This week we’re giving you a look into a stunning loft renovation designed by Architect and theSweeten network member Olga Bakic (photographed above). Olga took us to TriBeCa to meet homeowners Aleksandra & Vijitha in their 2,000 sqft loft which occupies one floor of an historic, 1860’s building.

The couple contacted Olga after living 10 years in their 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom home. With a growing toddler at home, they knew they would need to add a second bedroom to the loft’s existing layout, so they took advantage of the opportunity to completely rework their space and launched a renovation that affected nearly all the existing interior walls. Over a 6-month period, they relocated the kitchen, created a second bedroom and second bathroom, made adjustments to improve the layout of the master bedroom & entry foyer, and updated finishes throughout. The very modern new home gushes with good taste and sentimental charm.

Comparing before & after plans of the lower level, we can see how changes to the layout make the space much more functional. One of the most significant changes Olga made to the plan was to pull the kitchen out from the corner and move it to the center of the home. Olga also greatly improved the logic of the master bedroom layout, reducing both closet and bathroom space to more a appropriate scale.

Aleksandra & Vijitha were not especially fond of the finishes in their loft which had been selected by the previous owner. In particular, they couldn’t wait to update the cherry wood that took over the kitchen, entryway and mezzanine.

Here, they have removed the floor, kitchen, and entry foyer. Because the new, open kitchen required the removal of the load-bearing walls beneath the mezzanine (formerly enclosing the walk-in closet), a steel support beam was added to span the length of the mezzanine and create a floating gallery effect.

In the finished space, the mezzanine office floats above the new kitchen and the wood-framed glass doors & railing have been painted white. All the flooring on the main level has been replaced with heat-treated wood flooring by Mafi.

We love the new entry Olga designed –the old doors have been upcycled, painted in “elephant’s breath” by Farrow & Ball, and topped with a custom, open shelving unit. To the left we can see the dinning area hasn’t moved, but it has been given some updates from Design Within Reach, including a Murano glass chandelier and a set of Panton chairs to mix in with old wooden chairs from Pottery Barn.

Although the architecture has taken on a very modern point of view, the home is sprinkled with antiques and sentimental accessories. Aleksandra keeps silver pieces from her grandmother atop an antique Sri Lankan Pettagama chest in the dining space. If you look closely, you can also see a tiny cactus which Aleksandra received from a childhood friend when she was very young (–the cactus has stayed by her side for more than 30 years!). Russian frescos from Aleksandra’s parents’ collection are hung on the wall above.

The kitchen is clean & minimal with modern appliances and white cabinetry by Eggersmann.

In the living space, other restored antiques from Sri Lanka include these plantain chairs and a 200 year old wooden cabinet. On the wall are a collection of Serbian knife paintings from the 1930’s.

A view from the mezzanine gives another perspective of the living room. There’s still so much to see here –next week we’ll share the rest of the tour.

Many thanks to homeowners Aleksandra & Vijitha and to Olga Bakic for sharing this beautiful home!

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