In a perfect world, an interior designer and a client are completely in tune, two minds thinking as one. There’s no need to explain the appeal of asymmetry, say, or the joy of splurging on hand-painted wallpaper. This is just the kind of synchrony that designer Jessie Schuster experienced while working on her latest project, the renovation of a spacious Manhattan loft inside an old factory in SoHo. “We went to look at the apartment together and both fell in love with it right away,” says Schuster of the early-1900s property purchased by her client. “It had heavy dark floors and strangely raised bathrooms, yet we agreed the raw bones were just amazing.” It helped, of course, that Schuster’s client happened to be her little sister Alexandra, who was looking for a new home for her growing family. “She’s always been a tastemaker for me, and even when she pushes me I know I’m going to be happy in the end,” says the younger Schuster. “She really gets me and I fully trust her.”

The sisters decided to preserve many of the details that gave the apartment its gritty New York character—things like exposed pipes and moldings that were cracked or flawed—while adding doses of European sophistication. “We wanted to keep it feeling very SoHo,” says the designer. “The idea was to create something raw but elevated, with a juxtaposition of contemporary and vintage furniture.” Schuster took cues from Belgian designer Axel Vervoordt, known for his expressive take on simplicity and his preference for lime-washed walls that look beautifully weathered. She covered most of the apartment in a greige lime wash from Domingue Architectural Finishes, leaving many walls undecorated or hung with a single artwork. The effect is stark and serene.

This cozy office and library is at the entrance to the apartment, next to the parlor. Schuster designed the asymmetrical lacquered table and chose to pair it with a vintage Pierre Jeanneret chair. The modular floor-to-ceiling shelves were designed by Pieter Rams in 1960 and dubbed 606 Universal Shelving System; simple and versatile, they are a fitting backdrop to Giancarlo Valle’s whimsical “Smile” armchairs.

This cozy office and library is at the entrance to the apartment, next to the parlor. Schuster designed the asymmetrical lacquered table and chose to pair it with a vintage Pierre Jeanneret chair. The modular floor-to-ceiling shelves were designed by Pieter Rams in 1960 and dubbed 606 Universal Shelving System; simple and versatile, they are a fitting backdrop to Giancarlo Valle’s whimsical “Smile” armchairs.

When it came time to furnish the home, a 3,600-square-foot unit with three bedrooms, a media room, and a vast reception area, Schuster drew from various styles and eras: Swedish Gustavian, French Art Deco, and Italian and Brazilian modernism, with a few experimental silhouettes from the 1970s thrown in for good measure. “Jessie has an incredible ability to layer,” says her sister. “By that I mean materials and textures as well as different time periods and genres.” In the dining area, which features a spectacular 14-foot-long table in bordeaux-hued marble, Schuster paired an Art Deco sideboard with a classic gilded mirror and contemporary iron-framed chairs vaguely reminiscent of Louis XVI fauteuils.

Jessie Schuster Transforms a Spacious SoHo Loft Inside an Old Factory Building

In the primary suite, Schuster kept the look very clean, eschewing wall decorations and window treatments. “I designed these shutters as an homage to old French apartments,” she says. The platform bed is by Kelly Wearstler, Schuster’s former mentor; the vintage chair was designed by the late Brazilian modernist Oscar Niemeyer.

In the primary suite, Schuster kept the look very clean, eschewing wall decorations and window treatments. “I designed these shutters as an homage to old French apartments,” she says. The platform bed is by Kelly Wearstler, Schuster’s former mentor; the vintage chair was designed by the late Brazilian modernist Oscar Niemeyer.

In a nod to Axel Vervoordt’s nuanced approach to simplicity, most of the walls were covered in a greige lime wash from Domingue Architectural Finishes. The 14-foot-long dining table was custom made at Paris Ceramics using antiqued, tea-stained marble; the modern chairs, from Artistic Frame, are vaguely reminiscent of Louis XVI fauteuils. A midcentury-style chandelier by Diego Mardegan for Glustin Luminaires completes the timeless look.

In a nod to Axel Vervoordt’s nuanced approach to simplicity, most of the walls were covered in a greige lime wash from Domingue Architectural Finishes. The 14-foot-long dining table was custom made at Paris Ceramics using antiqued, tea-stained marble; the modern chairs, from Artistic Frame, are vaguely reminiscent of Louis XVI fauteuils. A midcentury-style chandelier by Diego Mardegan for Glustin Luminaires completes the timeless look.

Schuster and her client (who happens to be her younger sister Alexandra) agreed to preserve many of the details that gave the apartment its gritty New York character—things like exposed pipes and moldings that were cracked or flawed. The open kitchen, which had been recently renovated, got a revamp with rustic wood-fired tiles from Clé and a sleek steel-coated pendant from David Weeks Studio. The stools were handmade in Spain.

Schuster and her client (who happens to be her younger sister Alexandra) agreed to preserve many of the details that gave the apartment its gritty New York character—things like exposed pipes and moldings that were cracked or flawed. The open kitchen, which had been recently renovated, got a revamp with rustic wood-fired tiles from Clé and a sleek steel-coated pendant from David Weeks Studio. The stools were handmade in Spain.

This cozy office and library is at the entrance to the apartment, next to the parlor. Schuster designed the asymmetric lacquered table and chose to pair it with a vintage Pierre Jeanneret chair. The modular floor-to-ceiling shelves were designed by Pieter Rams in 1960 and dubbed 606 Universal Shelving System; simple and versatile, they are a fitting backdrop to Giancarlo Valle’s whimsical “Smile” armchairs.

