The Inside Out: Diana's Warehouse Loft Squashed Into a Cutsey Brownstone

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Name: Diana
Location: Park Slope
Favorite element: the colored vellum on her french doors cast in an evening glow

Diana moved to New York from San Francisco over a year ago and wonders what took her so long. She loves it here.

Taking a quick look around only offers a glimpse of the richness of her abode. The best part is in the details. This apartment is not just the culmination of a few challenging months of renovation, but a home and showcase for Diana’s bounty after years of collecting, building, and designing.

As a graphic designer, and city planner, Diana wanted to express her style while being sensitive to issues of historic preservation.

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She would have loved to find a huge industrial loft, but instead is the proud owner of a small one-bedroom on a beautiful tree-lined, sun drenched street. She quelled her initial desire to rip out all of the late 19th century wall moldings and instead tried to “squash a warehouse artist loft feel into a cutesy brownstone look.”

Aside from a limited budget, and this somewhat compromised design vision, Diana felt pressure to conform slightly. She explains trying to strike a balance between her own design needs and desires, and the resale potential of the apartment. She knows she isn’t going to live there forever so, when making certain long-term renovation decisions like her choice of bathroom tiles, she kept a future buyer in mind and went a little conservative.

Diana has built many of the objects in her home - from the great maple desk to the multi-purpose and compact audio/visual cabinet to the innovative litter box.

The former were built with rather rudimentary woodworking tools and very strong programming goals, while the latter was the result of exasperation. Once Diana accepted that her rather large and getting-on-in-years cat was not going to change, she worked around her. She put charcoal litter that doesn’t dissolve into the tile caulking in an extra large tub, and she added a small step stool next to her bed to facilitate the cat’s civilized ascensions and descensions. J Sleuth Slater

(If you want an audio/visual cabinet that moves where you move, or a desk for every occasion, contact Diana at zucchero@mindspring.com)

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.