We often talk about industrial loft style on this blog – and sometimes, we’ll show examples of the style, and discuss how we think it should look when it’s done right. There are plenty of examples of great industrial loft style design out there, but we have to tell you: we stopped dead in our tracks when we came across this feature of Tumblr’s David Karp and his Brooklyn loft. We’re big fans of Karp outside of his design leanings. We like how he’s a tech guy without really being a tech guy – you’ll notice his space is curiously devoid of any fancy new technology; Karp likes to keep things simple – and how, even since he’s become a bit of scenester thanks to the rise of Tumblr’s popularity over the past few years, he seems to avoid the scene. Karp is an intelligent businessman who created something amazing, and yet, he appears to have remained humble despite his success. That’s something we can respect.
Says the Times, “He is an apparent paradox: a high-tech design leader with a home and possessions that display little affection for anything postwar; frankly, most of the 20th century seems suspect to him. Nothing in his home looks particularly futuristic, or technological, at least as we’ve usually understood those terms. A house may be a machine for living, but Karp says, “I don’t want our house doing very much.” It’s a quiet space, with few distractions; one feels that stone tablets might not be entirely out of place.”
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that his South Williamsburg loft is gorgeous. We respect that, too.
The feature continues, “The apartment is built with “analog technology,” says John Gachot, the principal designer, who worked with Karp on the renovation. Gachot specializes in solid, old-school design; working with his wife, Christine, their recent projects include the Acme restaurant in NoHo, the West Village home of Marc Jacobs and a shuffleboard club now being built in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Gachot compares Karp’s loft to a submarine, where everything is made of tested, reliable materials that are designed to work together perfectly. “It’s mildly steampunk,” he adds, pointing out a few of the details, like tin ceilings and brass screws, at least “in the sense of looking backward.” The materials and methods are genuinely old: the reclaimed oak that dominates the living room comes from an old dairy farm in Pennsylvania, and the brick and concrete have aged with the building. “It’s very open and honest,” he says of the design. “Everything is exposed, and you can see all the connections.”
And what a beautiful space it is, isn’t it? Shop the pieces below to get the industrial loft look for yourself.