Archive for October, 2008
Six stops out of the island of glass, past the million dollar condos in Williamsburg, off the L train Morgan stop, and across from the fortune cookie factory is Marcus and Kayce’s loft. Simple but beautiful, this 900 square foot loft has the space to cook large meals and hold low-key record parties.
Photography by Vincent Sacco
Names: Kayce and Marcus
Ages: 25 and 27, respectively.
Day Jobs: He’s a graphic designer, she’s an aspiring actress.
Cats’ names: Guido and Sunny
Age of Cats: 3 years and 2 months, respectively.
Square footage: 900 sq. ft.
Exact Neighborhood: Right on the edge of East Williamsburg and Bushwick.
What was the original purpose of the building?: It was a knitting factory.
How long have you lived there?: A year in November.
Kayce’s favorite thing: The bathroom. Designing an apartment with no walls is tough sometimes. The bathroom is the only area I can truly say I feel is complete. Perhaps because of its more intimate size, I was able to focus on making it reflect a combination of our tastes, as well as pull the eye to the collections of things we’ve gathered together in our relationship. Every item has meaning. From the turkey feather, tiny dagger, and old firecrackers that we got from Marcus’s granddad to the vintage vials of aspirin that we got on a road trip, it’s all a tribute to the adventures we’ve had and the people we love. It’s a nice place to wash up every morning.
Marcus’s favorite thing: The turn tables.
Known for her contemporary yet “lived-in” interiors, designer Valerie Pasquiou has made a name for herself, boasting a client list that includes celebrities Lisa Kudrow, kd Lang, and Sharon Stone. Equally up-and-coming is the author of Hip Hollywood Homes, Sue Hosteler, who has is hosting a new TV show, Plum Homes with Sue Hosteler, on the PLUM TV NETWORK, showcasing extravagant real estate all over the country, and intimate interviews with the owners, often bold-faced names.
A few years ago, Sue hired Valerie to furnish her industrial loft in New York’s SoHo. The result? A gorgeous mix of mid-century modern and traditional pieces pulled together by an abundance of light. We saw the loft on Desire to Inspire and had to share it.
Check out more interior spaces from Valerie Pasquiou Interiors + Design here and for more information about Sue Hostetler click here.
A few weeks ago LoftLife partnered with DWR in Atlanta for “Lofts Within Reach” to celebrate our Winter issue. Four panelists and a studio full of loft dwellers talked about the distinguishing characteristics of a loft and intown living. Guests discussed the upcoming Castleberry Hill Loft Tour (CastleberryHill.org) , in the Landmark Historic District on the southwest edge of downtown, where former warehouses have found new lives as live/work lofts, cutting edge art galleries, shops and restaurants – with the best of each on display this past weekend (more photos to come).
Speakers tackled the design challenges of open plan living, offering ideas on storage solutions in addition to discussing the current multi-use furniture choices that are readily available. The event was genuinely educational amidst an energetic atmosphere that spread from speaker to participant.
Bottom line: we can’t get enough! Which is why this event marks the beginning of a new LoftLife community series that we plan to continue on a regular basis.
Posted by Erin Ryder
10/14/08 As self-subscribed “design junkies”, we’re forever seeking out like-minded addicts. We’ve scoured the blogosphere looking for gifted amateur design critics, and we found one with fresh sophistication at Style Court. We recently had the opportunity to get into the mind of Style Court creator Courtney Barnes. In our interview with Courtney, she explains her art history background and devotion to style etiquette.
LoftLife: Lets start with some history. What is your design background, and why did you start blogging about design?
Courtney Barnes: I’m not an interior designer, and I’ve been careful not to pretend to be one. My education is in art history, and I was a docent at the High Museum for five years. So my focus is often on pieces of furniture and the decorative objects. Blogging offered freedom and control – a chance to cover what truly interested me. (My day job is freelance writer.)
LL: Vogue says well-mannered and harmonious styles are best for entertaining in the home. It lists four essential ingredients: personal warmth, sincerity, understatement, and consideration. Which of these elements are the hardest to achieve?
CB: What I’m familiar with are the elements listed in Vogue’s 1969 etiquette book. Those are components that the editors said were essential for a harmonious, well-mannered house. So they were referring to everyday life too, not just guests.
I think it’s sort of like ingredients in a recipe – all are vital. Consideration is a challenge because you have to put yourself in the shoes of others: family and friends and new acquaintances. And it involves upkeep. Warmth and sincerity are easy for some people, but much harder for others because to have it I think you need to have passion for your house or apartment – or at least your things – and actually live in your home.
LL: You have a strong focus on the use of antiques that bring character and depth to a room. What is your strategy when shopping for antiques?
CB: Buy what you truly love. Don’t make a decision because you hope it will be a good investment. If you are curious to learn more about a certain piece, don’t be afraid to ask. A reputable dealer will be happy to answer questions, and many will let you take the piece (a chair, a coffee table) on approval for 24 hours to see it in the context of your home.
LL: Your blog displays a classic sense of style. What is your honest opinion of postmodern designs?
CB: I appreciate all types of design. I just happen to gravitate to more traditional stuff – it’s practical that I do because then I can work with and re-use things that have been passed down to me. And in terms of the blog, I skew toward the classics because when I began that was original. Hardly anyone else was doing it.
LL: Eyes may be the window to the soul, but someone’s bathroom can tell a heck of a lot about the owner. In your experience, what room is usually the most telling of the owner?
CB: Bedrooms and living rooms. People think it’s kitchens and bathrooms but I think those tend to just reflect – sometimes reflect – trends and budget. It’s books, collections, and art that really speak to the person’s soul.
