Driving by, you might assume the graffiti-tagged, brick building in Tremont is just another relic of Cleveland’s Rust Belt legacy. But inside you’ll find a cozy, modern home that incorporates plenty of nods to the former warehouse’s industrial past.
The homeowner, who also owns a local clothing boutique, had a distinct vision when she came to the project’s lead interior designer, Tracy van der Kuil of Modern Smart Homes in Lakewood, to begin planning the design for the home. The homeowner wanted the live-work space to feel like a spacious urban loft, perfect for hosting fashion shows and with room for her illustrator husband to have his own office. But she didn’t want to lose the reminders of the building’s former life.
“You can see actual tracks from the equipment that would drive on the floor,” says van der Kuil. “She wanted that story and that history in this space.”
Light spills in from garage doors (trucks used to park where the dining area is now), original brick-walls were sealed with a clear coat, an old plywood floor beneath the sitting area was refinished, and electrical conduits, pipes and ductwork were left exposed.
Cracks in a concrete floor below the dining area and kitchen were filled with silver paint and epoxy, then a top coat that added a hint of shimmer to offset the oil stains that remained.
“It was her preferred aesthetic to be kind of honest and open and to not really hide the imperfections, but to embrace them,” says van der Kuil.