This contemporary penthouse apartment mixes cool, clean interiors and reclaimed pieces in this city work space located in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia. The space was too bare and the detailing boring, so the homeowner’s called on the designers at Groundswell Design Group to add character to the home. The designer’s specialize in reclaiming and re-purposing, which came into play on the walls and through the furnishings. To meet the needs of the client, one of the two bedrooms was opened up and turned into an office and lounge. The contemporary style of the home was mixed with rustic and salvaged pieces. The main living area features galvanized metal from a chicken coop roof which adds horizontal bands, rusty patina and an industrial edge to one end of the apartment. The furnishings throughout the apartment function as art.
Interesting facts about the project: The cost of the reclaimed barnwood call, 12 by 20 feet: $13 per square foot; $3,120 total. The cost of the galvanized tin wall, 11 by 18 feet: $7.50 per square foot; $1,485 total.
The team designed the mural and had it executed by graffiti expert Sean Gallagher.
The horizontal lines of the painting on the window wall inspired the design throughout the house, as did the horizontal movement of the Delaware river outside.
The computer desk was made by the design team of reclaimed metal and has a glass top. The construction of the Eiffel Tower was inspiration for the desk.
The high-top desk serves as a unique conference table for client meetings.
Groundswell designed the shelves, which are made of metal and reclaimed joists.
The bar and the live-edge shelves above it are reclaimed poplar wood. The bars between the shelves are supports from old school locker room benches.
The designers composed the half wall and another wall with wood reclaimed from barns in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The silvery gray wood is hemlock, and the brown wood is mushroom wood.
The designers knocked down the wall separating what was the second bedroom from the foyer, opening the whole space up as an office and lounge.
The reclaimed hemlock and mushroom wood combination carries into the bedroom on a large headboard. It’s 8 inches from the wall, allowing room for backlighting.
Photos: Top Kat Photo
The Riverhouse apartment embodies the idea of luxury and eco-friendly living in New York City designed by Thom Filicia. The LEED certified Riverhouse is a luxury high-rise that overlooks Battery Park and probably one of New York City’s “greenest” buildings. The condo is comprised of 2,500 square feet of living space with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The entire apartment was conceptualized for empty-nesters and designed using environmentally friendly, sustainable materials such as natural fiber fabrics, FSC-certified woods, low-voc paints and wall paper glues, recycled objects and of course, antiques. Filicia designed the space to be beautiful and livable, proving that you don’t have to sacrifice style to design green.
In the living room above, the rug is made from vintage kilm runners and cut up felt. The green glass lamp is made from recycled wine bottles and the telescope in the corner is vintage.
The apartment features a fairly neutral color palette infused with organic earth tones and rich, natural textures such as the biodegradeable grasscloth wallpaper that you see throughout the space. There are a few bright spots though, such as the yellow sofa pictured here. The dining table features a paperstone tabletop and a FSC certified wood base wrapped in recycled zinc panels. The chandelier above is made from recycled jet airplane parts and the floor lamp is made from recycled plumbing parts.
The guest room walls are covered in wood pulp wallpaper with eco-friendly metallic detail. The bedside tables are made from old sewing machine stands, the lamp base is unglazed ceramic and all of the bedding is eco-friendly.
The orange bedside tables are linen sealed with a water-based lacquer. The table lamp was made from old ship’s chain. The sheets are made of naturally sustainable bamboo and even the Ecobamboo mattress, made by Magniflex, are environmentally friendly.
Many of the furnishings in the apartment were custom, such as this sectional sofa in the library which has a FSC certified birch plywood frame and cushions made of organic latex. The coffee table on the left is made from recycled aluminum.
Photos: Courtesy of Thom Filicia
This industrial-eclectic loft is the home of designer and artist Alina Preciado and her two cats, situated in a 1800s industrial building in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. The 2,000 square foot loft with one bedroom and one bathroom mixes old and new pieces together, with findings that Preciado has picked up from her travels to places like Japan, Spain, India and the Middle East. The designer imports handmade goods for her business, Dar Gitane. “Dar” is Arabic for “home” and “gitane” is French for “gypsy”, which sums up Preciado’s personality. The loft was originally a woodshop, which has divots and scratches on the flooring, which has been preserved for its history.
