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Art and Industry Make Magic in a Pittsburgh Loft

Art and Industry Make Magic in a Pittsburgh Loft


– I think the big wow
for guests or visitors is that when you come into the building it’s sort of a tight entry. And then when you come up the steps, there’s the big expanse of the
full length of the building. And that’s usually where
we have people go, oh my. Or there’s a gasp or wow that’s amazing. (uptempo music) – The weird thing is we
always get the same question from people and that’s,
“Where do you live?” I think there’s this
kind of not understanding if you don’t have
specific rooms and spaces for places, how does that work. – What Garry has done to define the space, there are key pieces that help. Like the pantry is
basically the large red cube that helps separate the
dining area from the kitchen. The living room area,
there’s this gigantic plant that sort of separates
it from the kitchen. The only time it feels like too much space is that you’re sitting way over there, the doorbell rings,
it’s FedEx or something and you’re having to try
to get down there in time before he just leaves the note. So that time it seems
a little bit too big. (soothing instrumental music) I think when you live
in a loft what’s cool if you’re a working artist or
anybody that works from home, you can have this amazing
open live/work space. – Lawrenceville is one of
Pittsburgh’s 99 neighborhoods and it’s an old industrial area that I like ’cause it’s a little gritty. I’ve been in Lawrenceville 30 years, so I knew about this
building for a long time. Really the first thing
that caught my eye with it, it was like wow it’s a big warehouse building surrounded by houses. Being somebody who’s always
wanted to live in a loft probably since I was a little kid. It always had this fantasy
for me that maybe someday I would be able to have this
building and live in it. – I thought the building was
really cool on the outside but oh my God, the guy had never thrown anything away probably since 1950. – One of the challenges was when we bought it we had to buy everything as is. There was iron, there was steel, we had like copper, brass,
pretty much every kind of metal that you can imagine. – So that was some of the
prior stuff that we actually found in here, it took a year
and a half to pick through it. – It was about an eight month renovation just to get it to the
point where we can move in. We worked on it another eight, nine months to really get it to completion. The project had a very tight budget, almost everything you see
here is repurpose, reused from here in the building or
something that we bought used. I like to give new life to old things, I think there’s a memory to them. You can feel it as a human
being that when you’re seeing something that isn’t necessarily new, that it feels comfortable to you. – Garry is a very creative
designer and so he repurposed as many of the good things,
like the drawers, doors. – Everything in the kitchen was here, the island, the
countertops, shelving units. As you go through the whole house, you’ll just see repurposed
things that we put aside and kept and reincorporated
into the design of the place. – And then I think you
splurge on key things, so the key splurges
here were the skylight, the industrial glass doors,
and I think if you can kind of do that, it raises the
feeling of the whole space. – I’d really daily hit
Craigslist to look for specific things, the dining room
table was a table from a very high end law firm in Pittsburgh. Our sofa was from some
people that were moving to the neighborhood from
Brooklyn and had a smaller space. The fireplace is also one
that came out of somebody’s camp, I love to cook, so I
wanted an industrial stove and I didn’t have
thousands of dollars to buy an industrial stove so I
found one from an old church. All of the countertops and the
shelving units in the kitchen are all steel and that was one
work bench that was in here that was four feet wide and 22 feet long. One piece of steel, so I
chopped it up into shapes that actually work for our
counters and our shelving. The table that’s used in the kitchen, that was actually on the
first floor of the building, it’s built out of an old
duckpin bowling lane. And then it’s a welded steel base to it. – The original owner here
made it into a workbench and then we hoisted it
up to this level and used it as a kitchen island,
so it’s had three lives. To me it’s more fun and
interesting to repurpose something that’s had another life beforehand. One of our key pieces of
furniture we have is a Womb Chair and Ottoman by Eero Saarinen and I found it when I was in a Salvation Army. It was probably from the
1950’s, it had just faded. I knew that it was
something really special, I just didn’t know who had designed it. And the guy goes, “Well it’s
$45 and you have to take “that weird ottoman thing with it.” But I was like oh jackpot, this is cool. We had it recovered in similar fabric, it originally was yellow
and we kept it yellow. One of the great finds in
the property was this teak, and Garry was able to use
it as a design feature in several parts of our home. When you first come in there’s
a wall that features the teak Garry created and designed a teak platform outside the bathtub,
so that you’re not just stepping down onto concrete floor. He created a hanging
shelving unit using the teak in the library area and then also it helps with the seating out on the deck. – We’d always talk that
it’d be great to be able to have dinner parties outside
there and have a big table. So I wanted a travertine or marble table. – Oh God that heavy table, yeah. Garry found this great
marble table on Craigslist and one of the things that I found out it, you can find something that’s
amazing but then getting it to your place is another thing. And so we get there and
it just weighs a ton. – It took four people to get it in and then I thought the two
of us would be able to haul it up the staircase ourselves
but it made it about halfway and had to sit there for two, three days until we get somebody else to come help us to get the rest of the way into the house. – One of the things that we
found that was really cool was this vintage vinyl
tile from the 1950’s and it was still in its
original container sealed. And we were able to use that, it’s this cool, black,
tile that has little flecks of color and stuff in it, which is great, ’cause it doesn’t show dirt. – We had to think outside the
box to design the bathroom, how do you create a space within a space. So what I ended up doing
was designing a pavilion that’s really a building
within a building. – In our bathroom, lots of
the pieces that were found in the building were actually incorporated because we had so much
sheet, stainless steel. Garry surrounded the whole bath, shower area with stainless steel. – I didn’t want it to be
a dark space so I managed to get a salvaged glass
door, an old storefront door. Which is a glass door with
metal chicken wire incorporated into it which we have in
some of the other doors that was already here in the building. So it was a nice fit but
rather than using it as a door it’s turned sideways,
so it’s really a window and then frosted, so you can
see a few shadows when people are in the bathroom, but
you can’t really look in. – When we first came into the building, a lot of what was on the
floor was gnarly shag carpet from the ’70’s that had
all kinds of stuff in it. And old linoleum tile and
that was all just taken up. We liked the blemishes and
the things that were happening on the concrete, so we
just sealed it as is and thinks it’s really cool. – The second floor, the main
living space is actually hickory flooring that was also
salvaged in 1952 from an old steel mill that was from
Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel. – One of the things that’s
really appealing about having the whole building is that in the city. Especially when you’re in a
neighborhood where there are row houses, a lot of times
you’re only getting direct light coming in twice a day
but when you have the whole building, it’s really
amazing to be here all day in different parts of the loft and studio are illuminated by light. – [Garry] There were a lot of
design changes that were made from the very first to where
we ended up with simply by just being in this
space and being able to say wow isn’t that really cool in
the springtime how the light comes through the back
window and it hits that wall in this way or the evening
light comes through the studio and how that reflects
on the attic’s worth. (soothing instrumental music) – [Atticus] My favorite room is my studio, one of the things that
I love about the studio is that the staircase is very sculptural. So it’s kind of like creating
and living in a place that’s like an exhibition space. – The space is purposefully
left raw and rough, if feels kind of like a barn to me. – We have a similar
aesthetic we like things to be kind of clean and open and bright. And everything’s white,
so the floor’s white, the walls white, the ceilings white. So you get light bouncing everywhere and then you have this
really strong, vertical, sculptural staircase that
comes up through the middle. It’s been really cool to
see how the space affects the size at least, of what I make. I’d always lived in a much smaller space, so my work was very small,
a lot of it you could just hold in your hand, and then
we moved into this space and now my work has just gotten bigger. – [Garry] We’re thinking
about just having a cool place to live but we never really
thought about how this space and what we actually do as artist, kind of intertwine and becomes
really part of our brand. I think that when people
will come into the loft they’ll often comment, “Wow
I’ve been to a loft space, “but they’re always so
cold and yours isn’t cold.” I always think that it really
has to do with the fact that there are these
interesting pieces throughout this space, they have
stories, around them. And so people connect to
them and so if that helps you connect with the space and
makes you comfortable in it.

