Laura’s Live-Work Loft

updated Feb 19, 2019
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(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Name: Laura Hyman
Location: Santa Fe; Oakland, California
Size: 1,100 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years; Rented

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When Laura’s sister described her Oakland loft’s style as “feminine industrial,” Laura thought it was spot on. The bright and spacious live-work loft utilizes cool and tranquil colors that add an overall warmth to a huge space that can easily feel cold and sterile. As a set design professional and maker of vases and ceramics on the side, her home is filled with rustic furniture and accents left over from film sets, with a scattering of items like preserved flowers and vintage art prints that add to the warm and cozy aesthetic. It’s a place where she is at joy crafting with friends and family, as well as reading the Sunday paper under the sunlight.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Laura likes to invest time and effort in finding the perfect lighting for her home, perhaps because of her time spent on film sets. Her work studio, for example, has high-end Italian lamps that were discarded after a shoot.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Most impressive is her 15-foot ceiling that illuminates her spacious bedroom and greets her when she wakes up. It’s these elements, and many others, that make this loft the warm and embracing home it’s become.

(Image credit: Submitted by Laura Hyman)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: My sister came up with “feminine industrial” as the best way to describe my place. I like a palette that’s predominantly cool and light, along with any other tranquil colors that look like they have gauzy mist of grays and whites dusted over them. Then I can use the brighter and more saturated colors intermittently and change them out with more flexibility.

Inspiration: Ranunculus—one of my most favorite flowers, Dimore Studio, Louis Kahn, Zaha Hadid, James Turrell, Walter de Maria, Pina Bausch, everything and anything currently created in Japan and Mexico: culture, architecture, art, textiles, food

Favorite Element: Where I sleep because of the 15-foot-ceilings and a large skylight above.

Biggest Challenge: Not one single closet in the entire place. Also, living without a tub is something I thought I could never do. It’s a big ole bummer.

What Friends Say: My niece Stella always says, “Can we do an art project?” She’s the best art partner ever!

Biggest Embarrassment: I haven’t done much of anything on my rooftop deck. It’s a crazy great bonus room that I just haven’t gotten to yet.

Proudest DIY: Maybe my paper light fixtures and window screen or the vases I’ve made. But the best for me is always going to be the next undertaking.

Biggest Indulgence: Light fixtures, art books and flowers from The Flower & The B

Best Advice: Spend your big money on lighting fixtures, the more the better. Don’t overthink making changes, just try it vs. thinking about whether it will work or not. You’ll know immediately if you’re on the right track.

Dream Sources: Takashimaya (I’m still heartbroken that they closed), light fixtures by Ingo Maurer and Lindsay Adelman, 1stdibs, MAD Museum store, Noriko Kuresumi, ABC Carpet, Matter, Clic


(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)


  • BEHR Swiss Coffee
(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)


  • Sofa: Room & Board
  • Rug: World Market
  • Pillows: Housing Works: Design on a Dime Benefit, NYC
  • Morrocan Pom Pom blanket: brought back from Morocco
  • Linen throw: ABC Carpet
  • Bookshelves: Two Jakes
  • Vintage mail sorter: Street find in Catskills NY
  • End table: Tree trunk table from Anthropologie
  • End table: Saarinen marble top from Alameda Flea Market
  • Painting: Velvet Orange Underground with Safety Crysyllis, Six Purity Stations, Navy Lust Fire and Lower Right Snowing Region by Danielle Tegeder
  • Photograph: Kim Lyyke, Copenhagen
  • White leather bucket chair: Mxyplyzyk NYC
  • Rusty metal sewing table : Zonal
  • Table lamp: IKEA, covered with rose gold paper from Pear River & topped with an air plant
(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)


  • Vintage lockers/bookshelves: Zonal, painted with Martha Stewart metallics
  • Tree branch side table: Housing Work—Design on a Dime Benefit NYC, paint, combo of Utrecht Acrylics
  • Sconce: Ingo Maurer Lucellino NT wall lamp
  • Antler lamp: DIY project
  • Rug: Chilewich sample sale
  • Sofa: Crate and Barrel Outlet
  • Sofa cover: Egyptian linen from ABC Carpet
  • Pillows: H.D. Buttercup, Crate and Barrel, and gifts from India
  • Coffee table collection: Saarinen marble top, vintage stools from Alameda Flea, and
  • Whitewashed stools: Mxyplyzyk
  • Floor lamp: custom made for a film in NYC
  • Curtains: IKEA with DIY copper pipe curtain rod
  • Curtain tie backs: my necklaces!
(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)


  • Dining room table: Crate and Barrel gray lacquer finish
  • Dining room chairs: vapor acrylic chairs from CB2
  • Vintage wood chair: Leisure Time, Ravena NY
  • Vintage stools: Alameda Point Antiques Faire
  • Tablecloth: Bonnie and Neil, Melbourne
  • Vases and arrangements: made by me; I get my flowers from The Flower & The B at Rockridge Market Hall. Brian and his team there have exquisite taste….total pros!
  • Double exposure photograph printed on silk: South Dakota by my neighbor Shayla Dopp
  • Pendant : DIY project with parts from Urban Ore & eBay
  • Tall white shelves : CB2
(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)


  • Artwork ink & gouache: Brecht Quote #2 by E. Sablanski
  • White Chairs : CB2
  • Pear cutting board with hot pink trim:
  • Vintage cast iron meat grinder: my grandma’s ❤️
  • Table lamp, glass base with gray shade: Housing Works—Design on a Dime Benefit NYC
  • Vase within a vase: Takashimaya
  • Table lamp with metal cage: Upriver Home, Milford PA
(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)


  • Bed: Room and Board
  • Duvet: CB2
  • Linen throw: Clic
  • Faux fur throw: Restoration Hardware
  • Pillows: Nest, H.D Buttercup
  • Bedside table: flea market in New Jersey: oak glass ball claw foot painted with Fine Paints of Europe “white cafe” gloss
  • Pendant, white crochet: Mxyplyzyk
  • Asian Cabinet: Poor Honey’s
  • White ceramic table lamp: Mxyplyzyk
  • Poof, cowhide w metallic paint: Calypso Home
  • Mantel: custom made for a commercial
  • Mirror above mantel: Film Biz Recycling
  • Large Dried tobacco leaves: Takashimaya
  • Mirrored tray below mantel: Calypso Home
  • Love Seats: Poor Honey’s
  • Acrylic side table: Cb2
  • Laser Etched cowhide rug: Calypso Home
  • Table lamp: vintage fruit lamp, paint is Abalone, Benjamin Moore
  • Collagraph: The Secular City by Stephen Aldrich & Walton Mendelson
  • Lewis Hine photographs: Posthumous prints from the original negatives (I can’t tell you who gifted them to me!)
(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)


  • Fishing hooks: vintage
(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)


  • Desk: Crate & Barrel Spotlight desk with white lacquer finish
  • Vintage drawer lockers: Zonal
  • Pendant: Zanga Bakelite at
  • Table lamps, white perforated rubber:
  • Glass table lamp: Darr
  • Photograph: Kim Lyyke, Copenhagen
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Laura’s 1,100-square-foot apartment is located in North Oakland. (Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

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Thanks, Laura!