relaxed minimalism.”

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Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE

One look throughout the home, and you’ll notice the absence of clutter. Such has no place in scheme like this. Zhang abides by a two-part strategy to keep her space free of the unnecessary, which have a habit of rapidly accumulating. “While I don’t follow any hard rules or have a Marie Kondo-type regime in place, I did move around a lot my whole life and the process of constantly having to pack and unpack all my possessions forced me to evaluate what was worth keeping and what wasn’t,” she notes.

The second part is the more sneaky one wherein Zhang choses to hide the unwanted or unsightly—”I put all kinds of non-kitchen items in my kitchen shelves and I have a modular console table that stores everything from my wifi router to measuring tape to books to nail polish.”

Console, side table, and coffee table: by Studio Snng

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Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE

Clean lines play a major role within the space, as does the absence of the superfluous. Take for instance, this beautifully designed area, which in actuality doubles as a hiding spot for the electrical box on the wall: “I didn’t have any artwork big enough to cover it, so I just bought a few yards of canvas from Blick, put it through the washer and dryer for texture, and hung it up with some push pins,” says Zhang of the ingenious fix, which only set her back $15, including the wash/dry cycle. With time, the area has acquired a thematically-fitting statement seat and piles of books for added effect. 

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Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE
White
Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE

Prompted on her aesthetic, Zhang refers to her space as one that is relaxed, practical, and warm. 

 

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Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE

Florals always invite a refreshing detail and element of texture, a necessity for a minimalist scheme. While Zhang's favorite flowers are peonies, it's the local bodega that dictates her selections. "I love to always have silver dollar eucalyptus around—they remind me of little Calder mobile sculptures—and they last forever and make your home smell super fresh."

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Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE
White
Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE

And as to how she maintains such a dreamy bedroom setup? It's all about the sheets. Linen sheets and a washed cotton duvet cover complete this utterly serene scene.  

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Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE
Published on January 06, 2018 - 6:00am EST

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