Brooklyn must be on our mind this week, as we follow on from Monday’s piece with another rustic New York loft catching our attention. Designed by local studio General Assembly, this top floor apartment is located in the rapidly-developing west Brooklyn neighbourhood of Gowanus. As with many of Brooklyn’s most covetable locales, it was formerly an industrial area but of course with the gentrification comes many a loft apartment conversion.

This loft occupies what was a former jute mill, and had long lapsed into a state of disrepair by the time General Assembly were brought onboard. In response, they have identified structural and material elements of the initial building to preserve the apartment’s rustic feel while substantially redesigning the plan, reorienting the home for contemporary living.

DESIGN General Assembly PHOTOGRAPHY Joe Fletcher

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Reorganising the home’s layout to improve flow and natural light was the first stage of the process. An open plan living and dining space now acts as a central communal area of the home, while the kitchen was opened up to take advantage of the natural sunlight from the window-wall that runs along a full side of the apartment – a rarity among warehouse conversions. To further brighten up the home, rift white oak cabinetry and custom tile work were chosen for their light-reflecting properties and airy aesthetic.

In order to create a space with this clean, modern sensibility without losing the raw beauty of the original building, General Assembly have combined many of the original elements with subtle contemporary touches. Tearing open the original ceiling, the beams were exposed and sanded down to reveal the distinctive woodwork throughout the home and subtly framing the lighter elements of the interiors.

These were pared with new features like polished concrete floors, steel hardware and dark paperstone and concrete counter, as well as a refined collection of modern design furniture, lighting features and artwork. Playfully modern tiling choices, such as the chevron pattern of the breakfast bar and behind the kitchen sink and the hexagonal tiles of the kitchen and bathroom floor also add pops of character throughout the home.

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If the exposed timber woodwork, crisp white walls and refined style nod to a certain Nordic sensibility, the furniture is equally inspired, particularly the creamy white dining setting and accompanying artworks. Bringing light pieces into the home helps further balance the rustic framing of the space.

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