Our Brooklyn Apartment

joanna-goddard-house-tour-living-room-brooklyn Last August, we moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn, and we quickly fell in love with our new neighborhood of Carroll Gardens. There’s a bakery and a cheese shop and a local pizzeria, and little old Italian ladies will sit on their stoops and chat with us—or call out grandmotherly advice like, “Your baby should be wearing socks!” I love how it feels like a quirky small town. So, I’m excited to share a few photos of our place, if you’d like to see…

floor plan

We live in a brownstone building, which is split into four different apartments. Here’s our floor plan, if you’re interested! (I always like to see how spaces connect.)


In our apartment, the kitchen, dining room and living room all comprise one big open space. We spend 99% of our time together here—cooking meals, eating dinner, reading books, watching TV, playing games. Whenever we watch House Hunters, I notice that people always request an “open concept” home, and now I totally get that.

When we moved in, we debated shaking things up and painting the main room pale gray or dark blue, but a reader’s comment on this post convinced us to stick with white: She said that there’s a reason why white walls are so common in Scandinavian countries, and it’s because white cheers up the gloomy dark days of winter. Good point!

My desk is in the living room, so sometimes I’ll work here in the evenings, or, equally often, the desk will be taken over by Toby’s Peppa Pig dollhouse and lots of tiny, carefully placed furniture. :)

Campaign-style desk: eBay. Hollywood photograph: Whisper Editions. Mobile: The Ark.

Also, we have a balcony off the living room, which is great in the warmer months. We’ve always dreamed of having a backyard, and a balcony is an awesome first step! Another bonus is that our balcony overlooks our friend Linsey’s kitchen windows, so the kids will shout to each other and have excited (mostly nonsensical) conversations across the gardens.

TV console: Room & Board. New York poster: My Guide To.

Years ago, we got this trusty vintage console, and our genius friend Jenny Komenda spray painted it yellow. It’s such a great example of how paint can transform things. It’s still one of my favorite pieces. It’s now home to Alex’s collection of photo books (he has read every rock-and-roll photo book known to man).

Branch floor lamp: Canvas. Car print: Hugo Guinness.

A typical moment with the boys, ha! On weekends, we often hang out and play guitars in the living room. Alex made a playlist of Beach Boys, Belle & Sebastian and Stevie Wonder, and the boys strum their toy guitars along with it. It’s adorable and NOISY.

Deer bed print: Katherine Wolkoff. Wall lamps: One Forty Three. Sofa: Design Within Reach. Rug: ABC Home.

When we first saw the apartment, I actually didn’t like that the kitchen was right in the living room. It felt crammed together. But now it’s one of my favorite things about our house. It’s great to be able to pack school lunches, cook pasta, pour wine, etc. without having to leave the main hang-out space. It’s funny how you can’t always predict what you’re going to like (or not) until you try it out.

Also, while these photos show the house tidy, needless to say, it’s often a wreck. My mom recently told me how she thought of her house as “breathing in and breathing out,” as we kids made messes throughout the day and then it got cleaned up at night. I feel the same way: I cherish that moment after the kids are in bed, when we can tidy up, light a candle and just chill. Peace at last.

Bookcase: The Container Store. High chair: Stokke.


We wanted to create a cozy bedroom, and when I saw Victoria’s gray bedroom, I was inspired. So we went with Benjamin Moore Gravel Gray and crossed our fingers. You never know with paint (will it be cozy or cave-like?), but we loved the way it turned out.

One major difference about Brooklyn vs. Manhattan is how generally quiet this neighborhood is. In the West Village, we slept with ear plugs and two noise machines, but now we can hear a pin drop in this apartment, even though our bedroom faces the street. It’s such a joy!

This dresser displays things that are dear to us—photos of our sons, and the loveliest statue, who is said to be a protector of mothers and children. (It was a sweet gift from Kate Suddes, the writer of this beautiful essay.)

Buffalo print: Animal Print Shop. Tufted headboard: Jenny Komenda (tutorial here). Long Josef Frank pillow: We bought the fabric and Jenny had it sewn. Bedside tables: Vintage. Rug: Vintage. Black dresser: Vintage. Gold lamp: Gallivanting Girls. Black-out blinds: Decorview.


We wrote about our nursery inspiration last month, and I’m so happy that Anton’s room now feels like a warm and welcoming space for him. We hung a vintage map above the crib (inspired by Linsey) and then put animal prints in the corner to create a little reading nook.

Anton sleeps happily in his crib, but Toby is forever asking if Anton can sleep in his bed with him. So we’re considering letting the boys try sleeping in Toby’s double bed together (Anton on the wall side, of course!) and see how it goes. Would be so sweet if it worked out!

