Whimsy and Utility: Mercer Street Loft, New York by DHD Architecture and Design

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The combination of whimsical murals, ‘found’ objects, and a mix of old and new gives this loft on Mercer Street in Soho, New York, by DHD Architecture and Design, a look that’s both functional and fun. Key vintage elements emphasize the loft’s high ceilings; partial walls between “public” spaces and “private” ones enable the loft, which is on a low floor of the building, to have more natural light and air circulation. Other vintage touches draw the eye: old-fashioned sprinkler pipes along the tin ceilings, as well as stripped cast-iron columns and the original flooring, bespeak an earlier era and aesthetic. The décor is spare but warm: floral wallpaper echoes pale umber of polished wood floors; similar brown tones are used in such touches as the bed’s headboard and side table, as well as the long work table and island in the kitchen, and living spaces.

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Complementary to this subtle brown is an assortment of reds on shiny satin pillows, the fringed bedspread, and a well-loved rug and bright towels in the bathroom. And, while the loft is clearly a work space as well as a residence, convenient touches render it less spartan: two sinks in the bathroom, for example, with graceful high-arched faucets, allow ample room for hand washing, watering plants, or other uses. Another little touch of luxury is the deep soaking tub, over which hangs a modern “chandelier” with backlit rectangles as its “candlelight.” High bookshelves, comfy lounging chairs, and a unique wave-patterned stone seating area create a cozy conversational space facing the long couch, with its afghan close at hand for extra warmth, next to the high windows. The space is collaborative, artistic, and elegant — all hallmarks of DHD’s approach to their clients’ needs.

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Written by Janet Butler

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Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).