LL: LoftLife often aims to help our readers deal with decorating small spaces. Can you give some advice for designing around large bulky pieces like television sets?
CB: Full disclosure: I only have one small TV on a bookshelf, so I’m not the best person to ask. I do think it’s been proven over decades by some legendary designers that big furniture actually looks great in small rooms. I have a large four-poster bed in a smallish room, but it is the main focal point. It does not compete with a mammoth chest.
LL: Hypothetically speaking, you walk into someone’s home and you instantly know they have southern style. What’s your first clue?
CB: Probably just the presence of something that looks like it was passed down – like an oriental rug, Chinese vase or classic sideboard – it doesn’t have to be a traditional interior. Many of the youthful Southern designers working today like to do modern rooms with one inherited piece.
LL: You showcase stunningly beautiful textiles on your blog, some of which are bold and visually seducing. Is there a trick to layering fabrics without making a room look crowded?
CB: Thanks. It’s really subjective. Some designers like to stick to guidelines that might involve having only one very large floral and then complimentary stripes or geometrics, perhaps a smaller print mixed in. Those who are not maximalists may only want one print as a focal point mixed with solids. But others say there are no rules. It’s just what pleases the eye. They think of textiles like art and just continue adding them.
As far as art sites go, nothing can top this virtual village which connects users through their love of art and design. Artlog has created a unique and accessible community in which discovery is unrestrained and super simplified. Silent statements from manipulated subway ads are too powerful to be limited just to the patrons of certain stations. Why should delightfully obscure galleries be limited to insiders and Billyburg locals?
Organized and clean, the site is decidedly simplistic, redirecting the attention to the content. Artlog displays event listings including “The Upcoming Picks” section and profiles current happenings with Map Guides that make exploring nearly idiot-proof. Powered by the community, there are no restrictions or costs to the art you can share.
You can nourish your social network by connecting to thousands of artists, insiders, and fellow enthusiasts. Use the site for your own selfish arty indulgences. But if you see something, say something! As Artlog proves, art was never meant to be exclusive.
Posted by Ally Marie Rotondo
We’re always trying to broaden our scope here at LoftLife, and that means often looking outside the country’s borders. So when we found out about Central de Arquitectura, a Mexican architecture firm, and their highly conceptual buildings that range from impressive hotels to urban lofts, we had to show and tell about them to the web world.
Central de Arquitectura, a ten year old firm, was founded by Jose Sanchez and Moises Isón and has since become known throughout their country for their unique innovation. With buildings located all over Mexico, the firm has already caught the eye of Travel and Leisure with an award in 2005 for “Best Small Hotels.” To date, Central de Arquitectura has built 15 loft and condo buildings and two hotels and has another major project under way, Naos Baja, a luxury 20-story retreat located on the Riveria Baja oceanfront complete with 320 residences and scheduled to be finished for January ‘09.
The firm gives a breath of fresh air in a country that tends to be overlooked amongst other, richer countries in the design world, but Central de Arquitectura shows there’s modern commercial and residential buildings flourishing everywhere in the world. Stay tuned to the web for future posts that include a Q&A with the founders, as well as a specific post on their loft units. For the mean time, here’s some pictures to give you an idea of their caliber that just keeps building upon itself (pun intended).
A view of “Eugenio Sue” one of Central de Arquitectura’s loft communities.
“Magia Playa” consists of 52 condos that allow any resident to see the Mayan Riviera from any point in their condo.
A modern take for making a glass facade stand out in this Central de Arquitectura project.
Another loft building, “Nueva Imagen” uses windows to define its structure.
Posted by Kyra Shapurji
In honor of the most exciting election in recent US history, we decided to round-up some of the partisan paraphernalia out there. This race has not only raised eyebrows in the political arena, but has also inspired a burst of creativity in the design world. Throw an election party and get into the spirit!
[image above, clockwise from top left: Jonathan Adler's Donkey Bank $78.00, Jonathan Adler's Elephant Bank $78.00, The Monogram Shop's Plastic McCain Cup $3.00 each, Obama and McCain modern clocks $32.99 each, Vote soap $15.00 for set of 2]
I find one of the trickiest things about large interior spaces is how to break them down into small, functional areas while maintaining the airy, open feel of a loft. What’s the best way to have some privacy while you browse through your email at your desk while your boyfriend watches the game with surround-sound across the room? How do you close off your sleeping area for privacy without turning into a cave?
If theses are questions that you have had yourself, good news: turns out that there are as many options in room dividers as there are ways to divide up the room.
The screen pictured above is called the Nomad System, and is made of recycled, double-walled cardboard that comes in six organic colors. You can find it at Branch Home, the place to get “Sustainable Designs for Living”, for a mere $56.
IKEA offers affordable room dividers in natural textures like the white rattan AGENT divider or the the undulating bamboo HUTLET divider for under $50.
Or, break up your space with the EXPEDIT media center and leave some of the backless shelves open for a long view into the rest of the room. West Elm offers some similar shelving options with a more angular approach.
If you have a bigger budget and want a more unique look, try Plush Pod for brightly colored lacquer dividers, hanging curtains that will catch a breeze or the unique and (literally!) flexible soft wall in white, that offers privacy and texture, without sacrificing your natural light.
And, if you could use some color and drama, even? Check out what Dan Bleier Studios and Mebel Furniture has to offer. I love the geometric, 70’s vibe to this screen, and the horizontal stripes are sure to elongate any room:
Posted by Deirdre Zahl
Come celebrate the release of LoftLife’s second issue, which features Gibril Wilson’s newly renovated midtown condo.
When: Friday, October 10th
Address: 20 Tenth Street, 6th Floor
When: 7:00 – 10:00 PM
All are welcome! Tell your friends.