Name: Kari Lopez and Vien Do
Location: East Village, Manhattan
Size: 600 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years, owned
Kari and Vien moved up a few floors recently. First, the couple lived in a studio apartment on the third floor of this building for about a year and half. But now they occupy a light-filled one-bedroom unit on the 12th floor (with a balcony!). They admit they're lucky to live in this amazing location: "We are in the Village View Coop residences that are a part of the Mitchell Lama program, so we got this via lottery housing."
"Designing on a budget was my main objective when I started."
And as it turns out, the interior of their home is by happy accident: "I stumbled into boho style interior design on Instagram and realized I was leaning towards that particular style without intending to, mostly because of all the bits and pieces I've gathered and acquired through the years."
Kari continues: "My design style is a mix of flea market finds, random vintage pieces, free hand-me-downs and mid-century furniture with some IKEA basics.
Designing on a budget was my main objective when I started. I tried to incorporate the stuff we already had with new things I would pick up from thrift stores, stoop sales or fleas. Since we moved to a higher floor apartment with better light, I have also quickly acquired a bunch of houseplants and am rapidly turning the place into an urban jungle."
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: I'm not sure how to label it, really. I'm definitely a Maximalist. It's boho-inspired mixed with mid-century furniture filled with thrifted tchotchkes. My Instagram handle is @theaccidentalbohemian because my style all happened basically by accident. I tend to hoard a bunch of stuff from flea markets, street fairs, stoop sales and from free boxes on the sidewalks. All that mixed with the textiles I've amassed, and it just became a bohemian household without really meaning to.
Inspiration: Everything Jungalow and Justina Blakeney and whatever Jennifer Harrison (@fleamarketfab) pumps out.
Favorite Element: The balcony! In New York City, scoring an apartment with a balcony is like winning the lottery. Also my credenza, I use it as a TV stand but I love it in the center of the living room and it was my first ever mid-century purchase.
Biggest Challenge: Again, the balcony. We've only been here for two months and it's been winter this whole time so I'm still trying to figure out how to arrange it. It's still evolving. I plan on doing a lot of gardening in the spring to grow some easy vegetables, like beans, lettuce, tomatoes, etc. I'd like to be able to hold small brunches out there where everyone sits on poufs and is surrounded by plants. It's a work in progress.
What Friends Say: They love it! We like having people over more often now. The living room is set up perfectly for game night. The view from the balcony is great, too, so people tend to see that first.
Biggest Embarrassment: The ugly yellow bathroom and our tile floors. Some folks say it's retro cool but we think it's kind of dated. We considered having hardwood floors put in before moving in but finances are tight at the moment so we figured we'd just do it when we can afford it. We're going to be here for a while so there's no real rush to do everything right away. I've been covering most of the floor with colorful rugs anyway. We'd also like to re-do the kitchen counter and cabinets soon.
Proudest DIY: I'm not much into DIY. The only thing I sort of DIY-ed in the house was the wall hanging above our bed. The driftwood I bought from my friend Caitlin Roben of @velmaandlouiseBKNY. I hung textured yarns and added two of the mini driftwood signs she made that were originally intended as Christmas tree ornaments.
When it gets warmer I plan to stain and paint my IKEA Forhoja cart. It's looking very worn and needs a refresh.
Biggest Indulgence: Our mid-century pieces. It took us a while to graduate from IKEA furniture. People who come over always ask us where we get them.
Best Advice: Fill your home with things you love and make it work. It usually always does. Also at the same time, if something doesn't work anymore, LET IT GO.
Dream Sources: Restoration Hardware, Anthropologie, West Elm, Design Within Reach
PAINT & COLORS
Living room accent wall — Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron
Bedroom — Benjamin Moore Hudson Bay
Doors — Benjamin Moore Onyx
Mirror – Nadeau Furniture
Shoe cabinet – IKEA
Calligraphy Sign — Caitlin Roben
Bench – IKEA
Faux Fur throw – Bed, Bath and Beyond
Baskets – Olliella
Rug — purchased from my trip to Morocco
Retro Polaroid style prints — iOS App Sticky9
Macrame Wall Hanging — Ball and Claw Vintage
Couch — IKEA Karlstad
Sabra Silk Pillows — Collectiv Co.
Coffee Table — Lane mid-century piece from John Ricciardelli at the Brooklyn Flea (Instagram@talljohn5)
Credenza — Perspecta Kent Coffey from John Ricciardelli at the Brooklyn Flea
Square Rug Floor Poufs – Jennifer Harrison
Leather floor pouf — Livingsocial deal
Rug — RugsUSA
Desk — Johnson Carper from John Ricciardelli at the Brooklyn Flea
Moroccan Hexagonal side table — Tribes of Morocco (47 Delancey St, NYC)
Monstera Art Print — Living Pattern
Driftwood sign — Caitlin Roben
Baskets and Plant Stands — Unique Thrift on Fulton Street in downtown Brooklyn
Woven wall hanging — Elisabeth Broucke
Dining room table — Overstock.com
Chairs — IKEA
Basket wall — mix of Etsy and thrift shop finds (favorite thrift shop is Unique Thrift on Fulton Street in downtown Brooklyn)
Framed Photo — by Louiie Victa
Rug — RugsUSA
Wood cart — IKEA
Hanging Pot Rack — Amazon.com
Jute Rug — Bed, Bath and Beyond
Bed Frame — IKEA Trysil
Bedside table — Red (IKEA), Brown (Nadeau Furniture)
Wardrobe Cabinet — Lane Midcentury - John Ricciardelli at the Brooklyn Flea
Dresser — Johnson Carper - John Ricciardelli at the Brooklyn Flea
Mirror — Brooklyn Flea Market
Rug – World Market
Duvet Cover — Urban Outfitters Home
Lumbar Pillow — Jennifer Harrison
Art Print — Haley Mitchell
Kilim Pillow — Kaya Kilims
Wood Shelf — IKEA
Shower Curtain — World Market
Hallway runner — RugsUSA
Acapulco Chair — Wayfair
Storage Bench and cushion — Overstock
Pink ottoman/sidetable — World Market
Rug — Wayfair
Deck Tiles — IKEA
Lumbar Kilim Pillows — Kaya Kilims
Tapestry — Urban Outfitters Home