This cozy office and library is at the entrance to the apartment, next to the parlor. Schuster designed the asymmetric lacquered table and chose to pair it with a vintage Pierre Jeanneret chair. The modular floor-to-ceiling shelves were designed by Pieter Rams in 1960 and dubbed 606 Universal Shelving System; simple and versatile, they are a fitting backdrop to Giancarlo Valle’s whimsical “Smile” armchairs.

The elaborately carved front door is one of the only elements that Schuster kept from the previous owners. To lighten up the mood, she paired it with a quirky vintage pendant from Galerie Glustin Luminaires, a contemporary convex mirror, and hand-painted French cement tiles.

The elaborately carved front door is one of the only elements that Schuster kept from the previous owners. To lighten up the mood, she paired it with a quirky vintage pendant from Galerie Glustin Luminaires, a contemporary convex mirror, and hand-painted French cement tiles.

Schuster created a “raw but elevated” atmosphere. Her ability to mix vintage and contemporary furniture is evident in the home’s parlor, which is part of an open-plan reception area. The foldable screen in the corner is an Art Deco design from the 1940s; the modern coffee table, by May Furniture, is made of wood treated to look like stone; the Jean-Michel Frank–style club chairs were upholstered in a delicate floral jacquard from Pierre Frey; the alabaster sofa and daybed are from Dmitriy & Co. In the back, we see a Slim Aarons photograph of Mick Jagger above a Swedish Gustavian chest from Laserow.

Schuster created a “raw but elevated” atmosphere. Her ability to mix vintage and contemporary furniture is evident in the home’s parlor, which is part of an open-plan reception area. The foldable screen in the corner is an Art Deco design from the 1940s; the modern coffee table, by May Furniture, is made of wood treated to look like stone; the Jean-Michel Frank–style club chairs were upholstered in a delicate floral jacquard from Pierre Frey; the alabaster sofa and daybed are from Dmitriy & Co. In the back, we see a Slim Aarons photograph of Mick Jagger above a Swedish Gustavian chest from Laserow.

The homeowners recently welcomed their first child. When Schuster found out her sister was expecting a girl, she commissioned a wallpaper from Tiller & Rauscher, run by the descendants of legendary textile designers D.D. and Leslie Tillet (Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was a client). “We knew she was going to be named Georgia—we call her Georgia Peach—so I picked this palette,” says the designer.

The homeowners recently welcomed their first child. When Schuster found out her sister was expecting a girl, she commissioned a wallpaper from Tiller & Rauscher, run by the descendants of legendary textile designers D.D. and Leslie Tillet (Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was a client). “We knew she was going to be named Georgia—we call her Georgia Peach—so I picked this palette,” says the designer.

For the primary bath, Schuster chose Calacatta Paonazzo marble from ABC Stone and custom-glazed ceramic tiles from Artistic Tile. The mirror is a vintage Italian piece found at 1stDibs, and the wall sconce is from Apparatus Studio.

For the primary bath, Schuster chose Calacatta Paonazzo marble from ABC Stone and custom-glazed ceramic tiles from Artistic Tile. The mirror is a vintage Italian piece found at 1stDibs, and the wall sconce is from Apparatus Studio.

A home office occupies the loft’s third bedroom. This corner features a 1970s Italian chaise with a chrome frame and a vintage accent chair in the style of Donald Judd from Galerie Michael Bargo.

A home office occupies the loft’s third bedroom. This corner features a 1970s Italian chaise with a chrome frame and a vintage accent chair in the style of Donald Judd from Galerie Michael Bargo.

“It was dark and dingy, with some built-ins,” says Schuster, referring to the look of the media room before the renovations. “We added wall paneling, created a wet bar backed by a big mirror, and made it super cozy.” A custom sectional was paired with a vintage ottoman upholstered in a George Le Manach patterned toile from Pierre Frey, and two 1970s accent chairs by Afra and Tobia Scarpa for Cassina.

“It was dark and dingy, with some built-ins,” says Schuster, referring to the look of the media room before the renovations. “We added wall paneling, created a wet bar backed by a big mirror, and made it super cozy.” A custom sectional was paired with a vintage ottoman upholstered in a George Le Manach patterned toile from Pierre Frey, and two 1970s accent chairs by Afra and Tobia Scarpa for Cassina.

Schuster was lucky to snatch this Hermès “Dune” wallpaper before it was discontinued. It covers the walls of the powder room.

Schuster was lucky to snatch this Hermès “Dune” wallpaper before it was discontinued. It covers the walls of the powder room.

The guest bathroom features “Terrazzo Renata” stone slabs from Ann Sacks, a design inspired by old Italian terrazzo. A Scott Rudin image hangs on the wall.

The guest bathroom features “Terrazzo Renata” stone slabs from Ann Sacks, a design inspired by old Italian terrazzo. A Scott Rudin image hangs on the wall.

Schuster’s undeniable eye for mélange was bolstered by a soft palette that became a unifying thread of sorts: There are alabaster fabrics, beige carpets, and flaxen wood accents throughout the loft. “I wanted a clean and calming space, and Jessie got that,” says her sister, who shares the home with her husband and their seven-month-old daughter. “You have these busy cityscapes all round you, and then here it’s like an oasis. It’s just a beautiful space.”

Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest