When Im and David Schafer moved in together they faced the challenge of combining the contents of David’s 880-square-foot loft and Im’s 550-square-foot apartment into a one-room, 426-square-foot downtown loft in San Diego. The couple's furniture includes an Eames Aluminum Group lounge chair ("and ottoman!" adds Im.) A coffee table made of glued, corrugated cardboard was the couple's first project together, when they met in college eight years ago. Photo by Misha Gravenor.
Interior and furniture designer Nick Dine—son of pop artist Jim Dine—has a love-hate relationship with his 2,000-square-foot Hudson Square condo loft. A long rectangle, it was born a stable. The floor slants from east to west, and natural light flows in only at the extreme ends. Yet it’s still home for Dine, his wife, Vanessa, and daughters Violet, 11, and Josephine, 10. With help from Think Construction, Dine reworked the space in 2002. By embracing the loft’s quirks, he has transformed what was once a wreck into a source of inspiration. A Dine family portrait in front of the loft clubhouse Nick and Vanessa built for their daughters. As the girls get older, the playroom will transform into a family office. Photo by Jeremy Liebman.
To maximize their small Warsaw loft, transatlantic designers Aleksander Novak-Zemplinski and Becky Nix handcrafted a fleet of double-duty furnishings. Nix and Novak-Zemplinski, founders of the design firm BioLINIA, in their 1,000-square-foot apartment’s open-plan kitchen, dining, and living space. They had the decorative cabinets and ceiling panels CNC-milled by a Polish subsidiary of the Finnish company Koskisen. Photo by Andreas Meichsner.
New York City is the nation’s capital of cramped quarters. But for a select lucky few, scant square footage adds up to a cozy home to call one’s own. A reflective light shelf sits atop the lower window units in a loft by architect Kyu Sung Woo. “When light hits the shelf, it reflects back on the ceiling,” the architect explains. “This is a very deep space, so we tried to bring the light as far back as possible.” The Neo sectional chaise by Niels Bendsten provides comfortable seating for Woo's son, Wonbo, and his friend Alyssa Litoff. The Cubits shelves are by Doron Lachish. Photo by Adam Friedberg.
Openshop Studio’s design for a hivelike structure in the middle of a Brooklyn loft creates a chrysalis of comfort for a couple and their baby. A large OSB structure with skylights, a bathroom, enclosed baby’s room, and master sleeping alcove dominates Ryan and Showalter’s Brooklyn loft. Photo by Jesse Chehak.
Los Angeles–based architecture firm Tag Front faces the future of downtown living with an apartment that melds the compactness of a studio with the spaciousness of a loft. In the living area, a sliding door conceals the loft from the hallway leading to the office, thus opening the space up by revealing extra square footage in the bedroom. When it’s time for bed, resident Yoly Guerra slides the door shut for privacy. Photo by Baerbel Schmidt.
In Los Angeles, California, a family of four inhabits a polychrome fantasia in the heart of Chinatown. Formerly a restaurant, punk rock night club, and furniture warehouse, the Berniers’ loft is anything but boring. Amy was the sole architect on the project, when she wasn’t working a full-time job. (Her cardboard model of the living/dining area included a red Lego as the dining table.) “It’s surprising how great it is,” she says of the redesign. “It just works really well—if I do say so myself.” Photo by Bryce Duffy.