A Minimal, Modern Brooklyn Loft Combines IKEA Staples and Pops of Color for a Cool Home

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Name: Nikki Makagiansar and Nikko Gary
Location: Bed Stuy — Brooklyn, New York
Type of home: Loft
Size: 933 square feet
Years lived in: 5 months, renting

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: We’re Nikki and Nikko, a couple based in Bed Stuy who coincidentally share four of the same letters in our names. Our apartment is a blend of mid-century modern and contemporary pieces that reflect our shared appreciation and love for design, consisting of IKEA staples, family heirlooms, gifts from friends, things we made, inside jokes, and statement steals thanks to Craigslist and flea markets from around the world and down the block.

However, our apartment didn’t look like this prior to moving in. It was clear that the unit had gone through a lot of wear-and-tear, but we saw that it had really good bones—it just needed a lot of love. It helps that we’re both huge planners and budgeters, so we had a clear vision of how we wanted to transform the place. We had moodboards and spreadsheets of what furniture and decor we were envisioning and how we were going to get it. We have a lot of white space in our loft due to its high ceilings, so we wanted to infuse a vibrant color story—a mix of reds, yellows, and greens—to liven up the place.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Vibrant, eclectic, intentional, minimalist, meaningful

What is your favorite room and why? Our favorite room is the living room. We put a lot of thought into this room because it’s not only where we’d be entertaining guests, but it’s also the heart of the apartment. When you’re upstairs in the bedroom, you have a bird’s eye view of the living room, and we wanted to make sure that view shows how all the pieces come together. The black and white rug is kind of the black sheep of our furniture, but it breaks up the space nicely because it contrasts with our vibrant pieces.

We also took advantage of our high ceilings and natural light by having a variety of statement plants surround the corners of the room. The living room is also where our personalities really shine through, from our magazines, books, posters, and family heirlooms. Fun fact: the slatted coffee table was passed down from Nikko’s mom. She was about to get rid of it when he was in elementary school, but 8-year-old Nikko convinced her to hold onto it because he somehow knew he’d make use of it in the future. Now that table is the centerpiece of our living room after sitting in his mom’s attic for 16 years.

We were inspired by a poster that said BOOKS ARE BANANAS, but since we own more magazines than books, we decided to make our own pun. Therefore, MAGAZINES ARE MANGOES.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Make sure your home is an accurate representation of you. It helps cut the clutter if your pieces are meaningful to you. Moodboards and budget spreadsheets are super helpful to achieve that. Also, if you’re ever unsure of where to start decorating, it all starts with a good rug.

This submission’s responses were edited for length and clarity.