How a Historic Landmark Transformed Into a Family-Friendly Loft
A turn of the century office space converts into dream loft.
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Published on May 31, 2017
In many historic buildings in NYC, making significant alterations to the architectural details of a space is strictly prohibited. As one can imagine, this would prove to be a hindrance for designers looking to impart a fresh perspective on a space. Such was the case for Jesse Carrier, of Carrier and Company, who was tasked with converting space in a former office building into a residential loft for a family of four. We caught up with Carrier to learn how he managed to transform the historic landmark into a modern home with timeless style. Take a look.
Tell us about this space—who was it designed for?
We converted this four-bedroom loft for a family with two little ones. The space had one residential owner before our clients moved in, so there was some work to be done. Originally an office building, the loft was previously made up of a lot of smaller rooms. We modernized the the bathrooms, and opened up the smaller rooms to make for a bigger space, which resulted in the open-layout kitchen, living, and dining area.
What was the inspiration behind the decor?
The decor aesthetic was a culmination of imagery provided by the client of their dream space, which we later refined. In the end, we wanted something that was both classic and timeless. We kept some of the turn of the century elements in the home to honor the history of the building, which would in turn maintain that timeless effect we were seeking.
We utilized Carrara marble in the kitchen, along with a zinc island top for a modern touch. This way, the architectural elements of the space would remain timeless, while the more modern details could be brought in via the furnishings.
How did you manage to create three individual rooms within the confines of an open layout area?
Decorating with neutrals played a big part in it. The general area had to serve the family during the day, and entertaining guests for dinner parties in the evenings. It was all about finding a delicate balance between kid-friendly and a setting geared more towards adults entertaining.
We treated the kitchen cabinets, window treatments, and surrounding walls of the general area with the same shade, and it all sort of became one. We pulled in plenty of neutrals and grays, while allowing for certain elements—such as the zinc topped kitchen island—to pop. We also integrated a herringbone design for the flooring, and kept it consistent throughout the space. Lastly, it was the furnishings of each area that helped define the space, which contributed to the end goal of creating a universal space with a complementary decor scheme.
A subtle hint of red warms up the neutral decor scheme of the entryway.
Being within a landmark building, there were certain restrictions set in place. Architecturally, Carrier was not permitted to make an significant changes, a limitation he was able to get around with a few clever tricks of the trade. Textures were implemented via the wall coverings and linens to offset the newness of the space, while warm-toned carpeting contributed an added hint of softness. Mirrored fronts were installed on the built-in closet doors, conveniently set across the windows, to extend the illusion of a grander space.
This French chair originally belonged to the couple’s grandparents and adds a sentimental charming detail to the decor.
Carrier had to give up space in the bathroom, which luckily resulted in a cool walk-in shower with a bold marble detailing.
The nursery came fully decked with a whitewashed scheme and vibrant pops of color.