Name: Carlos Raoul Rivera
Location: Condado Del Mar — San Juan, Puerto Rico
Size: 1,400 square feet
Years lived in: Owned 6 years
Carlos' apartment is what you'd expect from a penthouse apartment: beautiful modern furniture, art from local artists, and sleek white walls. But his apartment — which he's owned for six years — also showcases his playful personality. Spot a Nintendo game system from his childhood, a South Park throw pillow, and mustaches. Lots of mustaches.
Carlos is a bartender and owner at El Bar Bero, a hip cocktail bar in the Santurce district. He has deep roots in Puerto Rico, and his apartment showcases that. He collects art from local artists, supports local shops often, and displays meaningful family heirlooms throughout the space (the vase in the hallway was his grandma's, and an old portrait of his grandpa hangs near the bar).
The apartment is also symbolic of Carlos' childhood dreams, in which he fantasized about living in this exact building and enjoying the views of the beach. "I've always wanted to live here," he says. "I always looked up at this building from the beach when I was a kid." He told himself that one day he'd live there, and he now calls it his home.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Minimal and modern with antique accent pieces mixed with fun art
Inspiration: Pop art
Favorite Element: The ocean view from 23 floors up
Biggest Challenge: Deciding what things to have in the apartment since it's kinda small. I want a lot of stuff!
What Friends Say: They have never seen an apartment like this in Puerto Rico. They can't get over the view.
Get the look! → Sophisticated & Minimal for the Kid at Heart
Biggest Embarrassment: The building has little tiny sugar ants that get inside of the apartment sometimes.
Proudest DIY: I restored the dining table. It's an architect drawing table from the '50s.
Biggest Indulgence: Just to have the apartment at 26 years old (I'm 31 now).
Best Advice: Take time to take risks. You'll always regret what you didn't do, rather than what you did.