Modern-day abodes pop up in a variety of locales, creating cozy living spaces in unexpected environments. One such unique home is a Columbus, Ohio, condo fashioned out of a renovated storefront built in 1900. Designer and MyDomaine guest editor Jonathan Steinitz took on the task of giving the home new life with modern finishes and artful details that amplify the space's distinctive architectural elements—high ceilings, exposed brick walls, and large front windows. While the square footage of the one-bedroom, one-bathroom condo is relatively modest, Steinitz explains that the interesting layout provided options for creative use of space. The project required no major renovations, but they redid the finishes on almost everything. "Other than furniture, décor, and art, we painted, upgraded lighting and hardware, refreshed window treatments, and tiled the exterior of the kitchen island," he says.
"The owners share my love of travel, so I drew inspiration from some of my favorite boutique hotel lobbies around the world—those spaces where you'd love to meet friends for a snack or a drink or just enjoy a few spare minutes soaking up the vibe," says Steinitz. "The concept was basically Soho House goes to Sweden—a minimal, multifunctional space for cooking, eating, drinking, entertaining, working, or relaxing." Steinitz loves designing social spaces. "I try to find a layout that sets the tone for socializing, and from there, it's all about nailing the personality with the details," he says. "Figuring out how to create a flow of social energy in a space is the fun part, and it's pretty rewarding to be able to feel it when you walk into a room."
"The home has one large loft-like living area that's an open concept, but the owners were struggling with how to maximize space with the right layout," recounts Steinitz. "My vision for the space was a twist on hotel lobbies, where you often see lounge chairs and sofas juxtaposed with café tables and a bar in a fluid layout. This friendly, flexible setup can be rearranged for smaller or larger groups, making it easy to transition from one space to the next."
"I selected low furniture to open up the room and maintain clear sight lines and flow of conversation," explains Steinitz. "And so that everyone could really relax, I chose sofas and chairs that were comfy enough to sink into, abundant throw pillows at the dining table, and poufs that could serve as extra seats or footrests."
"I wanted an all-white minimal moment to be a focal point as soon as you walked through the front door," says Steinitz. "This corner has a calming, relaxing, lounge-like vibe. I love that the brown pouf and stools give the otherwise all-white space some warmth. We had the canvas art created custom for the space to give the backdrop a more textural, unfinished look."
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"My favorite moment in the entire home is the breakfast nook because it feels more like the best spot at a café than a dining table," confesses Steinitz. "I opted for two round tables instead of one to keep the space feeling lighter and more open. I loaded up this corner with as many textural white and cream pillows as could fit! I wanted it to feel very comfy and inviting, and the softness of the pillows was the perfect balance to the industrial finish of the exposed brick wall and concrete benches. Who wouldn't want to have morning coffee in that window?"
"The kitchen needed a major facelift to make it feel cleaner and more modern, but I didn't want it to blend into the background," recalls Steinitz. "We painted it matte black to add contrast to the rest of the bright white home."
"I wanted to make the kitchen island feel more like a bar, so we upgraded the pendant lights and installed textured white porcelain tiles on the exterior," says Steinitz.
"I also converted the built-in kitchen desk into an artistic workspace, complete with an art collage to inspire creativity and wine storage made from salvaged midcentury bricks," reveals Steinitz.
"Handmade tobacco leather handles and pulls help to soften the edginess of the black cabinet color," notes Steinitz. "Personalized, collected touches pulled the whole place together. Art was key, with most pieces created by the owner's brother and a few from friends as well."
"The bedroom was begging for simplification," admits Steinitz. "In order to master the effortless, undone 'I just woke up like this' look for the bed, I started by eliminating the bed frame altogether. The entire bedroom feels much bigger with the bed lower to the ground. I used white linen bedding that would look better unmade (or even a little messy), along with wooden stools to serve as minimally dressed nightstands. We painted most of the bedroom white except for one accent wall, where we added a plaster texture to the dark gray paint to add dimension and depth to the space. The table at the foot of the bed was a DIY project. The owners had an old Indian wedding table that they were using in their basement for storage, but the tabletop was too beautiful to remain hidden. To get the right height for a low bed, we folded the legs under and mounted the table on cinder blocks."
"In every space, I played with texture and contrast, mixing vintage and modern and dark and light," says Steinitz. "The tobacco leather sofa feels instantly inviting and warm, but we layered in accents in shades of white to brighten up the space and create some movement with round shapes. I let the exposed brick wall speak for itself by leaning the art rather than hanging it. I think the space feels more effortless and collected that way."
"The biggest challenge was to strike the right balance of cool minimalism with the warm, inviting appeals of lived-in and layered spaces," explains Steinitz. "The owners are a young couple who have intense jobs and active social lives, so I wanted their home space to feel relaxing and calming and clutter-free. At the same time, I really wanted to infuse the entire home with personalized touches that would highlight their interests in art, travel, and music. In the end, I think we created something that feels both minimal and inviting. They now love to host friends for dinner and drinks—and their friends love to come over too."