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Damon Liss Takes A Single-Minded Approach To A Singular Space

Tribeca loft living room with exposed brick

“The apartment was a little bit of a hodge-podge,” expresses the owner of a second-floor, 2,450-square-foot Tribeca loft she and her husband had called home for 15 years. “We’d lived there with three little kids and a dog, and there were a lot of toys out and band-aid fixes on things whose lifespan had run out. As the kids were getting a little older, we wanted something that was a bit more sophisticated without being fussy. We wanted it to feel like grownups lived there.”

Partnering with interior designer Damon Liss to undertake the project was the obvious choice, as they had worked with him on their house in Amagansett, Long Island. That they had also become friends with Liss and his wife — and that Liss had experienced the apartment as a visitor and was aware of both its shortcomings and its potential — was a bonus.

“What was interesting about the space is that it’s a railroad deal with the kitchen tucked up to the side, opening beautifully to the (1,200-square-foot) terrace and dining room/seating room/den room, all in a row,” explains Liss. “Part of the challenge was recreating multiple different usages and then designing interesting, comfortable areas in a space that was essentially one long rectangular room.”

Tribeca loft kitchen

Taking the midcentury industrial space down to the studs, rebuilding the flooring, whitewashing the original redbrick walls so they no longer overpowered the spaces, dealing with structural issues and soundproofing, all while retaining nothing other than historic features like columns and beams, might seem extreme at first. But it set the stage for the transformation to come. Not surprisingly, the kitchen became a primary focus. “The owners love to cook, and so the heart of the home focuses on this giant kitchen and the adjacent outdoor space,” notes Liss. “There is a minimalism that exists while still being industrial.”

Wall-to-wall and room-to-room, finishes, materials and furnishings provide contrast — every single piece of which is new. “It goes with the way they live,” explains Liss. “They’re not fussy people who don’t sit on their furniture. They want to be comfortable and to really use their home. They wanted an appealing, inviting, cozy space.”

Tribeca loft dining room with exposed brick accent wall

“Damon does an exceptional job of finding very unique pieces, including auction pieces, then pairing them with others that are more mainstream,” shares the owner. “Early on, he found a c. 1950s sculptural, eight-arm brass chandelier from 1stDibs, that he loved. I couldn’t wrap my head around how it would come to life, but he knew it was special.”

The chandelier now hangs above another of Liss’s favorite pieces, a custom dining table inset with a pink Fusion Fire Marble slab that he admits required a leap of faith from the owners. “It’s the most incredible piece in the house,” Liss adds.

Bedrooms run in a similar linear fashion, with the primary and bath looking out onto the terrace, and two additional bedrooms (one for the couple’s daughter, the other for their two sons) falling in line behind it.

Reflecting on the space they’ve now lived in for about a year, the owner declares, “Sometimes I say, ‘Wait, I’m in Manhattan?’ It’s so cozy and quiet in our bedroom and on the terrace, surrounded by buildings. Sometimes we’ll have friends over for drinks and appetizers, or we’ll all settle on the couch (in the living room) and watch TV. Damon did a nice job of making it different and unique, beautiful yet comfortable, while still all in one room. That’s loft living!

Photography by Joshua McHugh.

For more like this project from Damon Liss, be sure to check out the revival process of this West Village loft.

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