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82 thoughts on “Art and Industry Make Magic in a Pittsburgh Loft

  1. Awesome! I want to know more about Pittsburgh's neighborhoods and will definitely visit this when I go to Pittsburgh! Great remodel!

  2. Always wanted a big loft, but I rarely see interior design that feels unified in any way. It certainly has the feeling of something that has grown or evolved over time… and that's a wonderful thing, for something to feel 'lived in'. And yet, it also takes on the energy of a thrift store rather than a home, because of all the disparate styles. Seems like Atticus and Garry love their space, and I admire their commitment both to their neighborhood… as well as loft living. It's not for everyone, but they're doing it well.

  3. amazing! I am floored by the creativity people display and the ability to envision such a beautiful space from where it began…. gotta say that staircase (while stunning) gave me total anxiety, i would be terrified of falling with it being so open!

  4. What a beautiful space …reflects its owners down to a tee…well done guys …your home is as beautiful as you are ..

  5. It's wonderful to have your creations all around you. For us, it was modern farm house with handcrafted Shaker furniture and quilts. Your home is YOU. And, it's very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Being native to Pittsburgh I remember the tight doorways, dormers and stairwells that make it impossible to bring any large furniture pieces into older homes and buildings. When I left in 2008, Lawrenceville was beginning to realize it's potential in embracing industrial living. You guys have done a fabulous job in your loft. The art and craftmanship that you display is so amazing,

  7. This is stunning. I so admire that creative spark some people have to see one object and envision a whole other life for it as something else. Repurposing is something I'm not great at, but when I see projects like this I'm determined to get better at it. Awesome home for awesome people 🙂

  8. This is my favorite house I've seen here on Youtube. So much creativity and character. The owners are lovely people too.

  9. Definitely- would appreciate the installation of an Intercom Box for Deliveries – "problem solved" – and enjoy your home space –

    It is so well done – budgets often force Creativity – 🍸

  10. I love it! Repurposing or reusing things in different areas of my home makes me feel like I just got the stuff. It creates a whole new vibe. Your place is wonderful and your studio is fabulous with its billowy art work.

  11. I love visiting Pittsburgh and I love this loft! I wonder what area it is in? I looks like the art district but I’m not sure. I’m renovating my old (new to me) mid-century house. I was also left with tons of stuff to clean out (took us a month to do- but found lots of cool stuff, including the original blueprints of the home). It so nice to see people repurpose old things in a thoughtful way. Very inspiring!

  12. Stunning, unpretentious with a lot of heart & soul. You created an absolute amazing space. Love how creative you were with a lot of the materials

  13. 1:10 there’s a scene in Absolutely Fabulous that shows exactly what he described about taking a while to get to the front door. In the series it’s a downtown London high end designer store though, as OPEN as this house; the designer and his assistant have quite of funny exchange because the front entrance is too far to see who are the customers..

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