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Home Is Where the Heart Is

An interior designer and Crown Heights native returns to Brooklyn to settle down in a Williamsburg loft.

Photo: David A. Land
Photo: David A. Land

“This is my reentry into Brooklyn,” Leyden Ynobe Lewis says of his 800-square-foot loft, which he began renting in 2003 and recently renovated to include a dedicated bedroom space. “I read a book about feng shui that said having a beam above your bed can create issues around intimacy,” he says. He got rid of the beam, added a curtain and some partition walls, and two months later, his partner, Lazhar Meguedmi, moved in with him.

Lewis, an artist himself, has covered his walls with pieces he’s collected over the years. Lyle Ashton Harris’s Redemption hangs above the bed. Moooi’s Rabbit Lamp sits on his bedside table. Photo: David A. Land
The loft is divided into spaces, each of which serves a designated purpose. In the dining area, a polished chrome dining table is surrounded by wood-and-recycled-plastic Odger chairs from Ikea. The resin banana bowl on the table is by Harry Allen. The bookshelves are designed by Lewis himself, and the wall-art figure is by Jeffrey Hargrave. Photo: David A. Land
“My ‘décor’ is really an assortment of art pieces by friends,” Lewis says. A painting of an abstract plumed creature, seen here, was created by his father, the artist Lionel Lewis. Jack Pearson’s Stay hangs below a large portrait of a man’s head by Teofilo Olivieri and above a small painting by Jeffrey Hargrave. Frank Gehry’s “Wiggle Stool” sits beside Lewis’s steel desk. Photo: David A. Land
The living space is partitioned by a sofa from West Elm, which sits beneath a large painting by Ricardo Gonzalez. The coffee table is custom made by Anthony Whitfield. The armchair was designed by Vico Magistretti for Cassina, and the pendant light is “24 Karat Blau,” created by Axel Schultes for Ingo Maurer. Photo: David A. Land
Early in his career, Lewis frequently visited art collectors’ homes, which made a strong impression. “I’d never in my life seen people living amongst museum-quality art. It made me understand that art is not just an exclusive entity to go and visit, but also something that you can live with.” An ink drawing of a Rastafarian’s back by Chinatsu Seya, seen here, greets guests in the entrance foyer. The sculpture is by Lewis. Photo: David A. Land
Lewis is pictured here with his rescue dog, Nika. “There are only two doors in this place. And now that there are two people and a dog living here, our needs are changing. We might look for a place in the country where we can spread out, but the plan is to hang onto the loft.” Photo: David A. Land
The drawing is by Lewis, and the smaller art pieces on the wall are by Jeffrey Hargrave. “The aesthetic of the space was entirely informed by my extensive collection of objects, heirlooms, and artifacts. Being here calms me, energizes me and makes me really happy.” Photo: David A. Land

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