July 24, 2018

bStudio’s Breanna Carlson Transforms Brooklyn Factory Loft Into Her Own Personal Oasis

Business and pleasure can indeed mix—when a designer is her own client. Such was the case with bStudio Architectural Design’s Breanna Carlson, who renovated an apartment at 560 State Street (also known as one of Jay-Z’s former residences) into an intensely personal home worthy of her work portfolio. Although the building, a 19th-century factory, was lovely, it had undergone a residential conversion using cheap commercial materials in 2007. The apartment was dark, with an inefficient floor plan. “The feel was of a Midtown condo development rather than a factory-conversion near downtown Brooklyn,” Carlson recalls. Her keen understanding of building codes was invaluable, letting her know exactly what could be done without waiting on time-sucking permits. To wit, electrical and plumbing upgrades and the relocation of non-structural walls were completed within a tight timeline of just three months.

A cage was added to the living room’s ceiling fan for industrial flair, while the rubber rug is made of repurposed bicycle inner tubes. Photography by Shaked Uzrad.

The industrial-meets-midcentury aesthetic was informed by Carlson’s extensive travels to remote locations. “It was important I be surrounded by pieces I had designed, fabricated, or collected,” she explains. “Every piece has a story.” For example, brass hardware on kitchen cabinetry is based on a series of rings that Carlson designed in 2008. In fact, Carlson’s fingerprints are quite literally on everything…down to a casting of her hand used as a hook for keys in the entry.

Design Principal: Breanna Carlson

General Contractor: NTS Contracting

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