Space of the Week: The Brownstone Boys Max Out Storage Space in This 500-Square-Foot Home

The bedroom closet is beyond inspiring.

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

Brownstone Boys Closet After, white cabinets by BOXI
Photography by Nick Glimenakis

When Brian Landman and Sean Gilleran reached out to the home renovating duo the Brownstone Boys, Barry Bordelon and Jordan Slocum, for help updating their 500-square-foot apartment in Manhattan, they were laser-focused on making the kitchen an inviting space for hosting friends and family. Since they both love to entertain, "their hopes and dreams were more around opening up the kitchen and having more social interaction between who's in the kitchen and who's in the living room," says Barry. But while touring the apartment for the first time, Barry and Jordan spotted another situation desperately in need of design remediation: a wall of louvered closet doors in the bedroom that Barry describes as a "monstrosity." To fix both the unsightly, dysfunctional closet and add more storage to the kitchen, they turned to cabinets from BOXI that fit seamlessly into the design.

Louvered closet before makeover
The closet "monstrosity" before the makeover.

Before moving into the gorgeous brownstone the couple is best known for renovating, Jordan lived in a 350-square-foot basement apartment, so he was able to apply what he learned from his first-hand experience living in a small space to his clients' apartment. "Everything was on display and it drove me crazy every single time I walked into my apartment," says Jordan. Similarly, in Sean and Brian's bedroom, "we walked in there, and there were shoes on shoes on shoes." They promised Brian (a former visual merchandiser at Foot Locker) that he could keep his beloved shoe collection, it just had to be hidden inside sleek, smart storage.

Closet with sleek white doors
Photography by Nick Glimenakis

By installing a full wall of Salt Slab cabinets from BOXI, shoes, clothes, and coats all have a storage spot, yet nothing is left on display. Compared to the louvered doors on the former closet, the new cabinet fronts are minimal and modern, so they blend into the space and help the room feel larger. A wall-mounted sconce frees up space on the nightstand and floor, while a nightstand with a drawer squeezes in just a little more storage.

Small kitchen with white cabinets from BOXI and white countertops
Photography by Nick Glimenakis

In the kitchen, a mix of open and closed storage, in the form of Shaker-style cabinets and floating shelving, provide places to both hide and display cooking tools and dishware. By opening up the wall that previously separated the living room and kitchen, the apartment is now not only a great spot for entertaining, but it's also flooded with more sunlight.

While Brian's clutter kryptonite is shoes, Sean's is books. Luckily, when drawing up design plans for the kitchen, Barry and Jordan managed to sneak in some bookshelves next to the counter seating. "The majority of the renovation centers around storage and places to put things, and organizing their lives and bettering their relationship through it," says Barry. Thanks to storage designed just for them, the couple—along with all their shoes and books—can happily cohabitate in a small space.

Get the Look:

A Space-Saving Sconce

Articulating Silver Sconce
Lighting Direct

When floor space is at a premium, skip the standing lamp and go with a wall-mounted sconce instead.

Cabinets That Match Your Style

Salt Shaker Cabinet Front in White
BOXI by Semihandmade

Shaker-style cabinet fronts are ideal for a more traditional design, while slab fronts lend a polished look to modern spaces.

Best Seat in the House

Gray Suede Counter Stool
Rove Concepts

Stools at the counter let guests hang out with the hosts as they finish cooking in the kitchen. When the party's over, the counter can double as a work-from-home space.

A Coordinated Faucet

Matte Black Faucet

To match the matte black hardware on the cabinets, the Brownstone Boys opted for a matte black faucet. A magnetic docking system keeps the spray head in place when it's not being used to wash dishes.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles