When you think of a loft conversion, the first image that probably comes to mind is of a big, open space. And that’s true most of the time. This is also a loft with a view.
The layout was very partitioned off and didn’t take advantage of the fact that the apartment has views to the north, south and west. Heather Rowell of Content Architecture, working withRobert Sanders Homes, made the space more efficient and maximized those views at the same time. “We created a core in the middle of the unit,” she says. “It’s basically a big rectangle that includes the bedroom, an office, a laundry area and two bathrooms.”
This freed up all of the exterior walls while still keeping the public and private spaces feeling separate from one another. The result: A true loft was born.
The main living space takes advantage of an incredible view of downtown Houston and Market Square, in the heart of the city’s historic district. “It’s probably the most prized view you can have,” says Rowell.
“For the loft in general, I knew that the client had a great art collection, interesting artifacts from her travels and lots of wonderful books,” she says. “So we wanted to create a backdrop, making sure the view was most important, and then your eye shifts to all the owner’s great pieces.”
The floors throughout the apartment are oak. The painting leaning against the back wall is by French artist Michel Nedjar.
The main upper part of the storage unit is painted; a lower portion is made of solid walnut with a walnut veneer. The television is set toward the back and on a swivel mount for viewing from the kitchen (next photo).
A lack of wall space, the owner’s reluctance to block the views and her love for these pieces led to the decision to place artwork along the floor. The paintings behind the sofa are by Mexican artist Rogelio Diaz.
The dining area is sort of a funny wedge shape. The homeowner does a lot of entertaining, and this custom-made table, by local craftsman Bob Card of greenwood bay, can be used for dining or as a buffet. The table is made of reclaimed wood, including some from the debris of Hurricane Ike.
“We wanted this to feel like a space people would want to go to even though it’s the furthest away from the great views,” says Rowell.
The hallway leading from the entrance is used as a gallery. “It gives the sense of a bit of a procession as you come through and adds to the industrial feel the space already had,” she says.
Framed dried lily pads hang above the dining table.
This view of the dining room shows its relationship to the living room and kitchen.
The guest bathroom features a floating vanity whose surface has been protected against water damage with a sealant similar to one you would use on a ship’s deck. Incorporating the towel rod makes for a self-contained unit and eliminates the need for any other rods.
A stacked washer and dryer were removed from the bathroom and placed in a closet across the hall so the small shower could be enlarged (next photo).
The bathroom doesn’t have a natural light source, so Rowell recessed a linear light cove at the back shower wall to create the illusion of a skylight. “And we wanted the light fixture to wash down the slate and highlight the texture of the wall,” she says.
The kitchen has several interesting features. The stovetop and the sink were flipped, and because the apartment is in a historic building, a vent to the outside couldn’t be installed. The Elica Twin hood has two fans that pull air and recirculate it through a charcoal filter. It also has a series of lights on dimmers.
The drawer fronts are laminated in a porcelain veneer. “We were going to do normal laminate, but we came across these porcelain tiles and had them laminated to a high-grade plywood,” says Rowell. “And they’re easy to clean.”
The glass-front cabinets are 1 foot in depth; the solid-front cabinets are the full depth of the counter. “We decided to make the shallow cabinets glass so that the back wall wouldn’t feel as heavy and dark,” says Rowell. “The glass helps break up the weight of the wall.”
The glass-front cabinets also allow the owner to display her white Alex Marshall organic-shaped dinnerware, which provides a contrast against the dark wood and complements the white tiles and countertops.
A custom wardrobe walls off the view of the bedroom from the bathroom. Various African fertility statues collected over the years by the owner are displayed along the floor. The painting is by Brigitte McReynolds.
The sleek custom storage unit has white doors and drawers of paint-grade plywood. The surround is walnut veneer with a solid walnut trim cap.
The owner didn’t want the design of the vanity in the master bathroom to be too symmetrical. “We included a little bit of walnut on the drawer front, and the same wood is used on the tub skirt, but otherwise did a waterfall with Caesarstone in Buttermilk,” says Rowell.
This looks like a hallway with a lovely chair from Swallow Tail that’s covered in a Stephen Sprouse fabric and holds a West Elm pillow. And it is all of that. But it’s also a hidden office, as you’ll see in the next photo.
Voilà! The owner needed a home office, but Rowell didn’t want to design it as a separate room. “We used long bifold doors and made it a circulation path that can be activated as a work zone,” says Rowell.
And if that’s not enough, there’s a springboard mounted on the wall to the right (not visible here) that the owner uses for her daily Pilates routine.
found on Houzz