Though working in medicine, Milena Kaufman, a psychiatry resident, and Vic Perkins, an anesthesia resident, sometimes feel like the hospital is where they actually live. With long hours spent assisting patients, the couple set out to create a sanctuary at home in their Williamsburg, Brooklyn apartment filled with pets and memories of travels together. Preferring the aesthetic of an older loft with exposed beams and brick walls, the practicality of their new construction building won Milena and Vic over with its thoughtful interior details – like the decorative iron beams and floor-to-ceiling windows that open from above to keep critters safe – as well as a community of animal lovers all around. With California roots, the pair had recently visited Palm Springs and Joshua Tree locales, where they were inspired by the tranquility and ease of desert vibes. They returned with a midcentury, southwestern aesthetic in mind for their east coast abode.
Pulled together in one month between rigorous career commitments, Milena and Vic sourced the majority of their furniture online and on budget. Even with those constraints, Milena found a way to achieve her design goals. “I sold all of our old furniture on Craigslist, and poured all that money back towards Craigslist finds,” she explains. “Living in Brooklyn, you would be amazed what beautiful pieces of both modern and vintage furniture you can find on there!” Learning to paint walls and stay flexible with her design scheme, Milena made quick decisions in favor of the things that caught her eye. The couple have become adept at freeing up space by donating unused or unwanted items, but even so, resisted the urge to stage an office area that could add any clutter. “I think it’s worked out for us, as our furry babes make it hard to study at home anyway!,” Milena jokes. As many cat people can relate, “Chai is quite the fan of a warm laptop keyboard.” Time at home is invaluable, as right now, Milena and Vic spend most of their hours in the hospital caring for other people. “It feels so good at the end of the day to come together here,” she says. “It has a way of healing us.” —Annie