Brooklyn Loft Renovation Masters Storage With a Custom Cabinet Wall

A creative tear-down renovation exposes a loft to natural light.
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Located in a former Brooklyn factory, this loft’s gracious, 12-foot ceilings had been hidden by four feet of drop ceiling. The clients—parents of a family of four—initially asked architect Alex Delaunay, founder and principal of SABO project, to simply expand the bathroom. However, as the architect revealed the condo’s more spacious potential, the clients expanded the project to a total interior tear-down and renovation. The finished design uses large glass panes at the tops of certain walls to allow sunlight to travel deep within the space. A range of new amenities, from a large system of handle-less cabinets, a new mezzanine level, and a colorful graphic treatment of the bathroom, all combine to make the project highly unique.

Located in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, the original 1916 factory building was converted to rental units in the 1980s and condominiums in 2005. The extensive drop ceilings were probably cost-saving heating measures by the original owner. With the apartment facing the less-exposed north and west elevations, the architect had to maximize the amount of sunlight the space could admit.

The architect brought the solid walls of certain rooms down to 7’ 8", filling the remaining 4’ 2" with glass. This defining feature allows sunlight to penetrate deep into the core of the space. The clients say the bright reds, oranges, and yellows of sunsets race across the ceiling and white walls.

In the family room, cabinets open up to create an office desk. The steps on the left lead up to a mezzanine space that serves as play space for the children and a sleeping area for guests.

Gaps and openings between the handle-less, white oak shelves are functional and decorative, holding plants, books, and office supplies. Small touches, such as the matching color of the chair and the lower shelves, help accent the clean white surfaces.

The careful coordination of color continues in the kitchen, where the gray-and-white marble backsplash, lit with faint orange lights, mediates between the ashen column and ochre cabinets.

This living/dining space is the social center of the apartment. For that reason, the architect designed the cabinet walls as a unifying visual feature that anchors the two rooms and provides practical storage space.

The bathroom, located just adjacent to the kitchen, features a pattern of gray and turquoise tiles that climbs from the floors up the walls. They serve as a burst of color among the predominately white walls elsewhere, transforming the bathroom into one of the apartment’s most striking spaces.

Uncovering the original concrete surfacing of the columns, which are unusually thick thanks to the building’s original industrial function, was a major undertaking. Covered in successive layers of white paint, a team worked for over a week to expose the concrete, revealing the space’s gritty character.

The windows on the right look out to Manhattan. The blue Acapulco chair echoes the aquatic tones of the bathroom tiles.

Last but not least, the western-facing master bedroom captures stunning sunsets from its wall-to-wall windows.


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