A Futuristic-Looking Brooklyn Loft That’s Steeped in Nostalgia

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When designer Jenny Kirschner walked into the former Daily News printing plant in Prospect Heights, she turned to her husband, Aari, and said, “This is where we are going to live.” The cavernous loft, with 28-foot-high ceilings, had been unceremoniously chopped up with flimsy room dividers, and Kirschner saw something she could have her way with. “I didn’t want anything renovated — I wanted a gut job, a place I could turn entirely into my own.” Instead of interrupting the apartment with closed-off spaces, she created an 87-square-foot glass box in the middle of the first floor that does the job of two rooms; it’s Jenny’s office most of the time, but her desk can be easily wheeled out and it can become a guest room — the back wall hides a Murphy bed and full-length drapes can be drawn for privacy. (The upstairs bedroom has glass sliding doors, too.)

As futuristic as the apartment may appear at first glance, most of the décor borrows from the past. “I am very nostalgic,” Kirschner says, “and I’ve decorated the place with a lot of things from my upbringing in St. Louis.” Vintage pieces — like her parents’ table and chairs and her childhood piano — sit in the dining room and upstairs study, respectively. And then there was the kismet of finding a giant chandelier that had once hung in a church in Amsterdam that Kirschner bought on a whim before she even closed on the apartment. It happened to fit perfectly in the living room. “It was clearly the right risk to take.”

Top image: The Study–Slash–Guest Room: The back wall hides a Murphy bed, so the study can easily be transformed into a bedroom.

The Entrance Hall: A denim and glass table by Thislexik sits inside the entrance foyer. The painting on the foyer’s wall is by André Masson and the porcelain floor tiles are from Home Depot. Photo: Ryan Dausch
Living Room: Kirschner designed a built-in wall unit to contain a flat-screen TV and an EcoSmart fireplace. The large sectional sofa and rug are both from ABC Carpet & Home. The vintage chandelier — found at Venfield — once hung in a church in Amsterdam. The runner is from Etsy. Photo: Ryan Dausch
The Dining Area: The table, chairs, and sideboard are vintage Baker taken from the house Kirschner grew up in. She reupholstered the chairs in fabric from C&C Milano. The wall art is by Tirtzah Bassel, who created the compositions with tape. The 28-foot curtains are Kravet fabric with trim from Fret Fabrics. Photo: Ryan Dausch
The Kitchen: Kirschner renovated the original kitchen and designed an island that her family and friends could pull up chairs to (instead of perching on stools). The Vitra chairs are Standard by Jean Prouvé, and the appliances are by Wolf, Sub-Zero, and Miele. The marble for the counter design is from ABC Worldwide Stone, and the light pendants are from Rejuvenation. Photo: Ryan Dausch
The Downstairs Bathroom: The black mosaic tile is from Ann Sacks, the white subway tile is from Home Depot, and the floor tile is from Stone Source. Photo: Ryan Dausch
The Master Bedroom: The bed and orange pillows are from ABC Carpet & Home, the sconces are from Workstead, and the art series on the wall (right) is by Niki de Saint Phalle. Photo: Ryan Dausch
The Master Bathroom: The bathtub is from American Standard, the marble is from ABC Worldwide Stone, the floor tile is from Ann Sacks, and the wall tile is from Artistic Tile. Photo: Ryan Dausch

*A version of this article appears in the December 11, 2017, issue of New York Magazine.

A Futuristic-Looking Brooklyn Loft Steeped in Nostalgia