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Scene Stealers: Moody Vignettes in the Brooklyn Loft of the Founders of Ridge House

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Scene Stealers: Moody Vignettes in the Brooklyn Loft of the Founders of Ridge House

January 13, 2021

Last month, Annie shared Brooklyn-based design firm Ridge House’s neo-Gothic restoration in Nebraska. Today, we’re admiring another project by founders Lauren Lochry and Jeff Gillway: the couple’s own Bushwick loft, a space they use as a workshop, showroom, and, of course, home base.

Just as the site—its architecture, environment, location, and history—led the design on the Nebraska project, their loft takes inspiration from its Brooklyn setting. “The space is in a converted industrial building, and that roughness is still inherent. This overall character has lent a lot of creative energy in the building. There is art/graffiti in the stairwells, and experimental concerts on the roof. Its imperfection allows for more to happen,” says Lauren.

“Our intention was for all areas of the project to be true to New York,” she continues. “We have collaborated with makers in Brooklyn, sourced all items locally, and drawn inspiration from our area’s history. We were very inspired by the loft as an expression of New York’s history in industrialism and transition into a creative community.”

Indeed, their space has a distinctive Brooklyn-bohemian—by way of antiquarians—feel. The couple are collectors of artful decay, from found driftwood and bird nests to a cover-torn early-American dictionary and 17th-century Chinese ceramic bowl (all sold on their website), and masters at creating vignettes with their objects. “Jeff and I are constantly switching items out for projects, photographing, building, and curating configurations. We like to create vignettes and test narratives,” says Lauren.

Join us for a tour of some of the compelling visual stories they’ve created in their home.

Photography by and courtesy of Ridge House.

lauren and jeff&#8\2\17;s loft enjoys \13 foot high ceilings and occupies a 9
Above: Lauren and Jeff’s loft enjoys 13-foot-high ceilings and occupies about 800 square feet. “The space was previously built out with haphazard walls and small spaces. We cleared those and built a bedroom and storage loft, leaving one open, sun-filled living space,” says Lauren.
&#8\2\20;we purchase mid century hanging shelving units whenever possible,& 10
Above: “We purchase mid-century hanging shelving units whenever possible,” says Lauren. Pictured is a teak wall unit by Torbjorn Afdal circa 1960.
among the treasures displayed on the shelves: a grouping of bells. &#8\2\20 11
Above: Among the treasures displayed on the shelves: a grouping of bells. “Some of our favorite items in our collection are the Arcosanti bells. We both studied in Arizona, and Soleri’s studio and process resonate with us,” shares Lauren. (For more on the bells, see Object of Desire: Architect-Designed Bronze Wind Bells from Cosanti.)
the main living space, re configurated. &#8\2\20;this configuration we were 12
Above: The main living space, re-configurated. “This configuration we were testing has three high-back chairs made by a wood craftsman in New Jersey. The reclining lounge chairs are vintage lacquer slat-back Chinese bamboo. The coffee table was made by local designers Sanger Clark and Stephen Froese.”
the aluminum chair is another design by clark and froese. the vintage desk set  13
Above: The aluminum chair is another design by Clark and Froese. The vintage desk set is by Ethan Allen. “[It’s part of] a modular line, which had different desk and drawer components,” says Lauren. She and Jeff refinished and stained walnut solid core doors to form the wood paneled wall.
a vintage serge mouille light hangs above a collection of framed artwork, casua 14
Above: A vintage Serge Mouille light hangs above a collection of framed artwork, casually propped against the wall on a Nelson-style bench. The dresser is a hand-me-down from Jeff’s great aunt.
same spot, different configuration, this time with a pair of landscapes. &# 15
Above: Same spot, different configuration, this time with a pair of landscapes. “We found these oil paintings at a local garage sale,” says Lauren. “We were able to date them to the 1860s. We have been talking to art historians and are piecing together its history, which is an exciting process.”
one of the perks of having worn hardwood floors: &#8\2\20;they enable us to 16
Above: One of the perks of having worn hardwood floors: “They enable us to build things without hesitation.” For the kitchen area, the couple built a 6- by 5-foot custom cubby storage unit to display found objects. “We built it out of unsanded 1/2-inch plywood, stained espresso.”
vintage liquor bottles are displayed on an antique chinese apothecary cabinet. 17
Above: Vintage liquor bottles are displayed on an antique Chinese apothecary cabinet.
lauren and jeff also built a shelving unit around the refrigerator. &#8\2\2 18
Above: Lauren and Jeff also built a shelving unit around the refrigerator. “The kitchen is a work in progress. We are integrating our own custom built pieces around what was already there,” shares Lauren. A vintage ladder serves as artful storage.

For more lofts we admire, see:

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