Irma's Art-Filled Downtown Manhattan Loft

Irma's Art-Filled Downtown Manhattan Loft

(Image credit: Liana Hayles Newton)

Name: Irma Zandl and Brad Kahlhamer
Location: Lower East Side, Manhattan; New York, New York
Size: 1,700 square feet
Years lived in: 20 years; Owned

Light, open and airy, Irma's Manhattan loft feels like an oasis in the heart of downtown. Upon entering, it is immediately clear that the art that fills this home has all been chosen with a strong eye for talent and a great love of the work. To spend time in this gorgeous space is at once calming and inspiring.

*Re-edited from a tour originally published in 2014

(Image credit: Liana Hayles Newton)

After having lived here for some time, Irma decided to work with Kate Thatcher and Phil Ward of TWINstudio to renovate and restructure the apartment, removing walls that broke up the flow of the space to create an open floor plan that is ideal for entertaining. The kitchen, once a separate room, became part of the dining room, and now lends itself perfectly to cooking and conversation.

Windows overlooking a tree-lined street flood the room with light in a space where modern art pieces mingle perfectly with taxidermy, potted plants, and a faux fireplace. Further exploration will bring you past a well stocked bookcase within easy reach of a work area that makes room for lovingly collected items of vintage origin as well as modern finds.

Despite how open the home is, peeking around corners will lead to one charming surprise after another. On one side of the home, a doorway next to the office area leads into artist Brad Kahlhamer's man cave, built to resemble a log cabin, while on the other side of the home the master bedroom boasts a large open-air spa style bathroom, allowing for a view straight through the loft.

(Image credit: Liana Hayles Newton)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Minimal but warm.

Inspiration: Hotels, especially the San Jose in Austin and The Ace in NYC, PDX and Seattle.

Favorite Element: The light coming in through windows on all 4 sides of the loft – just magical.

Biggest Challenge: Carpets – I can’t seem to get them right, have ordered and sent back 3 over the last year. I just am not capable, it seems, of getting dimensions and patterns right…

What Friends Say: They love it! The bathroom tends to really blow people’s minds because it’s so unexpected and so generous in space.

Proudest DIY: Probably that I was able to give my architects such a clear idea of what I really needed to make this home work for me.

Biggest Indulgence: Brad’s man cave and my office space.

Best Advice: When doing any kind of renovation, go all in!! You’ll invariably go back and redo everything the way you initially intended and pay more in the process.

Dream Sources: Hotels, as I mentioned before.

(Image credit: Liana Hayles Newton)

Resources of Note:

• Kate Thatcher and Phil Ward of TWINstudio ("My architects - I could not have done this without them!!")
• Fabulous mill worker Chris Hurd of Galtee Interiors ("Did the man cave and the office/desk area and I couldn’t be happier!")
• Ry Scruggs and Nadia Yaron of NightwoodNY
• Construction by William Mak of Ultra Development Group


  • Super White from Benjamin Moore


    • Couch, Chair and Ottoman: Crate & Barrel

    • Lane Mid-Century Modern Coffee Table: Billy’s Antiques on Houston Street in NYC
    • "Samba" Rug by Kim Parker: The Rug Company
    • Bench: NightwoodNY
    • “Firewood” Installation: Antique Mall, Wisconsin
    • Chair: NightwoodNY
    Mark Gonzales: Love and Lust
    - Painting and Drawing by Windows
    - Small Painting over Chair
    - Large Painting by Door
    • Deer Head: Antique Mall, Wisconsin


    • Dining Table: Antique Store, Hudson, NY
    • Chairs from Bellini
    • Stone Clock: Antique Mall, Wisconsin
    • Monkey Drawing: Steinlen
    • Drawing: Delacroix
    • Large Drawing and Painting: Brad Kahlhamer


    • Built-in Desk (which I LOVE!!): by Chris Hurd of Galtee Interiors
    Desk Art/ Accessories:
    • Skateboard and Drawing: Mark Gonzales
    • Duct Tape Piece: Kristin Baker
    • "Birthday Cakes": Brad Kahlhamer
    • Javalina Head Taxidermy

    • Vintage toys


    • Island: Plywood Grade A Maple Veneer, Clear Sealed with Caesarstone “Pure White” top – built by NightwoodNY
    • Kitchen Cabinets (same plywood): NightwoodNY
    • White Kitchen Cabinets by IKEA
    • Sandwich Sign: Brooklyn Antique Store
    • Drawing: Chris Johanson

    • Kitchen Floor (through master bathroom): Benjamin Moore Bittersweet Chocolate


    • Maverick Leather Chair & Ottoman: Crate & Barrel
    • Chairs: NightwoodNY
    • Mid-Century Modern Cabinet: Bought in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
    • TV Credenza: IKEA
    • "Untitled" Painting: Margaret Killgallen
    • Collage: Thomas Campbell
    • Painting: John Szlasa
    • Verne Dawson Painting: Purchased at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise
    • Wood Painting/Assemblage: Jacqueline Humphries
    • Drawing: Brad Kahlhamer
    • Photo: Mitch Epstein


    • Plywood Cabinet: NightwoodNY
    • Penny Tile Shower Floor: Nemo Tile
    • Large Porcelain Wall Tile: Nemo Tile “Natural Trend” in Fossil
    • Smaller Porcelain Wall Tile:Nemo Tile “Pietra d’Italia" in Wenge
    • Vintage Tub: Already in Building
    • Basquiat Signed Poster from his last show in April 1988


    • Reclaimed Wood Walls and Built in Bed: Pioneer Millworks

    • Lamp: DWR

    (Image credit: Liana Hayles Newton)

    Thanks, Irma!

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