Apartment tour: 1BR in Bushwick, Brooklyn

An industrial designer orders his apartment with jumbo numbers and J-pop gewgaws.



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  • "I have a thing for numbers, clocks, calendars and maps," says Boylan. "They...

  • Boylan is no stranger to DIY; he used pages from an oversize Massimo Vignelli...

  • "I've been collecting this stuff for years. I have a thing for typos and errors...

  • Many a tchotchke occupies space on Boylan's bookshelf, including nearly twenty...

  • "I sort of hate it when people organize their books chromatically, but it makes...

  • "Jackie was a birthday gift from my mom, who runs a picture-framing shop. And...

  • Boylan's bedroom

  • Boylan's living room

"I have a thing for numbers, clocks, calendars and maps," says Boylan. "They...

Mike Boylan, a 27-year-old industrial designer (he's made everything from perfume bottles to snowshoes), lives in the quintessential Brooklyn apartment: airy, spacious and stuffed with tastefully cool art. "I strive for minimalism and fail completely," admits the avid flea marketer. "I like the shiny, rendered stuff you see in design magazines, but it's not a fun place to live." And Boylan is very much about the gritty details: an arrangement of obscure seashells or taxidermied bugs; two briefcases, his own and his grandfather's from when he was "a hot-shot real-estate agent," laid against a white wall, and so forth. "I can't not buy stuff," he sighs. "But I'm trying to be more selective. I'm a curated pack rat."

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Design*Sponge (designspongeonline.com),
Apartment Therapy (apartmenttherapy.com),
FFFFound! (ffffound.com)
Boylan is a devoted reader of design blogs, and says this is where he's gotten most of his design motifs and inspiration.

Obscura Antiques & Oddities (280 E 10th St between First Ave and Ave A; 212-505-9251, obscuraantiques.com)
Taxidermy, medical specimens and turn-of-the-century artifacts await at this creepy but well-curated shop.

The Evolution Store (120 Spring St at Greene St; 212-343-1114, theevolutionstore.com)
Boylan is a big fan of this Soho shop, loaded to the gills with preserved insects, ancient fossils, skulls and skeletons, and colorful zoological and anatomical posters. A real human skull could set you back $695, but decorative seashells and corals are sold at ocean-bottom prices ($1 and up).

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