When designer Jenny Kirschner walked into the former Daily News printing plant in Prospect Heights, she turned to her husband, Aari, and said, “This is where we are going to live.” The cavernous loft, with 28-foot-high ceilings, had been unceremoniously chopped up with flimsy room dividers, and Kirschner saw something she could have her way with. “I didn’t want anything renovated — I wanted a gut job, a place I could turn entirely into my own.” Instead of interrupting the apartment with closed-off spaces, she created an 87-square-foot glass box in the middle of the first floor that does the job of two rooms; it’s Jenny’s office most of the time, but her desk can be easily wheeled out and it can become a guest room — the back wall hides a Murphy bed and full-length drapes can be drawn for privacy. (The upstairs bedroom has glass sliding doors, too.)
As futuristic as the apartment may appear at first glance, most of the décor borrows from the past. “I am very nostalgic,” Kirschner says, “and I’ve decorated the place with a lot of things from my upbringing in St. Louis.” Vintage pieces — like her parents’ table and chairs and her childhood piano — sit in the dining room and upstairs study, respectively. And then there was the kismet of finding a giant chandelier that had once hung in a church in Amsterdam that Kirschner bought on a whim before she even closed on the apartment. It happened to fit perfectly in the living room. “It was clearly the right risk to take.”
Top image: The Study–Slash–Guest Room: The back wall hides a Murphy bed, so the study can easily be transformed into a bedroom.
*A version of this article appears in the December 11, 2017, issue of New York Magazine.