The loft features an incredible flow with an open and airy floor plan, huge windows and high ceilings that keeps the space well lit. The home also has a hammock which Preciado spends a lot of time on, as well as a trapeze bar, perfect for stretching. The living room was a vintage leather sofa from the 1960s, the leaning ladder was obtained from a warehouse. The living area also has a large wood-burning stove with a double-insulated chimney, which is in keeping with the industrial theme as well as providing plenty of warmth in the winter months. A neat tip that Preiado does with her stove is place citrus peels on top and left the smell permeate through the home.
Collected pieces from around the world are displayed in the apartment, like this hundred-year-old metal incense burner from Morocco that sits on one of three metal tables bought in the Middle East. Preciado likes to burn sage in it.
Storage is tough to find in a New York City apartment, so Preciado built this storage space with a sleeping loft on top.
Preciado created a walled-off bedroom with curtains that lets sunshine in or can be closed for privacy.
An interesting piece of art adorns the wall of this bedroom which has been crafted from human hair by Preciado.
Small touches makes a place feel like home, like what is on display here. A perfect example of Preciado’s design philosophy of mixing new, old, found and designed objects under a collection of cloches.
The worktable was from the previous owner’s woodshop, fitting perfectly with Preciado’s style. The table has a ¼-inch-thick steel top, perfect for designing, since they are so sturdy, durable and flat.
One of the first things Preciado brought back for Dar Gitane was a grouping of one-of-a-kind teapot, which she now displays on open shelves in the kitchen.
Preciado preserved these 90-year-old leather dining chairs with the right conditioning, bringing them back to their original luster.
Preciado’s style extends tothisa spacious bathroom, where she includes simple touches from her travels. The bathtub is an architectural salvage. Preciado’s biggest design tip was to “introduce products into your home that are soulful”. Surround yourself with things that are not only beautiful but useful.
Photos: Chris A. Dorsey
This modern high-rise apartment situated in Chicago, Illinois has been designed by Mia Rao Design. The clients wished for a space that showcased modern Italian furnishings, clean lines, and artistic accents. The designer has created a multi-functional space with maximum comfort in the heart of the city. The light fixture featured in this living room is so incredibly unique. It’s like a piece of industrial sculpture in this chic loft. The chrome accents also contribute to the industrial look.
Photos: Courtesy of Mia Rao Design
Residência Maranhão is an apartment of the 50′s designed by Maurício Arruda architects + designers, located in the district of Moema in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The 2,152 square foot (200 square meters) home had never been remodeled and was in desperate need of an update. The premise of the project was to open spaces to give breadth to the property and so almost all the walls were torn down. The reform transformed the apartment into a flexible loft where lightness and casualness to the tone decor that was appropriate to the history of the property and its owners.
In an almost “archaeological”, the architect Mauricio Arruda explored and made apparent the original materials, such as concrete, wood and stone. Thus, it was discovered the original floor of the property ipe, which now contrasts with the apparent cement concrete. The project included a large open area: the living room, dining / billiards, library and home and kitchen. Only two suites, toilet and laundry facilities remain separate. To reflect the lifestyle of clients in the property, Maurice drew a series of layouts ensuring flexibility environments. The style can be noticed in the bedroom where you can have the option of placing the bed on three different walls with sockets and switches within reach.
The home theater also allows it to be used in four different locations, with the creation of several points for installation. Also betting on the versatility of furniture, a pool table in the middle of the room, turns into a dining table.
The contemporary side and sustainable development is emphasized in decor, with the use of parts of the family as Thonet chairs, a vintage sofa, oriental rugs and a library that has been transformed into a cabinet.
Furniture has been designed by Mauricio Arruda, also part of the decor following a request of the couple. Among the pieces of design and architect are: Pallet chair, Swallow table, and Joseph mobile line, in the living room and bedroom. “Maurice gifted us with a contemporary setting, which displays natural materials alongside modern technology equipment. Going home has been the best time of the day, “concludes the owner.
