For Samantha Stathis-Lynch and her husband, the need for more space drew them out of Manhattan and across the river to Hoboken. Here, in the former Wonder Bread factory, they were able to create a home that’s perfectly them. It’s eclectic, with an artful mix of old and new, traditional and modern. “For every two traditional pieces, I like to offset it with something contemporary and I find that in doing so, I’m able to convey a sense of timelessness and create a contrasting dialog within the space,” Samantha says. “Every home has a story, and every client has a story so it’s important to find the pieces that help tell both of those stories simultaneously.”
Though she’s usually designing for clients of her firm, Samantha Ware Designs, her own home acts as a great reflection of her aesthetic. She tells us more:
Tell us about your home. Where is it located? What is the history of the building, and what drew you to the space?
Like many others, we were living in the city and found ourselves suddenly working from home during the pandemic and in desperate need of more space! We were constantly looking for apartments both in New York and across the river in Hoboken, but nothing seemed to fit the bill. One day I came across this amazing new development of lofts in the original Wonder Bread Factory. My husband, who grew up in England, had always dreamed of a classic New York loft style apartment. He instantly fell in love with our unit, which is in the original part of the factory (and had at one point been turned into a dance studio). We have these incredible 16-foot ceilings, immense natural light, an entire wall of exposed, rustic brick and you can even see some of the iron hooks from the factory’s machines in our second bedroom!
Design-wise, what was your first order of business when you moved in?
From the moment we stepped foot into the apartment, we knew we had to have it…but I also knew there were a few elements that I had to immediately change. The 1,700 square foot open plan loft, though full of character, had an uncharacteristically modern white kitchen, white walls, and little moldings.
It took some coaxing, but I managed to convince my husband to let me swap out the brand-new contemporary kitchen with a moody, dark blue shaker-style one. I painted the living room walls in Farrow and Ball’s School House White to add some warmth to the space and then used texture, pattern, and color to create a warm and inviting home. I wanted our loft to feel both timeless and fun! A large Moroccan rug by Beni Rugs sits in the middle of the living area while a neutral linen slipcovered sofa and pair of vintage Mid-Century chairs (reupholstered in a show stopping Pierre Frey fabric) provide ample seating.
You also had the bonus of a private outdoor patio!
My husband and I both love being in nature and find it difficult to live in a city at times. He grew up in the English countryside, with green fields and his mother had a stunning cottage garden. It was important to us to create a little English-inspired oasis. Set against the backdrop of the factory’s original late Victorian smokestack, a transitional wicker lounge set sits opposite a teak dining set we inherited from my parents. I grow all kinds of lovely plants – limelight hydrangeas, English roses from David Austin, lavender, blue Russian sage, and plumbago around the patio’s perimeter. Our home is always filled with fresh flowers, no matter the time of year!
Was it more challenging to design for yourself vs a client?
This is an easy yes! My husband and I have two different aesthetics; he tends to lean a bit more modern than I do. Luckily, we also both appreciate a beautiful antique, and love old things with patina and character, so we agree on those things. Additionally, there were so many things I wanted to “try” in this space. As a designer, my own home is almost like a lab where I can test different ideas and take some risks.
What was the biggest challenge in the space?
Bringing back some of the character that was lost during the construction process via the developers. The building itself is over 100 years old but the developers selected very generic, contemporary finishes. I had to take all of that into consideration and create a design that felt fresh and modern with traditional elements.
Take a tour in the slideshow.