Breathing Life into a Brooklyn Loft

For various reasons, projects have different timelines and completion dates. This one took a bit longer than most. But, like so many things in life, the wait was so worth it. 

The quick rundown. This adorable family of three has lived in their Brooklyn loft for several years. The loft was already in great shape - no outdated fixtures, bad flooring, wrong paint colors, etc. - but it needed an injection of something! The clients hired me to help with a light redesign, to bring some liveliness and whimsy into the space.  Of course, I was happy to help!

Below is the before of the foyer. 

Foyer Before

The loft is new construction, so the walls were in impeccable condition, if a bit bare. This wall was begging for something fun to greet guests, so we gave in by adding the most beautiful wallpaper.  See below. 

This might be my favorite foyer ever.  Wallpaper and installation can get expensive, but it makes such a big impact, and can really be worth the cost in the right space.  We put most of the budget towards the wallpaper, and saved money by being more budget conscious with the furniture and accessories. Another photo below, because just showing you one would be unfair. 


The real challenge for this space was that there are only 2 windows in the entire loft. The foyer received almost no natural light and we needed to supplement the existing overhead lighting. I knew this area really needed a table lamp, but there was no outlet! I have no idea what the developer was thinking. My clients came to the rescue, they found these table lamps that are charged by a reusable battery. One full charge will last for about 18 hours. Definitely keeping this lamp on my short list for future problem areas. Since the foyer only requires sporadic lighting, this battery powered lamp was the perfect solution.

Why pay for all this wallpaper and then hide it?! That's why I decided on this acrylic console table, giving the feeling that everything on it is floating.  It's difficult to tell in the photo, but the stool is a walnut wood which brings in a different texture and color to the space. The marble key box and the white mail letter dish completes this ideal drop zone. 

How can it get better than this foyer? Trust me, follow me into the living/dining area. See below for the before of the living space in this loft. 

I know some of you are thinking, what would you possibly want to change?  It's great as is! Perhaps. But, after living in a space for a while, many of us can appreciate a new perspective and new surroundings. The clients had already picked out a sectional prior to hiring me and just asked for my opinion. After seeing it, I was happy to approve. I brought in the accessories and rugs, adhering to the clients' more minimalistic aesthetics. 

Living Room1.jpg

I know I convinced the client, but have I convinced you that this is a welcome upgrade? I hope so. The steel gray sectional will be a keeper for years to come.  The silhouette is clean and the color is timeless. The dark green throw pillows add some color, but the palette of the entire room is still very light and sophisticated. The rug with the geometric pattern is great, adding subtle pattern. Yes, no coffee table. The clients have a young son and he likes to play with his toys on the floor. A coffee table can easily be added later when he gets a little older.  

To give adults a place to put down their beverages, we purchased a console table to place behind the sectional. Double bonus?  Looking at a wall of gray fabric from the kitchen is not so fun. The console table helps break up the long wall of gray, providing a more attractive view. 

Another perspective of the living room below. 

You saw a glimpse of the dining room above, but it deserves a closer inspection. Below is the before. 

And here is the after. 

What a difference art and plants can make in any room! We kept all the dining room furniture. We installed the pendant light which gives the most amazing halo at night. I know similar lights are on the market, but what sets this one apart is that the bulbs are made of crackled glass, diffusing the light into a soft glow.

And the art? Just like the wallpaper, a testament to the idea that investing in just a very few pieces can change a room. As for plants, I added a collection to the sill, including the Staghorn Fern which is a living sculpture in my opinion. Plants should be in all your rooms in your house if possible, they clean the air, and every room should have something living in it. 

And of course I couldn't help myself, I had to style the bookcases in the hallway while I was there!

One of my favorite pieces is a discovery I made while sourcing for accessories in Brooklyn. A ceramic artist in upstate New York makes these breathtakingly beautiful vessels, and then imprints each and every one with his thumb.  See below. 


I often like to group things by type or collection, such as books or even the plants on the sill. This is a great way to display things since it enables you to keep everything out without making things look cluttered. But once in a while, just one thing can be very beautiful in its simplicity all by itself, just like this vessel with its shamrocks. 

The loft now feels like a gust of wind swept through, and it's still there, swirling around, keeping things breezy, calm and beautiful.