Dumbo Loft by Crystal Sinclair Designs features a book-filled mezzanine

Interiors studio Crystal Sinclair Designs has renovated a loft in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood to include a mezzanine with a wall of books and a bedroom behind a glass partition.

Upstate New York studio Crystal Sinclair Designs reimagined the space for a successful attorney and writer.

Dumbo loft with mezzanine
High ceilings in the attic allowed for the addition of a mezzanine library

The client bought the loft at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in Dumbo, an area where there have been extensive conversions of buildings into luxury apartments.

Sinclair’s goal was to maintain the industrial look of the space, while incorporating a mix of furniture that offers a European feel and nods to some of the places her client has spent time.

Wooden dining table and chairs
Crystal Sinclair Designs retained industrial materials and kept surfaces bright

“[She] wanted to incorporate certain elements that are typical of the places she has lived and worked in the past,” said Sinclair.

“To that end, we worked in a Nuristani mirror and a tribal qashqai rug bought in Afghanistan, a statement chandelier from Italy, and her all-and-not-insignificant library.”

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Kitchen with white and gray marble countertops and a farmhouse-style island
In the kitchen area, arabascato marble contrasts with a farmhouse-style island

The concrete shell was left mostly exposed, balanced with antique pieces like an easel and leather wingback chair to add history and a “finished” feel.

“The space itself led the way,” said Sinclair, who founded her eponymous studio with her husband, Ben. “The idea was to draw attention to the high ceiling with floor coverings and a metal/glass partition. Since the space is bright, we decided to paint everything white.”

Living room with boucle sofa and huge crystal chandelier
Floor-to-ceiling glass panels divide the living room and bedroom

The 1,190-square-foot (110-square-meter) apartment has a concrete roof that spans 14 feet (four meters).

Thanks to this height, it was possible to add an L-shaped mezzanine to provide space to store the client’s library.

Wall covered with wooden moldings
One wall is covered with wooden moldings that create light patterns

A staircase next to a window gives access to the upper floor, where bookshelves depicting the vast library cover almost the entire wall.

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Underneath are a row of tall cupboards and the kitchen, which features white and gray Arabascato marble counter tops against a rustic wooden island.

Reading corner
The wide range of furniture was chosen to give the space a lively feel

The living room has a cream sofa with a Moroccan rug, while a huge crystal chandelier hangs overhead.

The corner bedroom is separated from the rest of the space by floor-to-ceiling glass panels in black metal frames.

A white linen curtain can be pulled over to obscure the neutral sleeping area from view. A desk also runs along the wall, which the client can use on the days she works from home.

Elsewhere, the original supporting columns are wrapped in tiles around their lower half, and part of the wall is clad in wooden moldings that create a relief pattern.

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A small desk under the window
Linen curtains can be drawn to provide privacy in the bedroom

“We played with it and kept everything bright and airy,” Sinclair said. “All we had to do was add a layer to give the space depth and purpose.”

Characterized by high ceilings, large windows, and expansive open floor plans, lofts are commonly found in former industrial neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

A sitting room covered with a textured gradient
Antiques help fill the spaces with a European touch

Other areas of New York City, such as Tribeca, are similarly filled with historic warehouses and factories that have been converted for residential use.

In these types of buildings, recently completed projects include an apartment by Andrea Leung with a “secret space” hidden behind a mirrored wall, and a penthouse by Worrell Yeung where the industrial finish contrasts with the “clean minimal lines” of new interiors.

The film is by Seth Caplan.

Project Units:

Interior design: Crystal Sinclair Design
Stylist: Mariana Marcki-Matos


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