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Tour a Brooklyn Prewar Apartment With Tons of Historic Character

February 08, 2022

Entrepreneur and tech guru Naj Austin's Crown Heights apartment blends gorgeous woodwork and modern touches that bring warmth and personality to a space filled with character.

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Photo: Sean Pressley

An Entrepreneur's Brooklyn Retreat

Naj Austin loves building community. The CEO of Somewhere Good, a mobile app that connects people and the wellness app Ethel’s Club, Naj has been working to build platforms around community, wellness, diversity and joy for the past two years. In the buzzy Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights, Naj works on building her brands and has created a lovely retreat for herself.

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Photo: Melanie Reiders

A Well-Styled Fireplace Mantel

Every aspect of this interior is well styled. Naj had help from friends to bring the space to life. “Shannon Maldonado from YOWIE, sourced a lot of the items in my apartment,” she reports. Naj also sourced items from artists and curators, including Saeed Akil Ferguson, Kiyanna Stewart and Jannah Handy of BLK MKT Vintage, and Jared Blake and Ed Be of Lichen.

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Photo: Melanie Reiders

A Very Modern (Classic) Brooklyn Brownstone

Naj has lived in her 1,000-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment for a little over a year. In that time, she’s worked to make it her own, marrying the building’s historic bones with her own modern aesthetic. When describing the historic pre-war, she’s quick to mention, “It has been beautifully maintained. I feel more like the caretaker of a very loved home.” One look and you can tell that every room has been carefully considered. In the living room, an orange modular sofa fits right in among the stunning crown moulding.

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Photo: Sean Pressley

A Stylish Collection of Artisan Pieces

Built-in shelving in the living room holds an impressive collection of pieces. Artisan vases, bowls and hand-carved pieces are displayed among Naj’s collection of books.

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