Architect Andrew Franz transformed the top floor and roof of a late 18th century former soap warehouse into an eclectic loft in Tribeca, an area of Manhattan, New York. Franz reorganized and modernized the six-story building—which retains its original 16-foot beam ceilings, brick walls, timber columns, and elevator winches from the former freight shaft—by incorporating steel, glass, handmade tile, and lacquer to complement the masonry and heavy timber.
The residence was reconceived to offer open entertaining zones and a fluid connection to the outdoors. A relocated mezzanine allows for direct access to the roof terrace above, and features an interior courtyard with a retractable glass roof. Embracing the building’s industrial past, a visual discourse between new and old is devised through insertions of modern materials along with restored or reclaimed materials.
An inverted courtyard unifies the interior space, which is topped by an expansive 150-square-foot retractable skylight adjacent to a lush roof deck overlooking the Hudson River and lower Manhattan. An interior courtyard and rectangular mezzanine are situated below the original 16-foot gull-wing ceiling planes. Reclaimed wood, new built-ins, and midcentury antiques complement the old brick and timber.
Photos: Albert Vecerka/Esto
Riverside Penthouse project showcases bright and bold interiors, designed by Tobi Fairley Interior Design, located in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas. This wonderful home was designed for a chic and contemporary family that requested the designer to create a daring color scheme. The clients are fashion forward and modern in their outlook, and the designer created a chic space that satisfied both parties. This beautiful penthouse appeared in the January 2015 issue of Rue Magazine.
Photos: Nancy Nolan Photography
Templestowe Residence is an expansive single story home designed by Christopher Elliott Design, located in Templestowe, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. “We are all familiar with the wise saying “a stitch in time saves nine”, but this proverb does not best describe the approach taken by the previous owners of this expansive single storey house, towards the maintenance of their property. In fact the house and its gorgeous surrounding gardens; although ideally located amongst the rolling hills of Templestowe, were a veil to the outdated rooms and darkened interior that lay within.”
So by the time the current owners had purchased it they were rather overwhelmed as to how they would transform this awkward 1970’s property into a stunning home. Fear not, they called in the expert eye of Christopher Elliott; who had recently completed the design of their friend’s house.
From the onset, it was clear to Christopher a complete overhaul of the disjointed internal architecture was in order; for the existing layout didn’t take full advantage of the picturesque garden outlook and left many rooms unutilised. Christopher’s new floor plan design brought unity to the architecture and enabled a more intuitive relationship between each of the various rooms of the house. Pivotal to the new design was the decision to open large sections of the house onto the pre-existing centrally located pool and courtyard via large expansive sliding doors, installed throughout the living spaces and the master bedroom.
These modifications provided the house with a beautiful tranquil vista and some much-needed natural light; it was also the inspiration for the new colour scheme. Christopher’s new design also incorporated all of the necessary state-of-art modern conveniences and luxuries expected from a house of this calibre, which in some instances required striping the house back to its bare bones. The extensive renovation would also provide a clean backdrop for a new tailor made interior design, better suited to the client’s lifestyle.
The first phase of the project involved altering the access into the master bedroom via a newly appointed ‘parents retreat’ which was previously an unused storage space and blocking off the old entrance from the kids study area. Thus providing more privacy and separation for the clients from their two growing teenage boys, now who wouldn’t want that? Also, the remodelling of the master bedroom incorporated a spare bedroom that was transformed into a beautiful, generous walk in robe and the previous inadequately sized walk in robe and ensuite became one large ensuite with a separate toilet. As you can guess, this house was not short of space!
The second phase of the project included the complete demolition and reinstatement of the properties kitchen, study, spare bedroom, both formal and casual living/dining spaces. The massive renovation was a bold direction but took all of the previously unused areas, and there were many, transforming and simplifying them into functional, practical and enjoyable spaces with the kitchen at the heart of the design. And what a big heart it is!
The kitchen island bench alone is an impressive seven metres long, clad in a stunning ‘Super White’ marble and with a butler’s pantry come laundry extending off from the kitchen that can be completely concealed with the closing of the full height sliding door. The new design meant many of the existing internals walls were removed and subsequently new engineered support beams were required to underpin the large ‘A’ frame roof, but these were cleverly concealed behind feature timber posts. That was also aesthetically a way of partitioning adjoining spaces without totally blocking either the light or the view.
The third and final phase of the project was the most rewarding for the clients, for it is when they could finally begin to truly experience the wonderful results of Christopher’s thoughtful and meticulous design. Many of the previous decisions and choices lay the foundations of the design, but it was not until the final selection of the furniture, decoration and artwork were in place, could they fully appreciate the vision Christopher had all along.
Most of the furniture and artwork for this project were made-to-order and in some instances Christopher specifically designed pieces of furniture to suit. This process also included the commissioning of several artists’ works. One significant piece that hangs above a colourful custom-made sideboard in the dining space was a beautiful work by renowned Australian artist Andrew O’Brien. This dynamic artwork, visible from the front entrance, sets the tone for the entire house, one that is bold, brave and surprising.
Photos: Sharyn Cairns
Logan Killen Interiors was commissioned in 2012 to restore “a bit of aged lavishness” to an historic French Quarter pied-a-terre in New Orleans, Louisiana. The courtyard of the circa-1820 Creole mansion that houses TV producer-director Chris Fisher’s duplex is accessed via a street-level passageway once used for horse-drawn carriages.
Exposing brick walls and structural framing members allowed us to discover original windows and transoms that had long ago been covered and brought new life into this glorious home. The client requested that the place not feel “done” and for the furnishings and finishes to feel authentic. Layered color, meticulous shopping, and some fantastic wallpaper resulted in a romantic and inspiring yet down to earth retreat.
