Chelsea Residence Pays Homage to Manhattan’s Lost Artists’ Lofts

Chelsea Residence Pays Homage to Manhattan’s Lost Artists’ Lofts

As glass and steel continue to pierce the sky, a growing number of homeowners are trading tower residences for older buildings modest in story – homes akin to the artists’ lofts that made New York City a cultural epicenter during the second half of the 20th century. One such case study is this post-industrial-style apartment, situated in a 1920s prewar co-op building in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, by full-service interior design firm McGovern Project. Exposed timber columns with cast iron capitals, high ceilings, and generous lighting endear the memory of early industrial day-lit structures within this newly renovated space crafted for a couple deeply devoted to city living.

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A minimalist home office with white brick walls, a wooden desk and shelving, a chair, and a window with a black blind. An elevator door is seen on the left.

A modern living room with large windows, white walls, a fireplace, and green furniture, including a sofa, chairs, and a plant. The room features a pillar and a grey rug on the wooden floor.

A modern living room with large windows, a sectional sofa, armchairs, a black coffee table, a fireplace, a TV on the wall, green accents, and a large potted plant.

A modern room features a pool table with a set of balls and cue stick, flanked by two closed black doors and a decorated niche with a mirror, greenery, and abstract wallpaper.

A key-locked elevator opens up to a gallery-like floor plan with 10-foot ceilings that flood the room with plenty of light from the north, south, and east exposures – a notable feature capitalized upon to showcase the homeowners’ art collection and pay homage to the artistic talent once prolific in the contiguous neighborhoods. “The allure of a loft’s blank canvas layout and expansive living area captivated Mateo and Francesca. Their vision was to preserve the space’s original architectural charm while integrating modern conveniences and eschewing outdated features,” says interior designer Chris McGovern, who oversaw all aspects of the interior architecture.

A modern room featuring a pool table, black cabinets, a green console with books, a TV on a geometric-patterned wall, light hardwood floors, and track lighting on the ceiling.

A modern open-concept living and dining area with a wooden table set with glasses, black chairs, white walls, exposed beams, large windows, and a seating area with a sofa and plants in the background.

Modern kitchen and dining area with black cabinetry, light wood floors, a long black dining table with chairs, a kitchen island with stools, hanging lights, and a potted plant on the counter.

Modern living area with light wood flooring, white walls, two wood-framed chairs, a black side table, a framed artwork, and a potted plant in the corner.

Working alongside architect Eugene Khananov, McGovern was able to maximize programming within the narrowing unit to yield a robust arrangement within the 2,400-square-foot residence. It now includes three bedrooms, two full bathrooms, office, a covetable suburban-sized laundry, courtyard, and a sizable common space, which comprises the entertainment, kitchen, and dining areas. The space plan also ensures that interior architectural details may be appreciated from any position within the great room. European white oak floors and complementary, crisp white trim in chantilly lace are beautifully contrasted by black interior doors. And many of the furnishings were upholstered in performance fabrics or rated for high traffic to accommodate regular play. Graphic wallpapers and ceiling prints also indulge in fun.

Hallway with framed artwork on the wall, illuminated by two linear lights. The space features light wood flooring and an exposed wooden beam near an open doorway.

Modern bedroom with a single bed, black and white bedding, patterned accent wall, two windows with beige shades, three framed artworks, black chandelier, and a striped rug.

Modern bedroom with black and blue art wallpaper, a bed with white linens, a wooden nightstand with flowers, a black and white striped rug, and an ornate black chair next to a tall, gold-framed mirror.

Modern bathroom with two rectangular mirrors, gold fixtures, and a wooden double-sink vanity. Light fixtures are mounted above each mirror. Black countertops contrast with the dark wall behind.

Interior decor, nay artistic staging, drew inspiration from Francesca’s Manhattan upbringing while also nodding to Mateo’s South American roots. Works from painting to sculpture were arranged such that each may have its moment to be appreciated in assurance that no singular piece pulls focus. All elements are in dialogue including light fixtures, statement furniture, and cherished personal objects. Additional accents include light touches of olive green that evoke lush Peruvian valleys alongside gold reminiscent of Andean treasures. “Our design journey commenced with a dedication to preserving the gallery-like allure of this former artist’s loft while infusing it with a contemporary twist that melded the diverse cultural heritage of its inhabitants,” says McGovern.

A child's bedroom with a black bed, patterned chair, white floor lamp, colorful ceiling and art, white walls, and a window with a shade. The bed has white and blue bedding with animal prints.

Modern bathroom with a marble-topped vanity and black fixtures, a floating shelf with towels underneath, a glass-enclosed bathtub with black shower fixtures, and a large mirror above the sink.

A cozy den features a brown leather sofa, a baby crib, a woven basket, and a palm tree-themed wallpaper. A plush toy sits on the sofa, and a sheepskin rug lies on the wooden floor.

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A laundry room with a dark wall, wooden cabinets, a countertop, a white sink, a hanging rail with white shirts, a built-in wine rack, and patterned floor tiles.

To see more of Chris McGovern’s work, visit

Photography by Trevor Parker.
Production by Karine Monie.

Source: design-milk

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