The owner of this loft-style home mixes ancient and modern with timeworn pieces, design classics and his own abstract art...

The properTy

The ground and basement levels of a former community centre, built circa 1860, in New York’s East Village. The ground floor has a kitchen-diner, living room, office, studio, master bedroom with en suite and dressing room and two WCs. The basement has an atrium, library, TV area, viewing room, guest bedroom with en suite, utility room, shower room, WC and second office.


When its artist owner bought it, this property was being used for storage. Thankfully he commissioned architect and friend, the late Nasser Ahari, to transform it into a home and art studio. Nasser opened up the main floor, anchoring the whole place around a central atrium.

Head down the stairs to the basement and the eight-metre-high atrium can be appreciated in all its grandeur. It took ‘three very full years’ for the project to be completed, during which time bricked-up windows were reopened and light wells sunk on the lower level. The ceiling was also lowered by 60cm to provide soundproofing and to house a complex lighting system.

The architecture is predominantly crisp and precise, but it’s softened with rugged elements such as the cast-iron columns – painstakingly stripped of 20 layers of paint – exposed brick walls, original joists and the birch ply floor.

The Frog chairs and ottoman are by Piero Lissoni for Living Divani. The digital pigment prints are by Shirine. Visit to see more of her work. The rugs are from Morocco. Find similar at Larusi.


The main living space on the ground floor, which includes the kitchen-diner, wraps around this well and offers tantalising vistas of a cosy TV and library area below.

Exposed brick acts as a foil to the stainless-steel appliances and white cabinetry. The cedar island provides plenty of preparation space.

From the kitchen, a pair of double doors leads to the owner’s studio and office.

The range cooker is by Wolf. The fridge is Sub-Zero. The Marble Store sells black granite countertops. Try Roundhouse for similar cabinetry. Silent Gliss creates bespoke blinds.


Found objects make this place a home, such as the painted Afghani chest, which rub shoulders with heavyweight Danish designs.

The PK31 three-seater sofa by Poul Kjærholm is available from Fritz Hansen at Republic of Fritz Hansen. The Wassily chair by Marcel Breuer is available at Knoll. The rug is a vintage Beni Ourain design. Try Larusi for similar. The green/yellow artwork hanging on the wall is by Charles Arnoldi.

Weathered timber pieces, such as this bench, offset the pristine architecture. The art, which is mostly by the owner, echoes the predominantly monochrome theme.

This is a 19th-century cottonwood bench from New Mexico. Find similar at Elemental. The main artwork is Robert’s Mimesis III, while the smaller framed canvases are from his Nocturne series.

On the floor are tribal rugs and cushions, which invite you to lounge and sprawl.

A low bookcase houses just part of the couple’s vast book collection. On the wall hangs one of the owner’s works, a complex painted collage.

The artwork is from Robert’s Thicket series. The Bentley Gallery at currently has one of these paintings for sale. The vintage rug and tea table are both Afghani. Try Beldi Rugs for similar soft furnishings and Orchid for Asian furniture.


The suite is clad in limestone slabs. The owners say it’s like being in a boutique hotel.

Flax honed limestone from Mandarin Stone will recreate this effect. The carved stool is African. Try Qing Art for similar


The couple wanted this to be a sanctuary of stillness, so they didn’t build any bookshelves. A weathered pot from New Mexico and a Ghanaian textile (on the bed) add a touch of colour to the space.

For a similar bed, try Heal’s. The silver print botanicals above the headboard are by Shirine. The Berenice table lamps are by Alberto Meda and Paolo Rizzatto for Luceplan.

See more of the owner’s artwork at

Photography / Matthew Williams

Styling / Beth Flatley

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