On the other side of his room are IKEA shelves, plus a little art area. Anton can spend ages drawing and coloring, although Toby will invariably interrupt by pretending to be a waiter and taking his dinner order. :)

Crib: Oeuf. Map: Vintage, from eBay. Bronze floor lamp: Land of Nod. Gold animal prints: Sycamore Street Press. Glider: Crate & Barrel. White side table: West Elm. Shelves: IKEA. Shibori pillow: Rebecca Atwood. Art desk and chairs: Pkolino. Sconce: Schoolhouse Electric. Dresser: West Elm. Black-out blinds: Decorview. Rug: Vintage. (And Amber Interiors also has nice rugs, if you’re in the market.)


For Toby’s room, we also wanted to experiment with color, so we went with Benjamin Moore Symphony Blue (again, with fingers crossed) and Toby loves it. It’s a great rich blue without being too dark or too bright.

He’s really into books these days, and we’ve been reading slightly longer books, like Little Bear’s Friend and Frog & Toad and Best Friends for Frances. He’s also really into Search & Find. We walk over to the neighborhood public library down the block to get books out every week or so.

We’re so happy to have found this apartment—after two years of searching!—and already feel very at home here. We can even imagine the boys being teenagers here. (A crazy thought.)

Thank you so much for reading! I hope you like it. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments! xoxo

Deer print: Animal Print Shop. Bookcase: Oeuf. Pendant light: Design Within Reach. Flokati rug: Serena & Lily. Whale print: Etsy. Edison bulb lamp: Schoolhouse Electric. Toy red piano: Land of Nod. Play kitchen: Land of Nod. Black-out blinds: Decorview.

P.S. More house tours, including 15 tips for small spaces and a rainbow bookcase.

(Photos by Alpha Smoot for Cup of Jo. Styling by Kate Jordan. And, of course, thank you to Jenny Komenda, Emily Henderson and Will Saks, who have helped us make design decisions through the years)

  1. Nicole Brant says...

    I know this post is super old but what color white did you end up choosing for the walls? I love it!

  2. Christie says...

    Would love to know where you bought the area rug in your living room?

  3. These are all so sweet. I want them all for my little ones shoe box sized room! Thanks for sharing. (:

  4. Do you mind sharing the name and brand of the white paint you ended up choosing? It’s perfect!

  5. OMG. what a beautiful apartment. I have painted the interior of my bungalow “Cotton White” (Dulux) and even if I say so ,it looks and feels wonderful. My dilemma iswhether to cover the floor with carpeting or wood – but having seen your flooring I am converted. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful apartment.

  6. Bev says...

    I so enjoyed your writing and home photos, thank you.

  7. Oh my goodness I LOVE this! What clever styling and use of your space, brilliant x

  8. Sarah O says...

    Hi! Can you please tell me where you got the frame that is on your deer bed print?? I’m really looking for clean and simple frames for large prints (I have in mind one that is 3x4ft!) Thanks for your reply in advance!

  9. Cris says...

    I love it! Is there a chance to know where the living room ceiling light from?

  10. kenny says...

    what color white did you use in your main living space? thanks!

  11. Lissa says...

    Love love love it all!

  12. love love love every little detail. thanks for sharing!

  13. Hello!
    Beautiful everything:)
    I’m wondering where you got your living room rug.
    Mind sharing??
    Thanks so much!

  14. Zeenat says...

    Dear Joanna,

    This thread is old, but your most recent one about learning a new skill drew my attention to your couch from DWR. I am in the market for a new couch, and also have a young toddler. I’m wondering if you still love your couch and would you recommend it? It’s a big purchase for us, and so I’d love your first hand opinion or advice. Many thanks for your generosity in sharing with us through your blog.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you for your kind words! yes, we would highly recommend! it’s so comfortable and the wood is really pretty. because of the light color, we put blankets on it with the boys xoxo

  15. I’m infatuated with your sheets – any chance you could share the brand? I’ve been seeking the web with no luckines. Really great work by Joanna Goddard big thanks for this great share.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      they were from anthropologie! thank you xoxo

  16. Talla says...

    Hello! I love your blog so much!
    I’m a mom with a 3 yr old boy and a baby girl…and I enjoy your blog so much. This is the first time i’m writing a comment…but I’ve been searching everywhere and would love to know….Where did you find your dining room chairs?! (white seat w/wooden legs) They are perfect!
    Thank you!!!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      so sweet! they were from design within reach xo

  17. Ida Krause says...

    Hi. What a beautiful home! I was wondering if you have more specific information on the light grey rug in front of the sofa – I have looked at ABC home, but cannot seem to find it…Thanks a lot in advance!
    Ida :-)

  18. Regan says...

    I like your white kitchen chairs! I’ve been looking for ones like them. Where did you get yours?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you! they were from design within reach xo

  19. Keah says...

    Love love LOVE this blog! So many wonderful POVs, subjects, thoughts and of course lovely photography! Thank you so much for being willing to share! Reading this blog has given me so much more confidence in decorating our home, becoming a a mother and most importantly being a better woman :)

    PS: Any idea how I can get a hold of one of the deer bed prints!? Would love to gift that to my sweet husband! Thanks again!