Photos: Victor Affaro
Architect Peter Zaytsev, the partner in Za Bor Architects, designed this small apartment for his family. This small studio is located on 24th floor of newly built “Dubrovskiy” residential building in Moscow, Russia. Peter Zaytsev thinks, that architecture has to be simple in the context of decoration, but not in the context of shape, that’s why flat is finished in white color, “a simple and modest color”. Central living space connects a kitchen, a living room and a bedroom, though it may be separated with sliding partitions equally. In fully stowed position they can be hidden inside of the wall, and in fully expanded position they separate the whole bedroom space.
What’s interesting is that while the budget was not too high, architect still had to create some custom furniture. For instance, in the project there had to be a contrast black bar counter in the kitchen, but after a market research, it was obvious that it is more convenient to order a custom-built one. At the end this bar counter became one of the main interior details, made of steel sheets, and finished in aggressive lines. Though, this is not the only complicated and unique interior detail – a peculiar reply to it is a unique curved mirror frame, which makes it invisible from the bed. There are two animal silhouettes above the bed, acting as a contrast decoration. Made with a usual black cord, these hare and giraffe symbolize the house owners.
Photos: Courtesy of Za Bor Architects
Residence Alameda Campinas is situated in Sao Paulo, Brazil, designed by studio Maurício Arruda. After 10 years living in this small 516 square foot (48 square meters) apartment, the client´s first demand, a 40 year-old bachelor, was not to try to convince him to move to a bigger place. Used to living alone in a reduced size space, and aware of its limitations, the owner asked for a complete transformation of its interior, from layout to finishing, to lightning. The goal was to expand through the unity of both floors of this duplex apartment; the project features a restricted color and material pallet. Among the furniture the sofa, a 1962 Sergio Rodrigues´ Tonico – already owned by the client – was the starting point for the ground floor, influencing the assembly of shapes colors and texture of the projects.
In the upper floor, the caviúna panel, also from the 60´s and owned by the client´s family, covering the wall on the bed´s headrest dictated the usage of light wood and color in the intimate area To invert the often used “wooden floor and white walls” combo, white epoxy painting over the existing ipê floor was used on both floors and the walls were covered by a mix of gray and beige, known in the fashion world as “greyge”, which embraces the sobriety and masculinity of gray with a touch of warmth from the brown tones.
The woodwork from the ground floor has ebonized finishing, both in the living room´s shelves and in the kitchen cabinets. The only exceptions to the black-white-greyge pallet are the kitchen´s floral cement tiles, the Moroccan Berber carpet and the illustrations that compose his Brazilian vintage collection.
To give the feeling of higher ceilings, the walls´ baseboards were removed and the lighting is kept to just a pendant light over the kitchen counter and a ceiling light near the bedroom closets – respectively from the 60´s and 70´s. The rest of the apartment is illuminated at night by built-in lights to the woodwork and by the table lamps by the sofas and bed.
Photos: Fran Parente
This incredible penthouse apartment is located in Sant Cugat del Vallés, just outside of Barcelona, Spain. Both the interior and exterior decoration is the work of interior designer Mireia Masdeu, who knew how to apply for each environment light, harmony and relaxation. Stairs connect the terrace with the interior of the house, whose reform was also conducted by Mireia. The outdoor terrace provides sweeping views of Montserrat and the Collserola mountains. The amplitude of its surface was enough to create two distinct areas, the dining room is unified by a magnificent awning that covers all of the terrace and the platform floor of oiled ipe, a type of wood that is weather resistant.
The living room consists of a sofa with chaise lounge and a fiber armchair, which seems to glow thanks to lacquered shelves of the same color as the wall and built-in lights. A metal trunk inherited, on which rests old magazines, serves as a coffee table. The designer demolished the wall dividing the kitchen from the living room to create a unique atmosphere in the dining room with a unifying element: the generous container table with wooden top and legs and lacquered iron plates in white forming the cabinet storage.
The sofa was made with recovered pallets, as well as the coffee table with wheels, created on the spectacular terrace lined with wood.
The master bedroom was conceived as a space for rest, providing only the essential elements to this: a large bed, closet and a stool and a folding table that acts as bedside tables.
