Loft Peeping: Deborah French

I was thrilled when interior designer Deborah French emailed to offer up her loft for a peeping. Just look at it!

“I first moved to my loft on Duane as a sculptor, in the late 70’s,” she wrote. “At that time I lived and worked on the entire floor of about 3,800 square feet, renting it for $400 per month. I purchased the loft in 1981 and over the years it has had several incarnations, as have I.” She most recently redid the place in 2008.

French knows a thing or two about how to make a place look good: For six years, she was Polo Ralph Lauren’s director of store development; she has also worked at Dineen Nealy Architects (in the hospitality and residential arenas) and at the Ian Schrager Company, where she was executive vice president of interior design for Schrager’s Edition brand (a partnership with J.W. Marriott). She also designed two residences for Schrager.

Let’s break it down:

••• The color inspiration came from a book titled Painting in Renaissance Sienna 1420-1500.

••• The three custom-made French mattresses covered in a yellow, linen damask are “set upon a painted wood platform built in the shape of the Greek letter pi.”

••• The coffee table in front of the mattresses is a 19th-century Indian grain grinder. The coffee table by the sofa and striped club chairs from Ralph Lauren, meanwhile, was created from an antique iron-and-wood Moroccan window. And the base of the dining room table incorporates parts of an old Pennsylvania bridge, “flaking paint and all.” The top of the table is a pure white limestone.

••• “A green, white, and brown tile tabletop and iron base were made in Morocco to my specifications for the kitchen. The seating is a combination of three iron and wood French garden chairs from the early 1900’s and an antique Swedish, Gustavian bench with pillows in Suzani fabrics. Nearby, reupholstered in Fortuny’s ‘Granada’ print, is my mother’s delicate antique French loveseat.”

••• The casement windows and doors of the bedrooms are from a 1920’s New York City building; French discovered them at an architectural salvage company in Harlem. “These windows allow the bedrooms to have air and light, while giving privacy. The exterior of the master bedroom plays with the idea outdoor vs. indoor, appearing to be the exterior entry of a home inside the loft.”

••• One of her sculptures can be seen in the second- and third-to-last photos.

The photos are by Dana Meilijson, Yiorgos Kordakis, and Emily Johnston Anderson.; the portrait above is by Costas Picadas.


Recent Loft Peeping posts:
Jennifer & Kevin Fisher
Anonymous Tribeca Family
Melanie & Philippe Zrihen
Kelly Black
Søren Rose Kjær
Ailin Doman
Angela McCluskey & Paul Cantelon
Emily Stone


1 Comment

  1. My loft in “Tribeca Citizen” this week!