Real Cool People, Real Cool Apartments With Christina Conrad

She’s a Craigslist pro with a thing for Home Depot


Would you even believe me if I told you how long it took me to try and make some sort of pun lettered magic to integrate Man Repeller’s initials with “apartment”? M ApaRtment. MaRtment. MaRtment Hunters. I don’t know. It doesn’t work. Vogue’s APT with LSD is hard to beat, but really, like Juliet said, what’s in a name? We just want to know what’s inside other people’s homes.

As with clothes, the way you decorate a room expresses your personality. In its most ideal form, it signals to guests how you interpret yourself. It’s like the ultimate exercise in uniform dressing: very little changes day to day save for accessories (flowers, piles of laundry), so the goal is to create not just a cozy space, but an authentic one.

For our first episode of Breaking and Entering — title is still in progress, as you can see! — meet Christina Conrad, a thrift-savvy West Village dweller who lives with her fiancé, Marty, and their dog, Bean.


Christina Conrad

What do you do?

I started a sports bra company called Boobypack. It has sweat-resistant pockets to store your phone, keys, ID, passport, insulin pump, etc.). I’m also an aspiring writer, backgammon enthusiast and amateur arm wrestler.

How long have you lived here?

Coming up on 2 years this fall!

What do you like about your hood?

The quiet, the friendliness, the chocolate chip cookies from Sweet Corner bakeshop. I love how most restaurants and stores leave water bowls out for neighborhood pups and how we have a resident cellist who posts up across from Tartine. I’m also obsessed with coffee from the Roasting Plant (75 Greenwich Ave.) and its baristas Mindy and Denzel.

What’s the best thing about this apartment?

The deck and the fireplace.

What’s the worst thing?

Walking up four flights of stairs with groceries.

Tell me about working from home, what’s that like? 

I’m kind of a freak in that I like to work in complete silence — no music, no ambient noise — so I love working from home. I have a dedicated desk/work area. If I sit on the couch, my dog Bean tries to sit on my lap and I make typos.

How do you make due with two people plus a dog in a small space?

We keep it really clean and tidy all the time. It also helps that Marty and I are both outfit repeaters and have relatively small wardrobes.

Let me into your thought process of interior decorating!

We moved from San Francisco into this apartment, so my first thought was about fitting all the furniture we bought out there into this much smaller NYC space.

We lived in a rustic old townhouse in Russian Hill so many of our pieces fit that vibe. I sourced a lot of things from flea markets, like our bookshelf, runner rug and outdoor table. I hunted for cool things on Craigslist, too, like our coffee table and extra large gold mirror. We had to sell/give away a lot when we moved but we kept as much as we could. Probably too much. As a good friend recently pointed out, people who live in 600 square foot NY apartments usually don’t have six lamps in their living room.

Did you have an overall vision in mind when you started decorating? 

Not really. I think my Wyoming and Florida roots played into my choices, but for the most part I just found things I liked in neutral tones.

What are your favorite “scores” and where are they from?

I love deals. Our mirrored coffee table was originally $400 from West Elm but I found one that was only slightly scratched on Craigslist for $150. I’m also obsessed with our silver antler lamp which was a birthday gift from my mom, and I stole our comfy leather chair from my family’s home in Wyoming.

Tell me a story about one thing in your apartment.

Hmmmm. Well, the kilim pillows have probably traveled the farthest. I picked all four of them up at Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar for $8 a pop.

For someone young and broke and trying to nest, what are your top 3 tips in finding /buying items for the home?

1. If you know exactly what you’re looking for, search for it on Craigslist or eBay.

2. Look for gems at flea markets and second hand stores like Housing Works.

3. Go to Home Depot for plants and succulents. SUCH good deals.

What about a total amateur in putting a room together — any tips?

Even lighting is the most important thing for pleasing home decor. Six living room lamps may be overkill, but they’re all on dimmers!

What does your dream room look like?

A cozy cabin bedroom with a fireplace and floor to ceiling glass windows that look out on a fishing pond.

What’s the one thing every apartment should have?

A Minion figurine.

Follow Christina’s company Boobypack in Instagram @boobypack; photographed by Krista Anna Lewis.


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  • cressie

    So excited about this new column! I’m in the (very protracted) process of trying to buy a place and all my procrastination energy is now going in to reading about decorating and trying to find cool sofas 🙂

    • Amelia Diamond

      yay!! we need a decorating forum because i’m trying to redo my living room for…basically free…and that hasn’t happened yet.

      • MildredWood

        “it was that time when i lost my job and was very desperate”…rd252 until i started with my PC and earning 89 d/hr … last month little over 28 k ,,,, my monthly income …
        Learn More

  • Aydan

    Also a variety of spaces and living situations are much appreciated (as I’m sure all of you ManRepeller girls have already figured). I used to live in a tiny flat with my ex BF and the neater you are the bigger the space feels, FOR SURE!

    • Amelia Diamond

      we will be running the gamut here Aydan! so glad you guys are into this

  • Diane

    Hey MR!! I’m a French young lawyer living in Paris with one (three) minion figurines in her 3 rooms apartment with a balcony in Montmartre (I’m coming to the point…) and visiting NYC 10 days in October. More than that I am desperately looking for an accommodation for my trip (with my fiancé) in NYC and trying everything possible (but not too crazy, I’m still a lawyer) ! We are even willing to exchange our flat during our stay, WOW almost crazy. That’s why I’m writing my first thought (I agree, it’s more than a thought) on MR, who knows ! If anyone has a plan or wants to visit Paris next autumn (and has one minion figurine), let me know (we have a cactus too).

    • Diane

      P.S. I know MR is not Craiglist and don’t want to spam this cool new section (which also wakes up my research for an apartment).

  • Beatrice

    OMG MR HOME TOURS! I love this!!! Thank u for featuring an apartment that has a ton of personality and isn’t like, a marble slab with some midcentury modern chairs arranged around another marble slab.

    I got a Restoration Hardware couch off Craigslist for $100 and always buy my rugs from antique fairs or flea markets. It pays to sign up for estate sale/yard sale alerts from Craigslist when you’re furnishing a new place, too.

    • Jodyjlong2

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  • Kelsey Moody

    cecile youre a star, beans wedding diet has been paying off!

  • Best apartment tour I’ve read in a while! Now I really want to hit up some flea markets!

  • Deborah

    Mansion Repeller!

    • Amelia Diamond


  • I seriously thought that was a cigar by the dog! Also, these pictures are awesome. They look like they’re straight out of Vogue (but better).

  • Catalina

    yaaaas MR! if you need any Bensonhurst bungalows to feature I know a girl (p.s. – it’s me)

  • Leandra Medine

    Yeahhhh, I’m gonna need to go ahead and move in.

    • Amelia Diamond

      hahahahah this is your top five funniest comments ever hehe

  • Erin

    Don’t buy plants from Home Depot! At least the ones treated with neonicotinoids – a pesticide known to kill bees.

    • MTS

      My thought exactly. Support your little local plant shop — succulents aren’t expensive anyway and they get bigger.

  • runrun

    its better to provide home details at the beginning like how big or how many in house. You can ask more questions about how to get that place or where to get inspiration or just goes free with the flow 🙂

  • Lyndsay

    A home with a spaniel and a minion is my dream home. Love!

  • dharsh

    Cool. Beautiful apartments with neatly arranged interior. If you are looking for an essay typer online, just visit –

  • MTS

    I am curious about a couple things: What is the square footage? Also curious about rent, but perhaps that’s rude.