Archive for March, 2009
Soy based inks? Recycled paper printed on both sides? These are just a couple of the eco-savvy rules that 70 Park Avenue, a luxury boutique hotel, adheres to when it wants a guest who visits NYC to “live life well”. Luxury and sustainability usually don’t follow one another, but this metropolitan hotel, nestled in the Murray Hill neighborhood, appeals to the green at heart.
The hotel offers various incentives such as a $20 discount off parking rates to guests who arrive in hybrid cars.
Staying true to the luxury side of the hospitality business, the rooms come with l’Occitaine bathroom amenities, in-room spa treatments, and gourmet and organic treats stocked for any hours you might need to calm some hunger pains.
All 205 guest rooms were outfitted with an “American Classicism” look by interior designer, Jeffrey Bilhuber, known for his projects with David Bowie and Anna Wintour. Sleep easy in the city knowing your sheets were handpicked by Vogue’s editor-in-chief’s decorator.
For more information you can call: 877.707.2752 or visit 70 Park Hotel
Posted by Kyra Shapurji
Nightwood, the Brooklyn-based home furnishing designers that specialize in reconstructing pre-existing furniture into their own creations, is moving into a new studio this week. To celebrate, they will be holding an Open House this Saturday.
Founded by Myriah Scruggs and Nadia Yaron, Nightwood strives to produce one-of-a-kind pieces from preexisting furnishings. They artfully arrange layers of textures and patterns to create their signature look. The furnishings range from coffee tables and cabinets to headboards and wall hangings.
Tomorrow you will be able to pick these pieces up at discounted prices as the duo makes room for the new. There will be cabinets under $200, side tables for $100 and under, chairs under $200 and so much more.
The Open House at Nightwood
2:00 – 6:00 PM
20 Grand Ave b/t Park and Flushing #604
BROOKLYN, New York
Posted by Nicholas VanKuren
Ten years go TASCHEN published New York Interiors, which showcased over-the-top spaces occupied by New York’s elite. Much has changed since then, but what has remained consistent is the exquisite urban abodes nestled into the city that continue to evolve and never cease to amaze. An updated collection of current spaces are featured in the recently published New New York Interiors, edited Angelika Taschen. While not exclusively devoted to lofts, the book is dominated by them.
Our favorite space is artist Alex Katz’s open-planned live/work loft that is speckled with original works by Katz himself. The collection of profiled homes is pleasantly diverse allowing for a full range of eye candy when one flips through the pages. A must for your design book collection or for any New York enthusiast. Here are few examples of the spaces featured:
New New York Interiors from TASCHEN
At the beginning of the year Treehouse opened its doors at 33 Flatbush Avenue, offering communal office space to designers, eco-entrepreneurs, architects and urban planners alike. Treehouse is a creative, sustainable, and energetic hive for design professionals. These professionals are offered shared desk space, a wood shop, sustainable community events and even a kitchen.
The building itself is becoming somewhat of a headquarters for young, mostly eco-minded design professionals. Three of the seven stories currently host collective groups of sustainable design entrepreneurs. The buzz of activity started two years ago when the architecture firm Interboro moved into the sixth floor and partnered with owner Al Atarra and founded Mex, a non-profit design incubator aiming to foster interaction between architects, urban planners, ecologists and landscape architects. Soon after, Jennie Nevin, founder of Green Leaders networking events in NYC, moved into the fifth floor with her company Green Spaces. Nevin’s company also acts as an incubator of sorts for young designers and, as the name implies, it has a decidedly green community sharing the space.
Treehouse is the latest addition to the collective at 33 Flatbush Avenue. Perched on the fourth floor of the building, Treehouse was founded by the sustainable design consultancy EcoSystems. Treehouse is an ideal space for industrial, graphic, web, fashion, and product designers seeking a coworking space that maximizes interaction and minimizes cost through the sharing of resources. It seems especially smart considering current the economic climate.
Posted by Nicholas VanKuren
Back in 1996, renowned architecture firm Fernlund + Logan took on a difficult endeavor: the combination of two adjacent floors in a former factory. The process involved removing a quadrant of the floor area between them in order to create a large open space doubled in height. This loft on Renwick Street features new and old elements – the floors are the original concrete while the walls were completely reconstructed.
