This Model Raised the Cabinets in Her L.A. Loft’s Kitchen to Make Way for Her Dream Library Ladder
Down the hall, a tea-tasting room flexes as a guest space.
Published Jun 24, 2022 1:24 PM
There’s the age-old saying, “never mix business and pleasure,” but model and chef Sanne Vloet took the advice with more than a few grains of salt when renovating her new Los Angeles loft. “I needed somewhere to create content and rest when I’m not traveling,” she says. “The balance is important.” It was only after moving from New York to the West Coast in 2019 to start tea company Nekohama Matcha with her partner, Max, she jokes, that she finally found her dream SoHo artist’s loft—on the beach in Marina del Rey. Inspired by her fashion weeks in Europe, Vloet set out to make her new home as effortless and calming as she could, but not without some help.
“The goal was to create this airy, ethereal feeling in an originally industrial space,” explains Lauren Piscione, founder of design firm LP Creative. “We leaned into the exposed pipes and beams, but we set out to find a softness in those elements.” A few coats of white limewash toned down the starkness, but that still left the not-so-easy task of trying to make the 20-foot ceilings cozy. “I call them my vegetable tones,” Piscione says of the neutral color palette they employed through wavy artwork and antique vases. Sticking to natural hues like beige and slate gray allowed Piscione to lay a foundation that Vloet can easily build on without having to call her up every time she wants to swap a throw pillow.
A gut kitchen renovation cleared the way for Vloet to build her dream space from scratch. Recipe testing, video filming, and family dinners are all in a day’s work, so the space had to look as good as it functioned. “My pet peeve is seeing too many cabinets in the background of a video,” Vloet explains. “It’s too distracting.” Piscione suggested simply raising all of the upper cupboards by a foot. With Vloet standing at just over 6 feet tall, reaching the top shelf was never going to be an issue.
For petite visitors, a sliding library ladder (one of Vloet’s ultimate wish-list items) provides easy access to the plaster-covered storage—in the same finish and color as the rest of the walls in order to keep things cohesive. Also seen: an extra-tall metroquartz backsplash (chosen for its simple veining yet striking color) and a few open shelves stocked with Vloet’s everyday essentials—lemons, matte black spice jars, and tasting plates.
Down the hall in the guest room, however, Vloet and Piscione wanted to keep things closer to the ground and create a more intimate setting for off-camera hangs. Custom oak built-ins framing the daybed solve the loft’s lack of closets; they sit across from a low, Japanese-inspired floor table designated for sampling the brand’s latest tea varieties. After starting the business last year, Vloet soon realized that the best way to host clients was from the comfort of her own two-bedroom apartment. “It gives a much more personal view into the business,” she says. When the meeting wraps up, the table can be pushed to the side. “It needed to be a tearoom, a workout room, and a guest space, all in one,” Piscione explains.
Up the stairs in the primary bedroom, the custom oak cabinets continue. Because the apartment is so open, Vloet wanted to be sure the vibe was the same from space to space, even on the rare occasion there are actual walls separating the functions.
In the expansive living space, a custom bouclé sofa (that seats nearly eight) curves around a floating media console. As it is the only large piece of furniture in the entire loft, both Piscione and Vloet knew that the seating should be dynamic—cue product designer Nathan Anthony. Angled arms and a low back paired with extra-thick foam cushions make it ideal for both bingeing the latest season of Stranger Things and morning tea—an iced matcha latte is Vloet’s go-to. “I needed this overall sense of zen,” she says. “My life feels so hectic all the time; now my home finally feels different.”