New York loft living has always called to mind a party-ready lifestyle, from industrial artist haunts like Andy Warhol's famous factory to off-the-record warehouse raves deep in the outer boroughs. Cool? Unequivocally. Cozy, livable, and family focused? Not exactly. At least, not always. The last few decades have seen the transformation of several largely industrial neighborhoods into hip—even kid-friendly— enclaves, their spare commercial buildings and old factories transformed into sprawling living spaces with just enough cool-kid grit and all the modern luxuries.
When New Yorkers Molly and Garrett, and their two-year-old son, returned to the city after several years living amid the sleek white facades of Miami, it was those quintessential stylings that drew them to a loft in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood, complete with exposed brick walls, rough-wood beams, and soaring ceilings. The couple knew they wanted a home that could be used for entertaining, but was also well-suited to their everyday life with a toddler in tow. The former was built into the sprawling apartment's DNA. The latter, however left them yearning for an expert's input. They turned to the popular online decorating service Homepolish, and, after sharing the details of their space and their wish list, were matched with designer Allison Petty, a Williamsburg local with an eye for bridging the neighborhood's storied past and stylish present.
The loft had just been renovated, so when Petty first set foot in the space it was, in short, "a big white and gray box," she says. She knew the biggest challenge would be to achieve a layout that would make the space feel cozy, without allowing it to become one big playroom. Her smart solution involved creating several gathering spaces within the wide-open room, which she defined using color, texture, and strategic statement-making accents. A bold wall in Benjamin Moore's Azure Caribbean defines the TV viewing lounge within the living area, itself set off with a soft shag rug and massive, space-defining sectional. "It's completely convertible so they can change the layout when they like," she says.
A pair of metallic Tom Dixon pendants provide a glamorous counterpoint to the softer elements, hinting at the room's ability to transform into a luxe, totally grown-up entertaining space. "The dining table seats ten and the small seating area in the back was meant for cocktails before dinner," explains Petty of the corner anchored by a Union Jack rug and blue-velvet chesterfield sofa, and watched over by a collection of faux-taxidermy rhino trophies.
Just past the ultra-modern kitchen, the cheerful and cheeky touches continue into the loft's bedrooms. In the master suite, a black crocodile-embossed wall covering by Schumacher anchors a unicorn-themed art piece found by the homeowners and a pair of sculptural gold table lamps. Another bold, blue hue defines the nursery, where a sweet teepee, beach scene print, and unexpected red chandelier round out the playful mix.
Where the bones of the space ring true to the building's past and the neighborhood's signature industrial aesthetic, the over-the-top and arty notes are what truly represent the style of the homeowners, and Petty wouldn't have it any other way. "What I love about [this neighborhood] is that all of my clients strive to have fun, creative spaces that really exhibit a sense of individuality," says the designer. "That, I feel, is more in the spirit of Williamsburg than anything else."