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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.

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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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