New York City

For the renovation of a loft in a landmarked building in the Union Square neighborhood of Manhattan, the New York City design/build firm Studiodb devised a series of bookshelves and sliding doors that allowed for an expansive layout, with the flexibility to create private spaces when needed. The owner, a native New Yorker, bought the apartment as a primary residence but divides his time between his hometown and Washington, D.C.

The client wanted the kitchen to be open to the living space, with a larger than usual island where visitors could gather while he is entertaining. At his request, the designers inserted a large pantry and prep area next to the kitchen, which allows it to remain clean and uncluttered. A custom blackened-steel sliding door with a perforated mesh screen closes off the ancillary area from the main space. When open, the pantry is “almost like a grand piece of furniture,” says Studiodb partner Damian Zunino.

The kitchen cabinets, made with reclaimed teak, echo the warmth of the loft's existing wood columns and central beam. The designers played with various materials: The countertops are cast-in-place concrete with blackened-steel side panels and surrounds, and the backsplash is made from vintage slate chalkboards. The unusual kitchen exhaust hood is a repurposed industrial dust collector. “Although it is large and seems like it might be noisy, it is really quiet,” says the client.

A relatively tight budget led to creative solutions, such as buying a Viking oven from Green Demolitions, a not-for-profit organization that sells overstocked or landfill-bound luxury items. According to Studiodb partner Britt Zunino, “If you are flexible, you can get a great product at a great price.”


Formal name of building:
Union Square Loft

Union Square, New York, NY 10003

Completion Date:
May, 2011

Gross square footage:
2,800 sq.ft.

Total construction cost:

studiodb LLC
311 W. 43rd Street, PH
New York, NY 10036
phone: 212.608.6379
fax: 212.202.9618

Special credit:
Britt Zunino, principal (not licensed)
Damian Zunino, principal (in the process of getting licensed)

Architect of record:
Kevin Byrne RA AIA
Kevin Byrne Architects PC
3254 Cambridge Avenue, First Floor
Bronx, New York 10463

Interior designer:
studiodb LLC
311 W. 43rd Street, PH
New York, NY 10036
phone: 212.608.6379
fax: 212.202.9618

General contractor:
Faro Building Corporation
310 East 46th Street Suite 3P
New York, NY 10017
t. 646-263-5374
f. 212-682-6674

Copyright 2012, Jeff Barnett-Winsby, JBW Photo

CAD system, project management, or other software used:
AutoCAD 2010



Wood frame: existing

Kitchen: custom blackened steel pantry door and track fabricated by Argosy Designs. Perforated mesh screen from McNichols.

Pulls: Kitchen pulls are Linnea 221 in Oregon Bronze

Interior finishes
Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Custom reclaimed teak kitchen cabinets fabricated and installed by Big Time Dynamo, 917.209.7625

Paints and stains: walls are painted Benjamin Moore Decorator's White; Teak cabinetry finished with AFM Naturals Clear Penetrating Oil

Solid surfacing: Kitchen countertops are polished concrete by Get Real Surfaces; pantry countertops are PaperStone in slate.

Special surfacing: Side panels of kitchen island and sink cutout are blackened steel fabricated and installed by Argosy Designs, 718-596-6154.

Floor and wall tile: Kitchen backsplash is reclaimed slate from vintage chalkboards

Resilient flooring: Epoxy coating by Hudson Concrete Flooring Company

Downlights: Jesco

Task lighting: Atlas Wall Light by Tango Lighting

Dimming System or other lighting controls: Lutron Radio RA2 & Lutron Maestro

Toilet: Duravit Happy D

Sinks: Kitchen Sink: Ticor SS3510, Master bathroom sink is a custom concrete sink by Get Real Surfaces

Faucets: Kitchen Faucet: Gessi Oxygene High Tech; Master bathroom faucets are Rohl Modern

Tub: Zuma C Series

Refrigerator: Liebherr HC2062 with custom panels

Dishwasher: Fisher & Paykel DD24DHTI6 with custom panels

Stovetop: Bertazzoni P34500X

Oven: Viking DESO105-BK (repurposed from Green Demolitions)

Other appliances: Kitchen exhaust hood is Stainless Steel Fume Arm from Avani Environmental

The cantilevered break form steel staircase and suspended library catwalk were fabricated and installed by Argosy Designs, 718-596-6154.