178 Square Feet


I’m all about decorating on a budget and making the most of small spaces and this dashing young decorator, Zach Motl of Robert Courturier & Associates, may just be my decorating soul mate.  A former intern for Miles Redd, Zach rents the 178 square foot studio you see below for $944 a month in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.  Over the last three years he has transformed the small space into a maximalist’s paradise, trumpeting what the New York Times calls the new “more is more” aesthetic.  Zach chipped off all the old bathroom tiling himself (“that’s when the love affair with my downstairs neighbor began,” he told the Times sarcastically) and painted the walls that handsome midnight blue.  My favorite detail?  The brass pineapples just like the one I gave away in last week’s Katie Armour Home contest!  Kindred spirits for certain.  Congrats to Mr. Motl, clearly this young Neo-Trad has found his calling.  Read the full article HERE.








(photographs by Robert Wright for the New York Times)

17 comments on “178 Square Feet

  1. Modern Traditionalist

    As a former New Yorker, I appreciate what he’s done here. I was just starting to explore my decorating options when I was forced to relocate. I’m finding myself drawn to smaller spaces more so now than I was when I actually had one!


  2. Marija

    I have seen mixed reviews on this place but I have to say that I am a fan. It has personality! I’ve found that it is much harder to create a thoughtful, individual,, budget-friendly place than to do, say the perfect vignette in a showroom! Great feature. Marija

  3. Brandi

    I’m REALLY impressed — that underbed storage is brilliant. Zach’s style makes this room. It works so well together. And that door behind him. Chalkboard paint wins me over every time.

  4. Casey

    Great use of space, but I can’t stand the stacks of books all over the place. I think that would drive me crazy.
    Loving the leaf in the shadox box (on the bar) though!

  5. Lauren (pen.ny)

    WOW. A man after my own heart. SO perfect what he has done to make this space work. When I moved into my itty bitty box of an apartment in the East Village I was obsessed with all people like Zach. I studied their spaces like it was my job and created the perfect environment that worked for me. My anal organization skills helped too. Now I’m in bigger space and I’m enjoying it SO much, years of tiny tiny living are a learning experience, I just don’t know if its a LASTING experience!

  6. Erin

    I saw this a few days ago and loved it! The only thing that kills me is that he doesn’t wear the gorgeous wellingtons. It’s been quite wet/snowy in NYC, so hopefully they are no longer just for looks. :)

  7. Lauren (downtown polish)

    Thank you for posting this article – It was really inspiring being that I’m also a theater major with zero design experience wanting to get into interior design. Don’t get me wrong, my apartment is nowhere near as crazy awesome as his but it gives me hope!

    And oh the ideas he gave me for when I move into my new place – what an incredible guy!

  8. Andrea

    hi katie -random question, but do you by chance know what shade of gray is on his walls? i currently have a paint swatch splattered bathroom awaiting the perfect shade!

  9. the NEO-traditionalist Post author

    Andrea — I just scanned the entire article and it doesn’t look like the reveal the shade name…bummer. Your best bet is to print an image of his apartment and bring it with you to the paint shop, then ask for help. They will find a near perfect match. When I painted my place in San Francisco I had a color from a Miles Redd apartment matched from Elle Decor and it was perfect! Good luck! XO

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