Sean & Daphne's Industrial Rustic Downtown Hideaway

Sean & Daphne's Industrial Rustic Downtown Hideaway

Jill Slater
Mar 31, 2010

Name: Sean & Daphne
Location: Nolita, NYC
Size: 3,300 square feet loft
Years lived in: 16 (started as a renter)

Once upon a time, Sean rented office space alongside his wife in this very same piece of real estate. Years later, they knocked down walls, figuratively, and metaphorically by buying the entire floor of the building, getting married, and starting a family.

Along the way, they decided to upgrade the relatively raw loft space. In 2001, they called on professionals to help them create distinct spaces as well as to bring light throughout what was once a large, somewhat dark but open space.

But Sean doesn't like to leave everything to the design professionals. He enjoys building stuff and has contributed quite a few pieces as well as design innovations to his and Daphne's home.

With two small children, the space manages to feel both sophisticated and like an impromptu playground. There's room for the kids to play, the adults to feel like kids, and everyone to feel very civilized, in quick succession. The loft is replete with trap bookcases, mobile seating, bike parking, cruise ship doors, elevator doors, foot-pedaled-plumbing, whimsical lighting, plush couches, and thousands of books. It's a dream of a home for children and adults alike, but the family is pulling up a decade and a half of roots and moving to Brooklyn!

Apartment Therapy Survey
Style: Classic with some cozy and graphic pop-ish touches.

Inspiration: Pedro Almodovar's sets!

Favorite Element: The moving bookcases, and the view of Old St. Patrick's church and churchyard. And flowers.

Biggest Challenge: Flower watering.

What Friends Say: Dude!

Biggest Embarrassment: Having lived in a 120 square feet space before this I always feel guilty that the place is this spacious.

Proudest DIY: Building a mobile chaise lounger that rolls out of the banquette along the wall in the TV room and onto a wedge in the middle of the room, where a center-of-attention type can recline; salvaging the doors from the old manual elevator in the building when it was replaced in 1996.

Biggest Indulgence: Flowers.

Best Advice: Get rid of all plastic.

Dream Source: Flea markets.


Living Room:

    • Couches from ABC carpet
    • Paul McCobb table from now-closed antique store.

    • Castle stove from Bari Restaurant Supply,
    • Daybed built by Jeff Jamison, Marfa, Texas.

Center Room/TV Room:
    • Old movie theater seats from Billy's Antiques and Props (called Manhattan Castles and Props back in 1992).

Master Bedroom:
    • Bureau from Chelsea flea market,
    • Bed from De La Espada sample sale.

    • Modern desk from Chelsea Flea Market,
    • Metal desk left behind by previous occupants.

For more details, check out Sean and Daphne's Cooking Wonderland on

Images: Jill Slater

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