Modern conveniences, Parisian charm, and only-in-New-York architecture, the NoHo loft of designer Sybille Schneider is a place to savor.
This New York City loft is in the heart of NoHo. The seven-story Renaissance Revival-style building was constructed in 1894 as a printing plant and converted to apartments almost a century later in the 1980s. Sybille Schneider, director of interior design at Leroy Street Studio, says the location is everything. “The energy of NoHo is palpable, and we wanted to keep the casual, bohemian style of living prevalent in the area,” she explains. “We used to live in a prewar apartment on the Upper East Side. We now love the feeling of space we have when we enter this apartment—each room benefiting from large windows and nice city views with trees in the foreground.”
The loft had previously undergone a rushed renovation that encased much of its architectural charm in drywall. Sybille turned to Andrew Magnes and Greg Canaras of League Studio Architects to uncover the space’s potential. “We tend to approach projects with a ‘crack the egg open’ attitude,” Andrew says. “In other words, we work to challenge our own assumptions and biases. We use drawing and iteration to uncover the essence of a project, and we used Sybille’s rich, layered material palette to create spaces that slip into each other.”
Sybille’s children are college-age and intern in the city each summer, often bringing home friends. So, while architectural restoration was of utmost importance, lifestyle played just as big of a part. “I used a lot of Leroy Street design tricks, things I’ve learned over the years you can’t do without,” she says. Topping that list was the addition of a back kitchen, allowing the main kitchen to stay pristine for day-to-day life. Finishes had to be “durable as hell,” she adds, noting that life with teenagers gets messy, especially now that they hold their own parties in the space.
Notable architectural moments punctuate the home. The living room has a working fireplace, made from blue stone from Vermont that was left split faced. Nearby, in an area lined with original windows, a sofa is designed to turn the corner—excellent for reading and meditating. In the primary suite, modern zellige tiles and travertine add earthiness to the space, while a steam shower is the ultimate luxury. “We strived to make something contemporary while celebrating the building’s bones and the city’s history,” Greg explains.
For Sybille, this is the ultimate essence of the space. “I’m from Paris and there you feel you’re in history. I needed history, and wanted something prewar, not new, that had the spirit of New York.”