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Hiding in Plain Sight

One solution to a loft’s no-work-space/no-storage dilemma: Build a room inside the room.


A cube in a cube in a cube. That’s the idea for the multitasking, multicolored desk-slash-closet-slash-guest room that Leven Betts Studio designed for client Hilary Park. “She was a math major at Princeton,” says architect David Leven. “The first time I met her years ago, she was doing proofs on a big blackboard in her loft for fun.” Back then, Park had just purchased this 1,800-square-foot one-bedroom loft, almost square in plan, in an almost cubic building in Williamsburg. Leven and his partner, Stella Betts, made her an acrylic-topped table. Park, who works in finance by day and makes art in her free time, called them last year with a bigger design problem. “She paints and sews, and she needed a studio,” Leven says. “She also needed a guest room. We were kicking things back and forth and we arrived at the cube.” The couple has designed super-functional cabinetry before, but never with so much … color. “She has a much more eclectic palette than we do,” Leven says. “It is in her living space with her purple couch, orange chairs, and a Balinese screen.”

1. The orange Piolite stripe that runs around the wall is a visual separator, explains architect David Leven. It “defines the zone of little tiny things” that his client uses in her art and sewing.

2. A pullout ledge made of red Formica is Park’s sewing table. Small drawers hold thread, buttons, and other notions, while a large cabinet below stores her sewing machine.

3. Behind the white panels is clothing storage.


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