The bathroom is covered with porcelain tiles in anthracite grey, and stone in a horizontal format and cream tones. The same tone was used in the countertop resin basin and shower curtains.
Photos: Mi Casa
Spotted on Mi Casa, this dark attic with few windows, low ceilings and uncomfortable atmosphere was a great challenge to transform it into a bright and spacious apartment in the central district of Argüelles, Madrid, Spain. The transformation of the 538 square foot space was by interior architect Susana Sendín. It was discovered that a large part of the roof was, in fact, higher, so the attic regained its original gabled roof, supported by a network of beams. The crushed plaster, in addition, made visible the walls of brick, with pillars and wooden beams. All these original elements of the attic were stabilized and reinforced and now, painted – almost all – white, are key in interior design, which merged industrial style with shabby chic.
A new distribution of the floor makes the home functional, defining the public and private spaces. The public spaces are situated near the entrance and the two bedrooms, with sloping ceilings, towards the interior. To communicate and separate environments, the architect designed ad hoc sliding doors, which recreate the style of the door of a cabin. The lodge aesthetic is reinforced with streaks and knots in the flooring, a laminate in bleached oak, gives visual continuity to spaces. The dominant color is white creating luminosity throughout the space, but the interior designer turned to touches of color to create more bright and dynamic corners, and also contrasted it with black. The kitchen takes this and the brick to give a genuine industrial air.
Interior architecture firm TG-Studio has transformed this three bedroom penthouse located in England’s famed St Pancras Chambers. The apartment is one of three penthouses in the 52 unit development by the Manhattan loft corporation. It covers the top three floors of the west tower of this famous London landmark. The client hired TG studio to transform the unit from the standard developer spec into a personal and luxurious home.
As the property is of highest public interest and the interiors listed by English Heritage as very significant, the floor plan had to be broadly maintained but all staircases were replaced. The Studio and client worked closely together removing all bathrooms, floor finishes, built in wardrobes and the kitchen. The master bedroom, which is located on the top floor, is now reached through a new staircase that turns around an oak clad storage room reached off the main entrance hall. The floor area on this level was enlarged and separated into a walk in wardrobe, finished in oak and sheep leather and personalized to the client’s needs. The master bedroom space is open plan but can be closed to the triple height living room by an electrical operated curtain.
The lower open floor plan is laid out as a relaxed kitchen zone, dining area and TV watching area. The TV area is located opposite the kitchen and balances in its elevation the open plan kitchen. The joinery accommodates the AV equipment and a visible library and is kept very white with arrabascato stone as a vertical feature behind the TV. The dining table is from Poliform as are the chairs; the sofa is from zanotti, the rug from the rug company.
The middle and lower floor (floor 4 & 5 of the building) are occupied by two levels of entertaining. A new staircase has been designed connecting both levels, featuring oak veneer, plain glass and wooden stringers painted in off white. The staircase consists of a bridge that connects to a library which is cantilevering the main part of the staircase. This library unit is the feature of the staircase and also forms the balustrade to one side. It offers storage for books, statues and other artifacts collected by the owner.
The upper floor measures approximately 800 square feet and accommodates a very comfortable seating area and a zone for the pool table, a collector’s item owned by the client. The living room features furniture from Poltrona frau, knoll and Lema.
The penthouse gives access to two bedrooms with a dressing area and en-suite each a secondary entrance to the apartment and a guest WC and storage. The two en-suite bathrooms are located in two gothic towers of the building which gives them great views of the surrounding area and a triple ceiling height. They have been finished in Arrabascato marble and each feature a low hanging chandelier to play with the unusual ceiling height.
The bathroom features an extra-large walk in shower with a flush TV and a bespoke double sink unit finished in the stone, mirror and the textile oak present throughout the Penthouse, which enhances the earthy and organic feel of this sanctuary.
The Studio selected and furnished the entire penthouse and a meridiani bed in blue velvet was chosen in this bedroom flanked by vividly colored lacquered bedside tables from Lema. The master en-suite has been enlarged too and now features a Portuguese travertine stone which has a cave like quality.