The décor is kept modern and minimal with an emphasis on function. Our favorite detail is a stunning built-in library that extends half way up one of the walls, showcasing a significant book collection. This renovation and space was ahead of its time; we can’t wait to see more loft projects from the firm. For more information on the space, visit Fernlund and Logan’s website.
Photos by Andrew Wood and David Sundberg
Want to spring for an early Spring weekend getaway? Book the weekend or week away at The Nines. From Starwood’s Luxury Collection and located in Portland, OR, the nine-floor hotel occupies the top part of the landmark Meier & Frank building. With many unique amenities that make boutique hotels so appealing these days, the 331 guest rooms (as well as the atrium) are decorated in deep jewel tones. Looking past decorating color schemes, the most impressive attribute the hotel can boast about is its responsibility to the environment. During construction, 90% of the building’s construction waste was recycled, and it continues to use renewable energy.
In addition to their Urban Farmer restaurant, a modern steakhouse that’s devoted to using local, organic sources, the hotel is opening another major restaurant called The Departure (think: Asian-fusion that also appeals to the organic taste buds) later on in the season. So with nine floors plus 90% recycled construction waste and a $99 nightly rate for a limited time only (of 99 days, of course!) , it’s clear it’s all in the numbers with this hotel.
For more information you can call: 877.229.9995 or visit thenines.com
Posted by Kyra Shapurji
Green-geeks, eco-nerds and quite a few of the big-boy manufacturers of electronic devices we live for (Dell, Intel, Fuji, EnergyStar and Panasonic) converged in Manhattan, for the second annual GREENER GADGETS Conference.
Responding to an increasingly urgent call to arms to improve the handling of billions of tons of global e-waste and to redeﬁne recycling, directors and designers of large and small companies, .orgs, and .coms gathered to duke it out, over organic wine, artisanal cheeses and a great deal of dialogue.
This intensive green day began with an introduction by Saul Grifﬁth, best known as a sassy genius (he’s the rare recipient of a McArthur Genius Grant) and designer of dozens of progressive products. He succeeded admirably in setting the standard high for the designs, content and, thankfully, humor to follow.
Three star-studded panels discussed Measuring Your Hue of Green, Green Design for Good, and ended with Closing the Loop in Cradle to Cradle. Heady topics with no easy answers, the participants addressed issues ranging from how to really recycle cell phones to off-the-grid solutions for our energy hungry products.
After several hours as spectators, bloggers and twitter-ers, we were ﬁnally able to vote for our favorites among the ﬁfty silly to slick Greener Gadget product entries. Moderated by Core77, an industrial design websponsor, we were encouraged to applaud loudly, while an IPhone, the king of e-gadgets, digitally calculated the decibel levels from our manual efforts!
Tweet-a-Watt, a twittering power meter, was the ﬁrst place winner. It wirelessly broadcasts energy usage (or abuse) for the world to see, and was a real wake up call for our current cultural approach to energy consumption, product design and e-waste. My mind ran wild with product placement possibilities… the White House, the Big 3, Letterman ?
Check out these photos from the day:
Posted by LoftLife expert Sherry Jo Williams
This past weekend I moved from a large open loft with lots of space for junk into a more finished and organized space. This inevitably left me with the question of what to do with all of the great salvage finds I have acquired off the streets of New York over the last year.
One such find was an old wooden door I stumbled upon a block from my old apartment. I was immediately drawn to the rustic look of the door and carried it home. I had been using it as decor for the living space of my old loft, but as it came time to move I knew that if I wanted to keep it I would have to find a new purpose for it.
After some brainstorming I decided to turn the old door into a headboard for my bed. The first step in this process was to remove the peeling paint from the door. I used a flat edged chisel for this task and it worked wonderfully.
After removing the paint, it was all a matter of sanding the heck out of this thing. I spent a good four or five hours removing the aged layers of varnish that the wood was coated with in the sanding process. After I sanded the wood down to a nice smooth finish, I applied a couple coats of wax and a flaxseed oil to give it a bit of shine.
