Fort Greene Love Loft: Before & After

Spring is here, and I am so excited to show off our home - finally!

Below are the 2 camera photos I took of our loft apartment before we moved in, this past summer.  The selling point of this loft was that standing at 6'1", Ronnie was able to stand both underneath, and up inside the loft without having to crouch or feel like he would hit his head on the 12 1/2' high ceilings.  None the less, it took Ronnie and I some time to decide how we felt about the tight space & whether or not we wanted to stay past the first year.  But after settling in, getting to know the neighborhood, and making sure we were comfortable - we really have made the most of it!  With high ceilings, comes tall windows, and The Shade Store came to the rescue to dress our 3 large custom windows.  Thanks again!



I had the IKEA MALM bed frame in white for years now, but we decided to keep it and get a new mattress, because it would fit perfectly.  After getting it in place, the almost square 8' 1/4 x 8' 3/4 surface area would still fit 2 MALM storage pieces, and room for another small table at the foot of the bed.  The 2 wardrobe units below became double storage above with wicker baskets full of fold-able sweaters and casuals.  

First thing's first, everything was painted white.  Ronnie reinforced the underside of the frame with a 2x4 some time ago, so there was no going back in preserving the consistency of wood grain.  There were also poorly chosen add-ins from previous tenants that looked better when consistently painted - Good Ole' Benjamin Moore Decorator's White.  After that tedious task was complete, the customizing began.

We purchased the IKEA PAX wardrobe corner piece, after patiently waiting for it to be restocked at our local Brooklyn location.  We ordered the tallest option at 93" (since height was not an issue), and loved how much we we could fit inside.  In order to add the 2-door matching piece, and keep the storage party goin-on til da breaka-dawn, we would need to narrow the built-in ladder by 3 inches to make everything fit.

As if I didn't have enough fun getting up & down in the middle of the night!  We brainstormed many different alternatives to fixing this problem; moving the whole ladder to another position, coming up with an entirely new up & down method, and then the easiest solution seemed too perfect to be true.  

After consulting with a few friends, Ronnie decided that sawing 3 inches in on each rung, all the way down the ladder - was the way to go.  The right side of the leg would just get nailed back onto the shorter pieces that are left hanging.  Come on, sounds too good to be true?  Especially when we were not the people who constructed this thing to begin with.  But that is exactly what we did. 

Last Saturday morning, we woke up with a mission in mind: make room for the wardrobe!  Ronnie started measuring and cutting - before I knew it, I was sweeping up the sawdust.  Can you believe I was searching online to price spiral staircases to import from Europe?  Zero cost, thank you very much.

So off we were to Red Hook, for an afternoon of IKEA fun.  The 2 door option was in stock, so we were smooth sailing through the Saturday crowds.  The worst part of the trip was when I told Ronnie the $.99 frozen yogurt machine was out of order.  The face is sad, but still so adorable.

I have to say - planning, measuring properly and taking the uneven floors into account finally brought us to this successful point.  It looks as if the whole loft was custom built around the wardrobe!  And if you remember from this post, the opposing wall of shoes really creates a walk-through closet on your way to the bathroom in the back of the apartment.

Before                                                                        After

A short tour of the bedroom expresses our love for bright and bold patterns, and prints that express our love for each other!  We were at this actual The Black Keys concert in Central Park (which was awesome), and although I wasn't crazy about the design at first, I thought it paired beautifully next to my San Francisco print.  Even though it totally evokes our love, I bought the print (on the right), while visiting Baby Stella, many years before I met Big Ronnie. 

In my recent Orla Kiely post, I mentioned the need for a temporary curtain. There were 2 wooden sliding doors on a track when we moved in, but that only went from bad to worse. The landlord let us store them in the basement to get them out of the way, and the tablecloth has been a fix for now.  I love this cutesy pear print, and repeats the patterns from the kitchen. 

Underneath the loft you will find our office/media area, 2 laundry bins, and a 6 drawer lingerie/jewelry organizer (more about that later), and even room for Lefty's wicker cat bed - underneath the ladder!  


It seemed to take forever to get this Before & After story finished, and I'm sure we will come up with further improvements along the way... but for now, we are snug as a bug, and loving our first home together - The Pari-Stella Love Loft! 

La vita è bella,

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