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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