A couple of decades ago, Francis, a Belgian architect, found a place to work and eventually live that was off the radar but in plain sight. It's an NYC neighborhood that remains somewhat nameless, but offered enviable square footage and a landlord who welcomed any improvements Francis wished to make.
Over time, Francis created a home. Little by little, the sprawling, raw loft was outfitted to accommodate an increasing number of bedrooms. With each child — Jane and Francis now have three kids — Francis enclosed a corner here, an alcove there, including sliding doors and transoms to preserve as much light as possible. He also made sure that ample common space remained a priority and that bedrooms were mostly for sleeping.
The only natural light source is a wall of rear windows facing a narrow alley. Despite this fact, Francis managed to make the long, narrow space feel bright and open through the use of strategic artificial lighting and white floors throughout the apartment.
Part of the living room is designated kid space, and both Francis and Jane encourage their kids to keep their toys within this area. While it's always a challenge, Francis has managed to design a home that is both sophisticated and welcoming to small children. And as a minimalist, Francis has provided a good bit of quiet and empty space, liberating in a crowded city such as ours.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Style: Cozy, modern.
Inspiration: New York City streets.
Favorite Element: The Snake and Turtle Chair by Jane.
Biggest Challenge: Keeping it neat.
What Friends Say: What a space!
Biggest Embarrassment: The crooked faucet in the bathroom.
Proudest DIY: Installing the kitchen.
Biggest Indulgence: Mummy Chairs by Peter Traag for Edra at the dining table.
Best Advice: Trust your intuition.
Dream Source/Resources: D'Apostrophe showroom at 394 Broadway
- • Sofa: Viccarbe at Dominic Lepere
• Coffee table: own design
• Bookcase in Sycamore: own design
• Console under TV: own design
• Rug: Bliss by Limited Edition at d'apostrophe llc
• Lamp: Flos
• Snake and Turtle Chair by Jane D'Haene
- • Table: Ann Demeulemeester for Bulo
• Chairs: Mummy Chairs: Peter Traag for Edra
• Chandelier: Ingo Maurer
KITCHEN and DINING
- • Stools: Kartell
- • Bed and side tables: own design
• Lamps: Philippe Starck for Flos
• Rug: Odegard
Thanks, Francis and Jane!
(Images: Jill Slater)
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