Designing a Haven for the Senses: A Tour of Sara Elise’s Brooklyn Apartment

Sara Elise's Brooklyn Haven A Serene Oasis of Simplicity and Bliss

Sara Elise’s Brooklyn Apartment Minimal Stimulation, Maximum Joy

bright dining alcove in brooklyn apartment with plants

Image by Sara Elise

Ah, coming home. It’s like stepping into a paradise for fashion lovers—a luxurious escape from the chaotic outside world. And for Sara Elise, an author, future shop owner, and self-proclaimed pleasure doula, her apartment is a haven of serenity on the parlor floor of a brownstone in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn.

As an autistic person, Sara craves peace and tranquility amidst the clanging and clashing of urban life. She wanted a space that allowed her to breathe, rest, and think peacefully—a place to “be” effortlessly. And trust us, she’s created just that.

Join us on a tour of Sara Elise’s sanctuary, where low-impact design, intentional choices, and a touch of whimsy come together to create an abundant home—and life.

Foundations of Low-Impact Design: Simplicity with a Twist

sunlit living room and bedroom in muted tones

Image by Sara Elise

When it comes to design philosophy, Sara describes her approach as intentional, earth-centered, and tactile. She intentionally crafted her Brooklyn home as a low-stimulation environment, a serene retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. She seeks softness and slowness—a contrast to the fast-paced urban landscape.

Drawing inspiration from nature, Sara embraced an earth-toned palette for her space. It’s all about those soothing browns and greens that bring a sense of calm and clarity to her mind. But don’t worry, she’s not all about muted tones! Sara loves to incorporate pops of vibrant colors and unique materials, like a neon orange fruit bowl or a bright red monochrome movie poster. It’s a delicate balance of natural elements and playful touches, creating a captivating visual experience.

Clutter-Free Zen: Bringing Curated Intention to Your Space

outdoor area and art in brooklyn apartment

Image by Sara Elise

Imagine a clutter-free sanctuary that breathes alongside you—a living, breathing altar that evolves with your spirit. That’s the essence of Sara’s approach to decluttering. Each object she brings into her home is carefully curated with intention, making room for mini altars and beautiful temporary items that reflect her mood and the season.

Keeping the furniture minimal allows the original aspects of the brownstone to shine. Wall and ceiling moldings become focal points, while beautiful temporary items like fresh-cut flowers or handmade soaps add a touch of magic. It’s a delicate balance between minimalism and personal expression—a design dance that sets the stage for a serene retreat.

Seasonal Shifts: Harmony with the Rhythms of Nature

minimalist dining area and kitchen with organized shelving

Image by Sara Elise

Just as the seasons change, so does Sara’s home. It’s all about embracing the natural rhythms found in nature—a dance of alignment and flow. With small changes in bed linens, cut flowers, scents, and ambient sounds, Sara creates a harmonious connection to the world outside her window.

Soothing Sounds and Scents: Crafting Home Rituals

detail shots of intentionally curated brooklyn apartment

Image by Sara Elise

What’s a sanctuary without soothing sounds and delightful scents? Sara incorporates ambient sounds, like rainforest melodies and healing frequencies, as she burns cleansing herbs, candles, and incense. It’s an immersive experience that calms the mind and nurtures the soul.

And when it comes to smells, Sara is particular, battling the city’s occasional unpleasant aromas with the help of an air purifier and the mesmerizing fragrances of her cooking adventures. You might catch a whiff of onions and garlic sizzling in butter or olive oil, setting the stage for delicious culinary feasts.

Sentimental Touches: Symbolism and Abundance

detail shots of intentionally curated brooklyn apartment

Image by Sara Elise

Don’t we all have that one sentimental item that makes our hearts flutter? For Sara, it’s a milky pink mid-century modern grape cluster. Random yet weighty, this piece holds a special meaning for her. The grape cluster emoji became a symbol of abundance in her early communications with her partner. Finding this beautiful gem was a kismet sign of their shared journey.

Home is Where the Heart Unmasks: A Utopia of Self-Expression

photos on fridge and plant in a brooklyn apartment

Image by Sara Elise

In Sara’s words, home is a haven for unmasking, recharging, and embracing our true selves. It’s a place where we can sprawl out, be weird, and find solace from the world’s demands. And just like the cartoon series Steven Universe Future, Sara believes that home can be a separate world we create—a utopia of our own design.

So, dear fashion lovers, take a page from Sara Elise’s book and create your own sanctuary—a haven of style, serenity, and self-expression. It’s time to let your fashion fantasies run wild and design a home that truly reflects your spirit.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed.

Recreate the Look

a diagram showing how to recreate the look of a low-stimulation brooklyn home

Image by Sara Elise / mbg Creative

Now it’s your turn! Use this handy diagram to recreate the look of a low-stimulation Brooklyn home. Let your imagination soar as you curate your own space, infusing it with style, tranquility, and a touch of whimsy.

So, dear readers, what’s your philosophy when it comes to designing your haven? Share your thoughts and let’s continue the conversation in the comments below!