Lately I’ve spent a quite a bit of time in my tiny apartment fantasizing about how much space we’d have if we could somehow merge with the flat next door. It’s something all city-dwellers dream of, especially these days: pushing out a few walls and getting more room.
That’s what a pair of creative professionals recently got to do in real life, in a Civil War-era building in Brooklyn Heights: seamlessly combine two warehouse-like units into one cohesive, serene space, with help from Shapeless Studio Architecture & Interiors.
“Before the renovation, the space was pretty unexciting,” reports Andrea Fisk of Shapeless Studio. “There were some exposed brick walls, small rental-quality kitchens that seemed at least 20 years old (one in each apartment), and standard 2 1/4-inch oak flooring.” To start, she and co-principal Jess Thomas Hinshaw—with structural engineer Tom Gasbarro, ABS Engineering, and Sunshine Renovations Management—started by stitching together the two units at the seams. Instead of thread, though, the two spaces are joined with steel and glass doors, a nod to the building’s industrial bones.
Robert and Sandy, the homeowners, “are very design savvy,” Andrea says. “They had a really good idea of the look they wanted to achieve from the outset.” In addition to industrial elements, the team went with rich textures like tadelakt and terrazzo, custom millwork (and generous amounts of concealed storage), and dashes of ochre and yellow amid black and neutral finishings. “The final apartment really reflects them,” says Andrea—and their young daughter, Mia, too.
Have a look:
Photography by Hagan Hinshaw, courtesy of Shapeless Studio Architecture & Interiors.
Adding to the sense of calm: Madera’s Clinton Hill light wood flooring throughout the open space. “Madera is another great company based in Brooklyn,” says Andrea. “They have a version of this floor that has more knots and character, which we’ve used on other projects and it’s also great. Here, since the main room was so big, we wanted the floor to be very quiet, so we selected the knot-free version.”
The workspace is lit with Trapeze 1 fixtures by Apparatus. “We adore this fixture,” Andrea says. “We got the version with the porcelain shade, and when the lights are on, the whole shade glows a little bit.”
Not pictured: The terrazzo bathtub, sink, and floor in Mia’s bathroom, all from Eco-Terr.
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