An open-plan loft space in a former factory in the Big Apple provided the perfect property for Mike Zandman and his love for entertaining
A former hat factory in Manhattan has been transformed into a fabulous place for entertaining
For Mike Zandman, this loft apartment in Manhattan, New York is the perfect place for entertaining: ‘I love having friends over,’ he says. ‘And my home is purposefully designed so that people can relax.’
The flat occupies an entire floor of a former hat factory, and what makes it particularly good for hosting is the vast living space with soaring three-metre-high ceilings. But according to Mike, it is also the choice of materials that puts his guests – and himself – at ease. ‘Everything is rugged and rough,’ says Mike. ‘The flooring is reclaimed herringbone parquet and if someone scrapes their shoe across it, it won’t show.’ The same goes for the dining table, which doubles as a bar when he has a gathering. ‘It is made out of steel and so it gets ring marks from the glasses; but for me, that just adds to the character of the piece.’
Owing to Mike’s busy work schedule, which involves a lot of travelling, he knew he wasn’t going to be able to renovate the loft alone when he bought it in 2013. ‘Initially, I persuaded a friend’s wife to help,’ he says. ‘She agreed, explaining it would be in her style and the first thing she planned to do was cover up the brick walls. Everything was set up and ready to go, but then I went to a party in a place where the walls were exposed, and I knew I’d made the wrong decision.’
Mike called his contractor to halt the process the next day, and they suggested he get in touch with interior designer Jenny Wolf. ‘She completely understood my style,’ says Mike. The look, which Jenny coins ‘modern industrial’, celebrates the building’s history with features such as exposed steel supports and bookshelves fashioned from reclaimed wood and steel. By swapping the small windows at the rear of the apartment for large steel-framed ones, Jenny was able to entirely reconfigure the space, relocating the kitchen and living area to the back of the building, where it is now flooded with light.
Alongside the more masculine features are softer, tactile touches, including velvet, wool and mohair in a muted palette of charcoal greys, taupes and mossy greens. The only white piece of furniture is the pony hair bench. ‘By some good fortune, no one has spilled anything on it yet,’ says Mike.
What excites Mike the most about the interior is the gadgetry. ‘I have a 75-inch TV and a 135-inch projector screen for movies,’ he says. ‘ When I touch down at JFK, I can turn on the heating and lights via my phone and I can even send friends up in the lift and into my flat remotely.’
The kitchen, too, is packed with some impressive appliances, so it comes perhaps as a surprise to learn that Mike cannot cook. ‘But I’m good at inviting people over who can,’ he laughs. ‘When I’m in town, I’ll have a dinner party every few weeks. My guests sort the food and I look after the rest – it’s the perfect arrangement as it’s a great place to entertain.’
KITCHEN- DINER The back wall is clad in antiqued mirror, which bounces the light back and helps enhance the lofty proportions. For bespoke mirror splashbacks, try Rough Old Glass. Roger bar stool, £95, French Connection, has a similar look
sitting room A robust and practical herringbone floor brings character to this open space, while soft materials make it feel warm and homely. PK22 chair, from £2,809, Twentytwentyone, is a good alternative. Farmhouse ceiling light in Pewter, £89, Industville, is comparable. Jielde Signal zigzag lamp, £295, Made In Design, would work well here. For a Cowhide rug like this one, try City Cows, £299 hall As visitors exit the lift, they are greeted by a rustic bench seat where they can remove shoes. For similar flooring, try the Handmade French oak chevron and herringbone pattern, from £234sq m, The New & Reclaimed Flooring Co. Horsehair sconce, from £ 4,350 each, Apparatus Studio, are like these ones. For a vase like this one, try the copper design, £ 40, Habitat
Bedroom this space is the height of ultimate luxury, with its seagrass walls and velvet-upholstered bed. Cushions made from Katana in Ivory/ Ebony, £117m, Kelly Wearstler for Lee Jofa. For a luxurious buttoned bed, try the Rouen low foot-end, from £1,448 for a double, Sofas & Stuff. Industrial style four-shelf bookcase, £120, Natural Living, has this look