Layers of Grey

At first glance, this loft may appear too cool and a bit too perfect, but notice the owner’s use of warm woods and the subtle shifts in the grey color palette and you begin to understand the loft’s modern sophistication. As someone who prefers a more minimalist aesthetic, I can attest that it’s hard to pull off because the eye will catch every design mistake, so it’s extremely important to manage the details.

One architectural feature that enhances the living space is the solarium ceiling. Also notice the varying shades of grey throughout the apartment which the owner insisted must not be too mousy, or too sour, or too flat, but rather soothing and serene to open the space and allow it to appear larger.

This modern bureau in the living room was designed by Pritzker architect Gordon Bunshaft and is actually one of two pieces in the apartment. The bureau was so large they had to divide it. I’ll show you where the other half lives coming up. Also, an idea that I’ve adopted, the flat screen television is recessed into the wall and not bolted on top to stick out like a sore thumb. It’s a great option when you don’t have the luxury of a dedicated media room and your hubby insists on a 60″ TV.

In the the living room, we see the sofa and chairs that were inspired by a 1950’s Knoll chair. The pieces were custom-made so that the owner could increase the width of the chair seats. She upholstered the sofa and chairs in a light wool for added texture and comfort. We also spy the private rooms upstairs framed in the anti-reflective glass railing which is important when you have the solarium ceiling overhead.

The stairs are poured terrazzo and lead to a home office area.

The home office has floor-to-ceiling built-in bookcases made of South American teak and a depression-era desk painted at an auto body shop.

The kitchen and living room are divided by a wall because the owner did not want the kitchen to open into the living room like so many modern apartments do these days.

The kitchen is the epitome of modern simplicity with touches of industrial chic. The kitchen counter stools were painted at an auto body shop to reflect the industrial feel and the counter tops look like honed stone, but are actually a waterproofed artisan plaster with a layering of fiberglass, epoxy and wax sealant for protection.

Kitchen appliances include two built-in refrigerators and a six-burner stove plus plenty of walking around space, so it’s a passionate cook’s dream and fitting because the owner is an avid weekend baker.

The well-organized pantry is used for storing food and beverages.

A look toward the dining room with several seating areas in what would normally be under-utilized space.

The dining table is finished in auto body paint with a custom linoleum top. The 1950’s chairs are by industrial furniture designer Thonet.

In the bedroom lives the other half of the Bunshaft bureau and a custom teak bed.

The guest room has a bed with a plastic laminate headboard and bedside tables that are cantilevered off the walls for easy cleaning.

Also in the guest bedroom, a modern low cabinet and lamp along with built-in bookshelves which house the owner’s collection of paperbacks.

Throughout the apartment there are two sets of window shades on each window, one translucent and the other opaque. This guest room chair is by American industrial designer Warren MacArthur.

The bathrooms are probably my least favorite because I can see myself whacking my knee or stumping my toe on the hard linear surfaces, but I like the idea of under mounting the sinks and bathtub to make them easier to clean.

I also like the built-in storage and the slim light fixtures which were installed vertically to cast a more flattering light. Genius!

And a close-up of the bathtub reveals sleek bath fixtures and the uncut tile sheets on the walls.

The master closet was also custom built with South American teak.

And the ultimate luxury in urban living…an outdoor terrace with mid-century patio furniture. Perfection!

Photos: Luxist/MS Living

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