This Gorgeous Loft Reno Makes Magic From Everyday Raw Materials


Relying on raw, inexpensive materials can certainly help you stick to budget during a renovation, but it takes real artistry on the designer's end to make sure that plywood cabinets don't look (or act) cheap. Ivi Diamantopoulou and Jaffer Kolb, the duo behind the design firm New Affiliates, actually prefer using "rough materials" in their work and relied on them heavily when renovating a Brooklyn loft (part of a former chocolate factory!) into a space worthy of its fashion designer owner. Plywood—quite a lot of it—came into play, as did metal mesh ("the stuff you find in Jersey City that people make giant grills out of," says Kolb) and exposed copper pipes. While the project was relatively low-budget as far as renovations go, around $100 to $150 per square foot, they insist that the materials were selected "though a hybrid of aesthetics and cost"—that is, not just because they were less expensive. The client, who "kept using Donald Judd as a reference," was completely on board with the plan to elevate everyday materials; that settled, the team set about tackling a few major (and common) challenges in making an industrial loft space work as a happy home.


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