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Give Them Some Wood Scraps, They’ll Make You a Table

Plus a sofa, a lounge chair, and a freestanding bedroom on stilts. One couple’s DIY loft overhaul.


After moving to Williamsburg in February, the French couple Audrey Ducas and Grégoire Abrial quickly became the kind of Brooklynites who take pride in grocery shopping at their neighborhood co-op, bicycling everywhere (Ducas: “weather permitting!”), and adopting a tortoiseshell cat named Simone from a shelter. The pair, both of whom received master’s degrees from ENSCI, the Paris industrial-design institute, applied the same ethos (they’re devoted followers of the “live slow” approach) to creating their 840-square-foot loft, located within a quintessential artists’ building at 475 Kent Avenue. Working on site with just a circular saw, a jigsaw, a cheap table saw, and a wealth of salvaged materials—primarily wood scraps left behind by a previous tenant (an architect, as luck would have it, with a fierce love of shelves)—they transformed a raw, open space into a European twentysomething’s version of This Old House. Besides building much of the furniture themselves, Ducas and Abrial, a textile designer at Lori Weitzner Design and an industrial designer at Amy Lau Design, respectively, also fashioned a freestanding structure to function as a bedroom. “We imagined it as a small house standing in the middle of the space,” says Ducas, likening the floating, narrow-windowed shed to a “kid’s drawing on white paper.”

Home Design


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