  20. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing photos of your lovely home. It gave me some decorating ideas for my new home.

  21. Kim says...

    I’d love to know where to find the NY framed drawing of the city buildings in the living room grouping. My daughter has lived there for several years and thinking of moving. Thought if I could find one, make a sweet keepsake of her time there. Thanks! Very cool apartment, love your taste!

  22. I love how your TV is simply on a nice console, and not on a giant bookshelf or hung on the wall like a picture. The simplicity of it seems beyond the excitement of when we first had flat screen TV’s and realized they could be put on the wall. Actually, huge one’s still should be. But your post has inspired me to get rid of our large bookshelf console that is very “minimalist” and warm things up with a brown, wooden console like your’s. Of course the one I love is $1200 at West Elm, so it isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Anyway, thank you for posting photos of your beautiful apartment. I very much appreciate how you share. It is fascinating to read your blog, the best part of my internet browse at lunch.

  23. I love your apartment! I followed it on Emily’s post, and here are my favorite things: the deer next photo, the buffalo photo, and your bed. Oh, yeah, and everything else. You are awesome and have an amazing style.

  24. Danielle says...

    Hi, Joanna. Love your blog. Could you tell me where you bought the matching bookends on the top shelf of your Elfa bookshelf? I’ve love the simplicity and have been looking for them everywhere. Thanks.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thanks for your note! they were from etsy, actually — there’s a great store there called gallavanting girls, i’d highly recommend it!

  25. nice post

  26. OMG, it’s so beautiful! It really inspires me and make me so happy! Thank you so much!

  27. Meghann says...

    hi Joanna. your home is so beautiful! I was wondering – my husband and I are looking at an apartment (in CG actually!) with a very similar layout to yours and we are concerned about having one of the kids’ bedrooms right off the living room. do you find it’s hard to entertain or even just converse and watch tv after the kids go to bed? or is it really not an issue? this is the biggest problem we have with an otherwise pretty great apartment so I’d really appreciate your insight! thank you so much.

  28. JYoung says...

    Love the watercolour-y print just to the right of your tv. Mind sharing where you got it?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you! it was from dwellstudio xoxo

  29. Philip says...

    Hi, can you please tell me where you found those knobs on your dresser in your bedroom? I’m having trouble finding sizeable ones that look nice. Awesome dresser. Amazing home!

  30. Hi Jo

    I look forward to reading your blog each day (thank you), as it covers so many different areas of your life in New York. Love the laid back approach and openness, plus hearing about your boys. I have a little boy (not so little now, as he’s 9). Continue to enjoy all their lovely ways, as they grow up so quickly! Just toured around your apartment, felt so much better knowing it’s not always that tidy!! Have a lovely rest of the week. :)x

  31. Hi Joanna,

    I’m in love with your sheets – any chance you could share the brand? I’ve been searching the web with no luck.

    Thank you!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you! they were from anthropologie xoxo

  32. Vivian says...

    Can you please tell me where that light caramel leather tufted chair came from in your living room?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      it was from dwellstudio :)

  33. I loved the colours ! All the spaces merge with each other and yet each room is different ! I loved the living room and the fact that the kitchen is nearby. And all those paintings and posters ! Awesome apartment JO :)

  34. Lucy says...

    So nice!
    Is it so tidy all the time or just before photo session? ;-) Just impressed….

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      just before photo session FOR SURE :)

  35. Love the spaciousness you’ve created with the white walls and the big white mats on all the art. My husband is an artist, and with all the paintings and books our apartment sometimes feels small. We moved from Manhattan to Bogotá (not Brooklyn) but the space we have to work with is actually really similar.

  36. ok, I have been on the hunt for weeks for a coffee table just like that! Where is yours from? It is beautiful! and perfect for kiddos.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      it’s from DWR. thanks so much!

  37. I like the wooden details and your bedroom a lot! I wish I had so much space too.
    Thanks for sharing!

  38. You have a lovely home. I especially like how you incorporated little play areas in the boys rooms. I’m inspired to do that for my kids, I had read somewhere about keeping kids rooms boring or less toys so they nap, but that didn’t make a difference for my 3 year old when he was ready to give up his afternoon nap,it didn’t matter if there were toys.

  39. Your home is gorgeous! What a special place! We are about to move my son into his big boy room and I’ve been searching for the perfect non dark navy-ish, I think symphony is just perfect us thank you!! Can I ask where his striped bed / headboard is from? Thank you!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      my friend jenny komenda actually made it herself. she is a DIY genius. i wish i had a source for you!

  40. Thanks for sharing! I was looking for some arrangement of my room and got pretty Amazing Ideas and now i m going to arrange some thing like here!

  41. Joanna, how did you hang all those pictures around the TV- did you drill that many holes in the wall or is there some trick that I don’t know about? :)

    • I would actually like to know this too. I’m moving into a new apartment and want a lot of paintings in the living room too. But I doubt I can drill so many holes. Any trick ?