Fisher specifically requested a pink foyer (visible through the transomed door). A paler hue echoes the entry’s glow in the lofty kitchen.
In the kitchen, locally sourced antique furnishings and freestanding appliances nod to the space’s past lives.
Creole-Style Kitchen: The stainless-steel Viking range is a streamlined complement to a burlap-skirted country sink.
A vintage sofa is the first hint at the home’s myriad patterns.
During the renovation, the designers uncovered a former exterior wall within the apartment, revealing that the kitchen and entry space had once been an outdoor porch. The old window and ceiling beams were left exposed.
The windowless living room’s custom-made bookshelves are backed with mirrors to reflect the plentiful light from the adjacent kitchen, adding a burnished gleam to the space.
The architectural feature feels at home amid the mix of vintage and contemporary pieces.
The designers exposed the raw brick walls wherever possible. At left, a Templeton pillow tops an antique armchair opposite a wood stool and a throw from Loomed NOLA.
Marbled wallpaper sheathes the guest bath, where an industrial-style antique sink and gilded mirror embody the dual histories of the home—a lavish mansion and stark servants’ quarters.
A custom finish gives Ballard’s Collier Bed an old-world air in the master bedroom. Linens by Garnet Hill and pillows from John Robshaw pick up hues from the frame and the sunny walls.
GP & J Baker’s Roses & Hummingbird wallpaper, in mimosa and sage, provides a jolt of pattern in the master bedroom.
The loft bedroom hosts a pair of RH Baby & Child spindle beds draped in mosquito nets. The walls are covered in GP & J Baker’s Emperor’s Garden.
The original space was dim and featured wall-to-wall beige carpeting. After the renovation, the playful room now houses a pair of antique rag rugs from NOLA Rugs and a sweet tent by Saint Claude.
The master bath proved a troublesome renovation. “There were areas where brick wouldn’t stop crumbling,” states the designers. The result is a mix of antique-style fittings and rustic, exposed walls and ceiling beams.
Photos: Sara Essex Bradley
With a closeness to nature offered in this stunning family home, every detail has been carefully thought out, offering creative solutions and exciting architecture in Ljunghusen, Sweden. The residence offers sophistication and luxurious details, with natural lighting throughout.
The house feels somewhat anonymous as you approach from the street, however as soon as you step inside the entrance door it changes to something spectacular. The house is a solid stone house that has been covered with a horizontal wood paneling to create a soft and comfortable feel. The entrance door is custom built in glass and oak paneling, and one could say that this is the standard set for the rest of the house. You are surrounded by whitewashed stone walls and a sober white pigmented concrete floors, which leads you further into the house.
You are welcomed immediately into the open seating area. There is plenty of space for entertaining family and friends, The dining room offers a large expanse of glass windows that overlook the garden facing south. An exciting atrium separates the living area from the dining room and creates a stylish environment. The concrete floor becomes a beautiful accent against the white landscape wooden panel that lines some of the walls. The feeling is both modern and rustic at the same time. Cold evenings gives the stove a nice heat and lets you relax to beautiful crackling sounds.
The kitchen offers an open plan against the social surfaces. A practical kitchen island clad in wood, breaking cleanly against the white interior gives a pleasant impression. It can accommodate two bar stools, perfect for when you want a breakfast time for yourself before you start your day. Exclusive machines from Gaggenau and Miele gives the kitchen a lovely finish. Perhaps most striking is the original pantry with glass door. This creates beautiful storage jars, a work of art in itself and makes it a pleasure to keep order in the pantry.
In the bedrooms the windows were placed so as to reduce transparency. On the floors, carpet has been added to lend warmth and a comfortable feeling in the rooms. Instead of doors into the walk-in chambers, two of the three bedrooms have heavy drapes, creating a warm and cozy feeling. The master bedroom is located in the second part of the house and also has the same feeling. The impression of everyday luxury is enhanced even further with the spacious closet. You will sleep in a relaxing atmosphere and in the morning you just need to walk a few steps to take a morning dip in the pool.
The villa has two lovely bathrooms. One is located in the entrance hall and offers bath and sleek and stylish décor from Aspen. The floor is covered with seastone and give a cozy feel. The second bathroom is a bit larger, decorated in tasteful white and stone. There is a shower and two washstands.
The newly built sauna room is inviting with its warmth on cold evenings and here you can let your eyes rest on the large window facing the garden. Then you go directly into the outdoor lounge and breathe in some fresh forest air.
This intelligent home showcases many thoughtful features and functions. Throughout the house, even outdoors, are nicely integrated speakers. The technology in the house can easily connect to iPads and phones, which makes it easy and fun to do. The whole house has a lovely heated floor, even in the garage, storage and guest house. There is plenty of storage and in the garden there is a separate storehouse.
The most apparent with the social part of the house is the simplicity of getting out into nature. By opening up one of the terrace doors you step out to your own little paradise. The large paved terrace runs along the entire garden side, and there are several patios, both for relaxing and socializing. Stylish awnings give shade during the hottest days of the summer and attracts one to take a dip in the sumptuous pool. The whole time you feel nature’s presence when the wind takes hold of the pines that surround the garden. Overlooking the pool there is also a guest house that houses everything you want to offer your guests. Or, you may choose to create an office or an inspiring studio here?
Every little detail of the house is well thought out and carefully selected. Everything from designer switches to color selection, layout and site-built TV unit. Sit back and allow yourself to enjoy a perfect home, just a few hundred meters from Sweden’s most beautiful sandy beach.
Photos: Courtesy of Bjurfors