My Apartment Costs $2,250 A Month—& Here's What It Looks Like

In Refinery29's Sweet Digs, we take a look inside the sometimes small, sometimes spacious homes of millennial city dwellers. Today, Refinery29's Brianna Donnelly invites us into her $2,250 one-bedroom apartment in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, which she shares with her boyfriend, Mike.

Moving in with a significant other is rarely easy — especially in New York, where leases never line up perfectly (one signed in January, the other in July, etc.) Such was the case when Brianna Donnelly and her boyfriend decided to move in together. "Ideally we would’ve waited until we hit the three-year mark to move in, but with the way leasing and renting in NYC works, it was hard to find that perfect time," Brianna says. "So we opted to move a little earlier after both our leases were up."

The two moved in together at the two and a half year mark, signing on a one-bedroom in Clinton Hill for $2,250. "At first I was really nervous, but a few months in and I think it's going okay," Brianna says. "We do fight though. I clean up more after myself and he doesn't, and I don’t want to clean up after him. That's the only thing we argue about."

Click ahead to see their apartment and read more about their home style.

Watch Brianna give a tour of her apartment in the video above, then click ahead to shop some of her home buys and learn more about her decor style.
How do you two split the rent?

"Total, we pay $2,250. I pay $1,000 and my boyfriend pays $1,250, for now. He makes double what I do, so come a raise for me, we’ll split it evenly."

How did you find the apartment?

"It was a last-minute add to our list. For my last apartment I used a broker, but I always thought the fee was so high. So this time we wanted to do it all on our own, and used Streeteasy and Trulia. It was really hard, especially when we were trying to go out after work to find places, but then we dedicated an entire Saturday to scouting locations. We saw about eight different apartments, and this one was a last-minute addition. The pictures of it weren’t that great but it had a separate kitchen and had outdoor space, which was a priority on our list."

Did you have any other fees since you found it on your own?

"The property manager of the building had a 10% fee, which I thought was pretty good compared to the 15 to 20% we've paid in the past. So it was a 10% fee, and first and last month's rent."
Cost Plus World Market Folkloric Llama Shaped Throw Pillow, $29.99 Buy
Do you think your rent is too much or too little?

"I think the rent is a good deal for what we have. I lived in the East Village originally, and we paid $1,250 each for a very small three-bedroom, which was tiny and didn’t have a separate kitchen. This place is bigger, maybe 700 square feet. There is outdoor space, plus it’s closer to a train. There isn't laundry in the building, but there is a laundromat three blocks away. Plus, we have French doors that lead to the bedroom and a skylight built in between the bedroom and the living room to let light in. But yes, New York rent is expensive; if I'm paying under $1200, that to me is a deal."

How long have you been in this apartment?

"We moved in this past May. Both of us left our apartments in the city and lived at home for a few months, so we were able to order everything we needed and set it for the day we moved in."
Laurel Foundry Colborne Wood Bench, $399.00 $174.99, Buy
How would you describe your home style?

"I would definitely say our home style is rustic. Moving in with him, we had to make joint decisions about what we wanted and we both like wooden accents, so that was something we could agree on. We also DIY a lot — for his jam corner, we hung up all his guitars on the wall, and for my desk we just put up a shelf that I use as a desk."

Where do you shop for home finds?

"We’ve been shopping a lot at Wayfair, World Market, and Urban Outfitters, their apartment department. They’re very overpriced, but we have a pub table from them in the kitchen and a record holder; both were really cute and they fit our apartment."
Crosley Vinyl Record Storage Shelf, $69.00 Buy
What's the worst place you've ever lived?

"Probably the East Village apartment I lived in for three years. It was always dirty. It never got clean no matter how many times you cleaned it."

Is this the best place you've ever lived?

"Aside from my family home? Yes. For me, it’s a bit of a fixer-upper, but we made the most of it and our outdoor space, and I think we made it beautiful. It’s the little things that make a big impact. Just changing the paint and the hardware in the kitchen made such a huge difference."
Wheimay Framed Art Print, $42.99 Buy
Want more Sweet Digs? Check out more here.
Show More Comments...