Posted by Nicholas VanKuren
According to their portfolio, New York based design firm Ochs Design was given this assignment a few years back:
Objective: convert a 2700 sq-ft abandoned warehouse space into an artist’s loft for a Williamsburg pioneer
They more than accomplished this goal with this artist’s dream loft in Brooklyn. Ochs Design firm intentionally restored as much of the original bones of the space as was feasibly possible for their client, including keeping the original asphalt floor in the painting studio. The “platforms replace walls to define living space” allowing the paintings and artwork to dominate the interior. And the oh-so-romantic bed is something from the movies.
For more information on Ochs Design, visit their website.
As a compulsive moviegoing, dvd-obsessed, want-to-be film buff, I have come to the following conclusion: In almost every film, even the realistic, gritty types, there is at least one character with amazing digs. And more often than not, this character is the starving artist, or the wayward 20-something who calls a converted mattress factory (complete with a spiral staircase) home.
Watching movies about people who live in awesome spaces that are thousands of square feet in size can be painful: how could those people, or anyone for that matter, ever, ever afford that space? How could that space even exist?!
The answer, of course, is only in Hollywood. It’s a movie! Chances are the fruit in the bowl on the coffee table is plastic. When you remember that it’s just a movie, you can suspend your disbelief and be inspired by these amazing Hollywood set-ups.
One more thing. Besides the relentless, socioeconomic mismatching, another theme has become quite apparent: it’s usually the “bad guy” who lives in the loft. This includes psychopaths, thieves, serial killers, megalomaniacs, lunatics, eccentric loners, and any other mischievous character. They always seem to be the ones who live in these industrial, gigantic, converted loft spaces.
So, without further ado, here are 8 films that feature incredible lofts, most of which are occupied by crazy people.
Directed by Woody Allen
Frederick, played by the great Max von Sydow, is an aging, bitter recluse who shares a fabulous loft with his much younger girlfriend/pupil Lee, played by Barbara Hershey. This space is a classic Soho loft: one huge room, broken up only by a few pillars, and filled with rows of industrial shelves housing books and records. Frederick’s easels and canvases are scattered throughout the place to complete the glamorously dysfunctional look.
Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
In 1963, French director Godard made his debut into commercial film with this melodrama about a relationship in jeopardy. The film features a thoroughly retro, colorful loft, providing the perfect setting (and space!) for the couple to duke it out.
Directed by the Coen Brothers
Remember Julianne Moore’s amazing performance as the over-the-top, harness-wearing artist, Maude Lebowski? Well, she lived in an amazing loft, complete with giant feminist-themed photographs and chic leather-and-chrome furniture.
Directed by Adrian Lyne
In this white-knuckle movie, it’s the book-filled, eclectic loft of the sexy antagonist where people get into trouble. While the famous sex scenes between Diane Lane and Olivier Martinez distract from the setting, if you concentrate hard, you’ll notice how incredible and full of objects d’art this enormous space actually is. The fact that he can afford it as a book-seller is just as amusing.
Directed by Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola
There’s no reason to see this horrible compilation of 3 films by Scorsese, Coppola, and Woody Allen except to covet the protagonist’s loft in Scorses’ section “Life With Zoe.” Nina Ramsey and Kristi Zea, the set designers, chose a 10,000-square-foot empty loft near Astor Place. What they did with it is a sight to be seen.
6. Blade Runner
Directed by Ridley Scott
Ridley Scott’s infamous use of Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Ennis-Brown” house is reason enough to include this movie in the list. Set in the future, the strange, dimly lit, geometric aesthetic of Deckard’s (Harrison Ford) loft-like space has stood the test of time.
Directed by Wes Anderson
Anderson is famous for his neurotic attention to detail, especially when it comes to the aesthetics of his sets. It’s really in his first and lesser known film, however, that he features a classic loft appropriate for this list. The occupant, Mr. Henry, is a crook with a penchant for throwing big, elaborate parties in his warehouse loft. I especially enjoy his ping-pong table.
Directed by Mary Harron
This high-camp, cult classic had to be included: Christian Bale plays a serial killer who loves to murder and eat prostitutes in his flawless, all white loft – complete with Barcelona chairs and a state-of-the-art stainless steel kitchen, containing a gleaming fridge perfect for storing severed heads.
Posted by Cate West Zahl
Click here for more inspiring movie interiors listed on Apartment Therapy.