A Modern Mid-Century Urban Jungle Small/Cool Space

Name: Lyly Nguyen

Size: 470 sq ft

Home type: Apartment

Location: Brooklyn, New York

Years lived in: 10 months, rented

Household: Partner

Have any design professionals worked on this space: No

Describe your space:

This is our first place together, so when I moved to New York from California, we wanted to make sure that both West Coast and East Coast elements were represented. Our goal was to take the boho aesthetic and nature filled lifestyle of SoCal and incorporate that into our modern Brooklyn apartment. We wanted to create an urban jungle that matched both our personalities. We've managed to compact two places into one, tiny, cohesive space by utilizing every part of our apartment, and smart storage. We have organized a layout that promotes an open flow with good balance and positive energy.

Did you DIY anything in your space? And, if so, what's your favorite DIY?

My favorite DIY piece would have to be our bar cart. This is an old purchase from seven years ago. This piece was a cheaper, more affordable version of what I really wanted. So, instead of paying $400, I bought this one for a quarter of the price and replaced the wooden surfaces with custom glass. I'm so glad I made the decision to create my ideal bar cart for a fraction of the price because, after all these years, the cart still looks great and matches both of our styles perfectly!

What's your favorite product that you bought for your space and where did it come from?

My favorite piece is a vintage telephone bench that I've had since living back in our hometown of Houston, Texas. I was obsessed with the show Mad Men for some time and searched for the perfect retro mid-century piece. I found this piece on Craigslist from a very nice older couple in 2013. Although they were unsure on when the piece was originally made, they estimated anywhere from mid '60s to mid '70s. The phone bench is now a "plant bench" and also doubles as a storage space where we keep our board games inside!

What inspires you?

We've always envisioned our apartment to be a place of balance, life, and positive energy. Ten months later, we are still motivated to improve our home with those core elements in mind. We try to follow certain rules of feng shui throughout our apartment to create appropriate flow. We also add and emphasize pieces that are very important to us, both individually and collectively. As enthusiasts, we're very inspired by the places we've traveled to, and moments we've shared together. We cherish our memories, so we love to highlight the things in our home that speak to our experiences.