Tour a Brooklyn Apartment With Over 750 Plants

This Brooklyn apartment is the ultimate indoor jungle thanks to the green thumb of Summer Rayne Oakes.

Photo By: Stephanie Diani

Photo By: Stephanie Diani

Photo By: Stephanie Diani

Photo By: Stephanie Diani

Photo By: Stephanie Diani

Photo By: Stephanie Diani

Photo By: Stephanie Diani

Photo By: Stephanie Diani

Photo By: Stephanie Diani

Photo By: Stephanie Diani

Photo By: Stephanie Diani

Photo By: Stephanie Diani

Photo By: Stephanie Diani

Photo By: Stephanie Diani

Photo By: Stephanie Diani

Photo By: Stephanie Diani

Photo By: Stephanie Diani

Photo By: Stephanie Diani

Photo By: Stephanie Diani

Photo By: Stephanie Diani

Photo By: Stephanie Diani

Photo By: Stephanie Diani

Photo By: Stephanie Diani

Photo By: Stephanie Diani

Photo By: Stephanie Diani

The Great Indoors

Summer Rayne Oakes, of Brooklyn, New York, is the creator of Homestead Brooklyn, a blog and video series dedicated to connecting people living in the city back to nature.

Watch the Video: Plants Galore in Brooklyn

Not Your Average House Pet

On top of the many hats she wears (environmental scientist, entrepreneur, model and author to name a few), Summer Rayne also proudly plays mom to her beautiful pet chicken. Yes, a pet chicken in the middle of Brooklyn is a thing!

Indoor Jungle

If the chicken failed to get your attention, this next fact just may. The space is also home to over 400 species of plants, more than 750 plants in all!

Live Your Truth: 23 Signs You're a Complete and Utter #PlantLady

Fiddle-Leaf Fig Goals

To warm up the otherwise barren space, Summer Rayne's very first plant pet was Ficus lyrata, or as you may know it, a fiddle-leaf fig. After ten years under the care of her green thumb, the impressive tree towers over the space, anchored to the ceiling for support.

Fickle No More: How to Care for a Fiddle Leaf Fig

Living Knickknacks

"It’s nice to be able to find these little pockets for these particular plants," Summer Rayne says as she shows off just a small area of her space that is filled to the brim with plants. While other objects tend to make a space feel cluttered, plants seem to offer a homier vibe, even when packed in tight.

Cacti Corner

Capitalizing on the flood of light and heat from the large window, the closest corner is dedicated to cacti and succulents. The various shapes and sizes of planters add variety to a space filled with similar plants.

Green Getaway

What once served as a large office space, is now home to a beautiful bedroom. Like many other areas in the apartment, the bedroom houses a vast collection of plants and planters. Opposite the bed is Summer Rayne’s dream installment: a vertical garden.

Jungle Floor Sample

The vertical garden features a wide variety of plants hanging and jetting out from the wall, with little to no visibility of the wall behind. The result is a space that feels as if you took a section of the jungle floor and placed it on the wall.

More Than Meets the Eye

The vertical garden, though beautiful in its simplicity, is quite the sophisticated system. The plants are sitting in what Summer Rayne calls "glorified gutters," and are sub-irrigated through a system of pipes connected to her sink. The garden is reinforced in the wall to account for the sheer weight of everything.

Closet Transformation

When you have this many houseplants, you can’t afford to let any natural light go to waste. This would-be closet is now the perfect haven for sun-loving varieties.

Here's the Tea

Sitting on a shelf in the closet are ornate tea containers that have been repurposed as homes for succulents. This budget-friendly approach to a planter leaves the space with an eclectic mix of colors and textures that makes the plants pop.

Make Your Own: New Year, New Project: Make This Fridge Herb Garden With Recycled Tea Tins

Humidity Mats For the Win

"It may seem a little taxing to have to water all these." We can only imagine how many times Summer Rayne has heard this. Her trick? Humidity mats. Terra cotta pots sitting in humidity mats allow water to soak in from the bottom. This means all she has to do is fill the mats with water and the pots do all the work.

Upcycled Beauty

With some upcycled wood, mason jars, a few concrete screws and hose clamps, Summer Rayne and her dad built an impressive hanging mason jar garden. She notes that this DIY is her first and favorite and proudly displays it above her dining table.

Living Kitchen

Like many homes, the kitchen is arguably the most beautiful room. Unlike many homes, Summer Rayne’s kitchen houses hundreds of plants. From floor to ceiling and wall to wall, there simply isn’t a direction you can face without seeing stunning greenery on display.

Composting Made Easy

Though the plants steal the show, the kitchen has much more to offer. We love the beautiful wall-mounted porcelain sink with exposed pipes beneath it, but the custom countertops have a hidden secret that really caught our eye. Beneath the cutting board is a hole that goes straight to the compost bin.

Watch: Will It Compost?

Farm Life in NYC

Though there are a multitude of benefits that come with composting, it’s almost a necessity when you have almost 800 plants to tend to. Any food scraps that are compostable go straight into the bin as well as something else Summer Rayne deals with on a daily basis: chicken poop.

Sub-Irrigated Stovetop

When it comes to repurposed and upcycled items, this apartment is well-versed. The old stove still resides on the kitchen countertop, but now serves as a sub-irrigated planter. Plants are an easy and effective way to make old, outdated objects beautiful and useful once again.

Watch: 3 Easy Upcycled Hanging Planters

Suspended Sled Plant Shelf

Above the repurposed stovetop hangs another genius creation. A Flexible Flyer has been attached to the ceiling and, thanks to a few S-hooks, transformed into a plant shelf with room for mugs and pots to hang below. The hooks also help wrangle trailing vines.

A Shelf With a Story

One of our favorite features of the kitchen is the swinging plant shelf. The design is based around a broom handle that, as Summer Rayne puts it, "was sitting in the corner of this area forever, since I moved in here." Instead of throwing it out, she decided to put it to good use.

Painted Brick Goals

The purpose behind the swinging shelf was to have the same effect as the vertical garden, but still reveal the exposed brick behind the plants. The painted brick is the perfect backdrop to the colorful plants, while the textures of the pots and shelf make a subtle, but gorgeous statement.

Swinging Ingenuity

The actual shelves are comprised of upcycled boards with hand-cut holes for the pots to sit in. Above the shelves resides the broomstick, which is being put to multiple uses. This structural element also serves as the perfect railing for hanging plants.

Challenge: Accepted

"Sometimes I fail and sometimes I don’t and sometimes I try again. It’s a lot of trial and error and experimentation." Summer Rayne says in regard to growing so many varieties of plants. Though plants bring obvious physical beauty to her space, the challenge of growing them is part of the appeal.

Like Coming Home

Summer Rayne takes pride when people say her space reminds them of their grandmother’s house. "There’s some element that feels like someone is coming home."

The Perfect Little Nook

Tucked into a spot beneath beautifully exposed structural beams is a quaint hammock nook. The wall above the hammock displays a drool-worthy basket wall, while the beams above are home to an impressive vine intertwined with string lights. This could be the most relaxing space in the apartment, which is saying a lot.

An Inspiring Space

She jokes that the plant shop by her house probably gets extra business after people visit her apartment and get inspired to go buy plants of their own. It’s clear that Summer Rayne takes pride in her space and the plants that make it so unique.

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