When you walk along the cobblestone streets of New York's achingly hip TriBeCa neighborhood, you can't help but wonder who lives in the chic industrial lofts that line the sidewalk. So understandably, when we're offered the chance to glimpse behind the closed doors of one, we can't wait to (albeit virtually) step inside. Chango & Co. Creative Director Susana Simonpietri wanted to turn this open-plan duplex maisonette into a "beautiful yet cozy space."
Complete with 17-foot ceilings and 11-foot windows, making it cozy wasn't easy, but Simonpietri's team rose to the challenge. The rolling library ladder against the wall-length bookshelf helps. While the loft dates back to 1920, it's part of a new renovation development of maisonettes that were completed in 2016. Located in an old printing factory, the home even has a private entrance at street level into a gated garden. Do we hear a collective swoon?
Ahead Simonpietri shares the story behind its design, and we promise your retinas will dilate in every room.
Simonpietri wanted this house to feel urban yet casual and "fit for mellow living." She explains, "This is a young family, so we warmed up the space with a few signature touches: braided jute rugs, linen sofas, and bleached woods. The addition of modern, angular light fixtures and contemporary silhouettes helped balance the comfortable furnishings with the industrial interior architecture of the space."
As designers, we purchase pretty much everything at the same time. But in the case of this space, I'd say the style and size of the sofa were the main driving forces for the room.
While it is our favorite feature of this living room, the ceiling height also turned out to be the most challenging aspect of this project. "Ceiling heights can often be so attractive in concept but rather daunting in practice," says Simonpietri. "Making these tall spaces feel filled in was our largest challenge. We accomplished this with extra-long window treatments and a well-accessorized wall of built-ins with a rolling ladder."
Interestingly, the color scheme for this home was an interpretation of their client. "She has the prettiest blonde hair and clear skin, and well, whites and creams and soft tones just seemed to complement her so well," remarks Simonpietri. "Since it's our second time working with this client, we knew what they liked, and narrowing down a design language was easy."
But despite the challenges of the large-scale ceiling, its height ended up being Simonpietri's favorite thing about the space. And who could blame her? It's what makes this space so special.
The greatest find in designing this loft was unexpected. "We found these amazing vintage wooden washboards at a flea market, so we got a whole bunch of them," says Simonpietri. "They were actually on display in our store in Brooklyn when the client came in for a meeting. When they saw them, they fell in love with them and requested that we use them somewhere in the space. We found the perfect tall narrow wall in the landing alcove." It's such a striking statement.
This entryway stays true to the monochrome and minimal brief, adding a traditional touch with the X-bench stools.
The patina of the timber bench complements the sleek mirror and the modern sconces for a striking contrast.
As this was the second time Simonpietri's design team had worked with this family, it also meant a few pieces from their first project together made their way into this home. One of those pieces was the tree circle artwork in the master bedroom. "The pieces are simple and organic and play off of the modern architecture and industrial edge of the space surprisingly well," says Simonpietri.
Keeping within the neutral palette, Simonpietri created visual interest by layering varying shades of white, cream, and beige in the master bedroom for a striking yet cozy and intimate vibe.
The subtle color palette makes its way into the bathroom with natural, organic subway tiles throughout.
Color makes a bright entrance via the nursery with blush wallpaper and hints of pink in the wall art and rug.
The white lounge chair and side table keep things modern and fresh.